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New Forest

Site near Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, which has an SSSI designation. This field is susceptible to flooding and yet is being considered for housing under the NFDC’s Local Plan Site near Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, which has an SSSI designation. This field is susceptible to flooding and yet is being considered for housing under the NFDC’s Local Plan

Spring / Summer 2018

Latest update for the New Forest area. This update was produced for our twice yearly printed newsletter, Hampshire Views. Please check the rest of the News section of the website for more recent updates.

As part of her programme meeting the DGs, the new Chief Executive of CPREH, Charlee Bennett, met us last August to discuss local issues. These included housing (in relation to the NFDC’s Local Plan), air pollution v. speed limits, low flying aircraft in a designated ‘tranquility’ area, ecological threats posed by, i.e, burying National Grid pylons at Hale Purlieu, and the ongoing controversial Wetland Restoration Scheme. It was admitted that, formerly one of the most active DGs, with the advent of the NFNPA in 2004, support declined in the mistaken opinion that the latter would assume the Group’s mantle in tackling local issues. Hopefully, the tide will turn in our favour given the launch of Hampshire’s Strategic Vision on housing, infrastructure and the rural economy.

At the invitation of the NFNPA last August, members met Steve Avery (Executive Director, Strategy and Planning) and colleagues. Billed ‘as an opportunity for us to meet face to face and establish a positive dialogue, with particular emphasis on planning matters’, areas of common interest were discussed. The pertinent issue of high density housing to mitigate encroachment on the Green Belt, and ‘need [actual and local] v. aspiration’ in such developments were also raised. The NPA’s Local Plan review provides an opportunity to address local affordable housing needs. This will include a review of the rural exceptions site policy and consideration of seeking a lower threshold for on-site affordable housing in the Park.

The final formal meeting during a year which was characterised by approaching local councils to put forward the CPRE perspective on the Local Plan, took place in Hordle last October. Christopher Napier and myself met officers of the PC and outlined the NFDC’s LC review, highlighting the Green Belt issue and noting that they had withdrawn two sites in the village that were deemed as ‘strongly’ performing land. We learnt that any available brownfield sites were already included in those designated part of the Green Belt. All in all, this was one of the most sympathetic meetings we attended with councillors finding affinities to CPRE policy.

As we go to press, the NFNPA have released their Planning Policy Submission Draft to which our members will respond in a formal submission. Similarly, when the NFDC’s own comparable document is published, we will analyse and comment on it accordingly.

Russell Webb, New Forest Group Co-ordinator - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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