50 houses could be built in Ashurst

What is going on?

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) is in the process of reviewing the local   planning policies that cover the National Park.

On 3rd October, the Authority published a consultation draft Local Plan for an 8-week period of public consultation which contains proposals for up to 50 houses to be built on the fields opposite the Whartons Lane recreation ground.

An assessment of housing needs arising from within the National Park has highlighted a significant local need and the draft Local Plan proposes the allocation of sites within the Park to meet some of the identified housing need.

Several villages in the New Forest have had some land suggested for housing and the Authority is very keen that all the dwellings will be small (100 m2) and mostly available for rent at affordable prices, which in practice can mean at up to 80% of the open market price.

What is a local plan?

The Government requires every local planning authority in England to prepare, and keep up to date, a local plan which must explain how the local authority will meet the needs of current and future residents over the next 20 years.

The first draft of the revised New Forest National Park Local Plan, which has just been published, describes the Authority’s objectives and the proposed planning policies to help deliver them.

Many of the draft planning policies relate to the core aims of protecting and preserving the forest, over half of which is a designated area of international value. Other strategies deal with tourism, the local economy and creating vibrant local communities.

Why should residents get involved?

Once approved, all planning applications and any larger developments will be decided with reference to the policies in the Local Plan which dictate where, when and what type of building will be allowed on a particular site.

David Illsley, the planning policy manager at the National Park Authority, has encouraged people to engage in the preparation of the draft Local Plan, both during the current public consultation and the next stage of public consultation due in Summer 2017.

The Local Plan preparation process also includes a full independent examination of the draft Plan and so the public have a good opportunity to have their say.

What is your Parish Council doing?

  • We are holding a public meeting on the 8th November at Foxhills Junior School at 7.30 pm and we have invited David Illsley (mentioned above) to present the authority’s view and answer questions from the public.
  • We have set up a working party to examine the plan, listen to the views of residents, and consider the options for the Parish Council to consider in responding.
  • The findings and recommendations of the working party will be submitted to the full Council for a final decision on a formal response, before the end of the consultation period.

Want more information?

Contact the New Forest National Park Authority Planning Department on 01590 646615.

Visit the New Forest NPA website; www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to download the draft local plan.

Attend the Parish Council public meeting on 8th November, 7.30 pm at Foxhills Junior School.

Attend the public drop in sessions run by the National Park Authority:

1st November, Minstead Village Hall

2nd November, Sway Village Hall,

9th November, Godshill Village Hall.

How can you express your opinion?

Attend the public meeting on the 8th November.

Respond to the consultation by letter or through the New Forest NPA’s website (address above).