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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
National park boundaries revised
Sussex Downs
New proposals move the northern boundary to the south
The creation of a South Downs National Park has moved a step closer with the publication of a new map setting out the government's proposed boundaries.

The northern edge has moved south since the 2002 blueprint, leaving out Liss and Petersfield in Hampshire, and Midhurst and Petworth in West Sussex.

A coach park featured in plans for a new Brighton and Hove Albion FC stadium at Falmer is now outside the boundary.

A public consultation on the park began on Monday and lasts until 13 August.

The process to designate the area stretching from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex was postponed last year because of a legal judgment on the New Forest National Park.

A public inquiry into the South Downs National Park ended in March 2005.

Feelings are running extremely high in the Low Weald
Chris Todd, South Downs Campaign

The South Downs Campaign said it welcomed the inspector's recommendation that the National Park should go ahead.

But it said it was very disappointed that large chunks of land, particularly the Low Weald, had been taken out of the park.

"We are concerned that if it is left outside, it will become the poor relation and will suffer from lack of investment," said spokesman Chris Todd.

"Feelings are running extremely high in that area - they are outraged it will lose the protection it would have had."

Football club

Other areas left out include Arundel, except for the castle, Lewes and Steyning.

But 30 additional areas, including land near Ringmer and Glyndebourne in East Sussex and at Henfield in West Sussex, have been added.

The decision not to include the proposed Falmer stadium coach park is good news for the football club, which is expecting a decision on whether its own plans can go ahead as early as this week.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has been reviewing the stadium plans after consent given by John Prescott in 2005 was quashed.

The stadium is opposed by some local residents and Lewes District Council.

"The [National Park] inspector has disregarded the fact that this is an important strategic gap between Brighton and Falmer village," said chairman of Falmer Parish Council Melanie Cutress.

"It isn't good news for us."

Arguments for towns like Midhurst to be part of the park

South Downs national park urged
06 Jun 07 |  England
Grants for rural tourism project
23 Dec 06 |  Southern Counties
Downs countryside future set out
22 Jun 06 |  Southern Counties
1m boost for New Forest wildlife
07 Apr 06 |  Hampshire
South Downs demand at conference
24 Sep 05 |  Southern Counties
Cyclist promotes South Downs plan
27 Aug 05 |  Southern Counties

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