Secretary of State re-appoints Stephen Whale to South Downs National Park Authority

South downs canva 290524

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has re-appointed Stephen Whale as a Member of South Downs National Park Authority, for a second term until mid-2028. Stephen’s role on the Authority perfectly complements his work at the Bar as a member of Landmark Chambers.

The South Downs National Park stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne, covering more than 600 square miles. It has the largest population of any of England’s National Parks, and over 18 million visitors annually. It includes the iconic chalk hills, the Western Weald and several miles of coastline.

The Authority’s Members are a combination of Secretary of State appointees and councillors. They are responsible for discharging the statutory duties with respect to the Park in terms of conservation and enhancement, promoting opportunities for understanding and enjoyment as well as seeking to foster the economic and social well-being of the Park’s communities. Members determine the Authority’s policies, procedures and priorities. The Authority is also the statutory local planning authority for the Park, with ultimate responsibility for all planning applications and the South Downs Local Plan.

The Authority is the freehold owner of Seven Sisters Country Park, near Eastbourne, which it purchased from East Sussex County Council. Stephen Whale is Chair of the Board of Directors of the company established by the Authority to operate the Country Park. The Board is responsible for managing the visitor centre, the livestock grazing, the Landscape Management Plan, the land designated as SSSI, the food & beverage offer and the holiday accommodation.

Stephen has loved the countryside and countryside pursuits all his life. He is a member of the Agricultural Law Association, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Planning and Environment Bar Association and the CPRE Legal Panel. His work at the Bar very often has a rural dimension, including NPPF 84e exceptional quality design new country houses, public rights of way, Forestry Act 1967 matters, biodiversity gain, habitats regulations assessments, prior approval, village greens and commons. Stephen is periodically appointed as a village green Inspector. He is one of the authors of A Practical Guide to Planning Law and Rights of Way in National Parks, The Broads and AONBs (published by Law Brief Publishing).

Download your shortlist

Download All Download icon