Update: New Forest District Group

22nd October 2020

News from the New Forest


Whilst New Forest District Council (NFDC) has accepted planning applications of Local Plan sites – for fear of provoking a more onerous reaction from Westminster – objections still need resolving over the most controversial sites.

The most egregious example is that of Snails Lane, Ringwood. Residents have compiled fifty reasons to reject the developer’s plan to build 143 homes. Apart from habitat and infrastructure objections, the report concludes with little-known facts: ‘There are 1,739 second homes in the NFDC area; the Gladman application could be expected to add to that total. NFDC area has 1,289 empty properties and another 158 properties that are classified as uninhabitable and need or are undergoing structural repair.’ It also says that NFDC should make uninhabitable properties available as affordable housing.

In Lymington, 100 dwellings have been allocated between two rural lanes. This scheme was hard fought by PALLS (Pennington and Lymington Lanes Society) who argued that development would lead to loss of strong Green Belt land, fail to protect nationally protected habitats, damage rural character and recreational use of area and harm quality and character of the New Forest National Park (NFNP).

On the outskirts of New Milton, the last remaining area of designated Green Belt land preventing urban sprawl is sited where Brockhills Lane narrows to a single track into an area that is unsuitable for the level of additional traffic. Sway Road is also unsuitable for additional pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Overall, the site is unsustainable with regard to amenities, public transport, affordable housing and flood and sewage risk.

In addition to existing development sites in Fordingbridge, Metis Homes aim to build 74 new homes. There are a number of concerns, including safeguarding (the site overlooks a Day Nursery), flood risk, the area is subject to driving offences, environmental impact and adverse impact on Grade 2 listed cottages.

Dorset-Hampshire border: Dorset avoids damaging its own Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty by putting a development of about 2,000 homes at Alderholt, ensuring that adverse effects of traffic, pollution and provision of infrastructure are born by Fordingbridge and the New Forest. Why not fulfil its housing quota by fitting houses into each of its scores of villages?

Finally, continued growth will only be possible with the participation of more volunteers. Please respond to my ‘Eyes and Ears’ appeal letter asap!

Russell Webb
New Forest District Group Coordinator

Children climbing in the New Forest
Photography by Annie Spratt/Unsplash
Children climbing in the New Forest