Consultation extended for National Park Plans

Published Friday 10 October 2008

The consultation period for the draft New Forest National Park Plan and the draft Recreation Management Strategy has been extended to three months. It will now close on Friday 14 November 2008.

Clive Chatters, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We have extended the consultation period to meet the needs of those who have said they would like more time to consider our draft plans, including some local residents and some parish councils and other organisations that have requested flexibility to fit their cycle of meetings. The extension also gives the Authority’s members and officers more time to get out and about in the Forest and hear directly from people

‘It is important to remember that the end of the consultation does not mean the end of the conversation.  The next stage is equally important and we will continue to develop our proposals and discuss responses to consultation with partners, stakeholders, interest groups and individuals over the next few months before a final draft goes to the National Park Authority for approval.’

Mr Chatters added: ‘We have a legal duty and deadline for producing our final plans so we need to balance our wish to ensure that people have sufficient time to give us their views with the need to give ourselves time for full consideration of the consultation outcome.  The consultation phase needs to conclude so we can set about looking at the responses, discussing the issues with key groups and revising our plans.

‘This extension gives more time without unduly delaying the process.  Work on analysing the responses we have received so far is already under way and will be completed as quickly as possible in the weeks after the consultation closes.’

The formal consultation period started in August.  The draft plans have been in the public domain since June when they were discussed at a public meeting of the National Park Authority.  There was an extensive programme of meetings and workshops before that to inform the draft documents.

ends

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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