Views sought on the distinctive character of two New Forest villages

Boldre parish church

Published Tuesday 4 June 2013

Local people have come together to produce design guidelines which will help to conserve the character of their villages in the New Forest National Park.

The Sway Village Design Statement and the Boldre Parish Design Statement have both been prepared by local working groups, taking into account the views of residents.

They have now both been published for a six week period of consultation, starting this week (3 June 2013) and closing on 15 July 2013.

People are invited to give their views on the two documents, which aim to ensure that any new development in the parishes is carefully designed to respect the character of the areas.

If adopted by the National Park Authority, the Design Statements will provide detailed local guidance when it considers any planning applications for the parishes.

James Puttick, Boldre parish councillor and a member of the Parish Design Statement working group, said: ‘Boldre is not a village but is a large area made up of many different hamlets around the central village of Pilley. It is interspersed with leafy lanes and pasture, is on the fringes of the open forest and has an uninterrupted Solent shoreline. These rural aspects, together with the Lymington River which runs through the parish, make it a very special area.

‘We are not against change and appreciate that change will happen, but it has to be sympathetic to this beautiful area.’

Stephen Tarling, Sway parish councillor and member of Sway Village Design Statement working group, said they captured the views of all age groups from the village - from seniors groups to the school and teenagers. He said: ‘We sent a survey to every household and had over 500 replies, with 300 people attending our consultation day.

‘Sway has an incredible contrast between the defined village, which is overwhelmingly residential, and the outer part of the civil parish, which is a far larger area, but with a far smaller population - and is dominated by pasture.

‘We hope that the Design Statement will mean people will stop and think a little bit more when they design buildings or extensions or change the boundaries of their property. We have worked hard to get a balance between being too prescriptive and being too generalist, which would not have any influence on retaining the character of the village.’

You can view the Design Statements on the National Park Authority website at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk and download a consultation form.

Please send any comments to:

Policy Team, New Forest National Park Authority, Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9ZG; or email policy@newforestnpa.gov.uk. All comments will be publicly available.

The closing date for the consultation is 5pm on Monday 15 July 2013. The Statements are due to go to the Authority to be considered for adoption in September.

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