Have your say on new planning policies for the New Forest National Park

ponies grazing at Woodgreen

Published Wednesday 9 September 2015

The New Forest National Park Authority is asking for people’s views on the future role of planning as it updates its local planning policies.

With recent changes in national policies and the experience of using its first set of policies over the past five years, they are now being updated.

This initial stage of public consultation is a chance for people to say what they think are the main planning issues facing the New Forest and how these could be addressed.

To start this process off, the Authority has identified a number of key issues which it believes this new Local Plan should look at to help guide new development and protect the internationally-important habitats of the New Forest under the themes of:

  • Natural environment
  • Built environment
  • Communities
  • Economy
  • Transport and access.

Pat Wyeth, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority’s Planning Committee, said that since 2006 the Authority has determined over 10,000 planning applications and is one of the busiest planning departments in any of the 10 English National Parks.

She said: ‘Planning is one of the most important ways we can look after the New Forest and help communities and businesses thrive. Around 88% of planning applications in the National Park are approved and we work hard with applicants to get the best scheme for them and for the Forest.

‘This consultation on our Local Plan aims to identify the main planning issues facing the area, including how best to conserve the New Forest landscape; where and what type of employment we want to encourage; how we can provide more affordable housing for local people; and where are the most appropriate locations for new development, so it’s important people tell us their views.’

As part of this initial consultation, the Authority is also inviting landowners and others to submit sites that they would like to be considered for new development and which could then form part of the final Plan.

Over the summer Forest organisations and parish councils have already had initial discussions about revising the policies and visitors to the New Forest Show were asked their views on the main issues.

This first stage of formal consultation will last six weeks, with a revised version of the Plan due to be published in spring 2016 for a further period of public consultation. The final version of the Local Plan is expected to be in use by 2017.

To view the Local Plan consultation document and fill in the comments form, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/localplan.

Responses should be sent to:

Policy Team at Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG or email to: policy@newforestnpa.gov.uk

The deadline for comments is Friday 23 October 2015.

-ends-

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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