New Forest schemes win planning awards


Published Wednesday 6 December 2017

A pioneering affordable housing scheme and a river restoration project have scooped prestigious planning awards for the New Forest.

Both received prizes during the regional award ceremony of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.

Winning the Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing category recognises the success of the New Forest National Park Authority’s scheme to build and let two affordable homes to local families in Bransgore.

A first for a National Park, the Authority had to set up a new legal framework to allow it to construct the homes and become a landlord.

The land at Ringwood Road was kindly provided on a 999 year lease by local landowner Richard Frampton, who is a National Park Authority member, specifically for affordable housing.

The restoration of Wootton River near Burley was rewarded with the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment award for its work to restore 2.5 miles of artificially straightened river to its natural meandering route.

This work is part of a wider scheme of wetland restoration across the New Forest, funded by the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Scheme. This is the largest environmental improvement scheme in England and is restoring internationally-important habitats throughout the National Park.

Running for 40 years, the RTPI Awards are the most respected awards in the UK planning industry and celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Executive Director of Strategy and Planning at the New Forest National Park Authority Steve Avery, said: ‘We are pleased that our pioneering scheme to provide much-needed affordable housing in the New Forest has won this award.

‘We worked closely with New Forest District Council’s housing team to find suitable tenants who had a local connection and set the rent at an affordable level, so it’s been pleasing to see the tenants settle in so well over the last six months.

‘Special thanks must go to Richard for donating the land which has enabled us to pioneer this new approach to delivering small scale affordable housing schemes in the National Park.’

HLS Contract Manager for the Forestry Commission Nick Wardlaw, said: ‘It was a real credit to win this award - the Natural Environment category received a considerable number of projects with high merit, so it’s great recognition for the project. I’m delighted on behalf of my colleagues, and Mott MacDonald involved in the planning to restore Wootton Riverine back to its natural meandering route. It’s a truly collaborative project between many partner organisations, who are working towards conserving the New Forest’s unique natural environment.’

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Notes to photo editors

Bransgore affordable housing scheme.

Notes to editors

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 to find out more.

Media contact

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
Tel: 01590 646650

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