Ashurst & Colbury Parish Council began to develop our current Village Design Statement in 2011.

It provides guidelines about the design of any future development in the Village, and can be used as a reference by developers and residents when developing plans, and by Planning Committees when considering applications.

This should enable any new development to make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of the parish.

By identifying what makes Ashurst and Colbury special and distinctive, it is suggested that changes to individual buildings, groups of buildings or the Village as a whole, should be based on an understanding of the past and present character of the village.

It has become very apparent recently that there are aspects of Village design and layout which are particularly significant to residents, such as the importance of front gardens, density of developments, concerns about overdevelopment of both individual plots and the Village as a whole, and the value of the natural environment and tranquillity.

The Village Design Statement was adopted by the New Forest National Park Authority as a “Supplementary Planning Document”, which means it is a “material consideration” in determining planning applications.

It cannot overrule Planning Policy, but the design guidelines it contains are taken into account when Planning Applications are considered by the New Forest National Park Authority.

Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council do not make decisions about Planning Applications in the Parish – we do make recommendations to the New Forest National Park Authority, who will take these into account when making their decision.

Should the decision of the Planning Officer differ from the Parish Council recommendation, the Application will be considered at the New Forest National Park Authority Planning Committee meeting, when representatives of the Parish Council may speak.

Why is the Village Design Statement important?

The New Forest National Park Authority considers it helps influence the design of new development within the parish of Ashurst and Colbury.

It has been referenced by the New Forest National Park Authority during their consideration of the Planning Application for the land at Whartons Lane.

In 2019 the New Forest National Park Authority resolved that the Ashurst & Colbury Village Design Statement could continue to be given weight as a material planning consideration, although its influence will decrease as it becomes more out of date.

Why is the Parish Council revisiting the Village Design Statement?

The current Village Design Statement was adopted by the New Forest National Park Authority in June 2013.

The New Forest National Park Authority reviewed the current Village Design Statement and suggested updates and revisions in 2020.

Reviewing this document is a huge task, and the Planning Committee has been concentrating on other issues, particularly the application for development on the land at Whartons Lane.

However we would now like to start the process, hence our request for your thoughts.

Some of the information is now out of date, such as the details of businesses along Lyndhurst Road.

The listed relevant Planning policies have been superseded by the New Forest National Park Authority Adopted Local Plan 2016 – 2036.

The importance of specific aspects of design in the Village may need to be further emphasised.

We would like your views and comments:

What makes Ashurst and Colbury special and distinctive in your opinion?

What features is it important to consider when making recommendations about Planning Applications?

The Built Environment chapter is three pages long; the recent Whartons Lane application has demonstrated the importance of detailing which aspects of design and layout are important when considering Planning Applications.

The Parish includes areas with specific characteristics – the Bratcher estate, Chestnut Drive, Foxhills, Woodlands Road and Colbury Cottages are distinct from each other.

Should the Village Design Statement consider each area separately?

Does the layout of the current Village Design Statement need altering?

Is it easy to read and navigate?

Are the chapters about the history, important and historic buildings, landscape helpful?

If you have any ideas or suggestions about what would make our Village Design Statement a readable, relevant and useful document, please email

sue.robinson-ashurstpc@outlook.com or parishclerk@ashurstandcolbury-pc.gov.uk