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Neighbourhood planning

A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of plan introduced by the Localism Act (2011) to allow local communities to prepare a plan for development and land use in their area. More detail about how Neighbourhood Plans work and their preparation can be found on the Planning Portal and Communities and Local Government websites.

As the New Forest is a parished area, neighbourhood plans can be undertaken by parish or town councils, if they choose to prepare one. We have a role in supporting communities in preparing a neighbourhood plan by giving advice and assistance to the town/parish council. More detail can be found in our Neighbourhood Planning Protocol (April 2016), which sets out the support we can offer local communities preparing neighbourhood plans.

Hampshire County Council also prepared a useful guide on its role in the neighbourhood planning process in 2015, explaining the main County Council services that may have to be considered when carrying out neighbourhood planning; links to relevant County Council information; and an explanation of the distinction between the roles of the County Council and the National Park Authority in the neighbourhood planning process.

Neighbourhood Plan Areas

In order to start preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, a town/parish council first makes an application to the local planning authority for the designation of the area that their Neighbourhood Plan will cover.  To date, Neighbourhood Plan Areas for the parishes of Milford-on-Sea, Totton and Eling, New Milton, Lymington & Pennington, and Hythe & Dibden have been formally designated (details below).

Neighbourhood Area Designations

In accordance with Part 2 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, we formally designated Neighbourhood Plan Areas for the part of the parishes of Milford-on-Sea; Totton and Eling; New Milton; Hythe and Dibden; Lymington and Pennington; and Wellow that lie within the National Park.

List of Neighbourhood Areas designated in the New Forest National Park

Name of Neighbourhood AreaGeographical area coveredBody which applied for the designation
Milford-on-Sea Parish (April 2013)Area of the parish of Milford-on-Sea within the National ParkMilford-on-Sea Parish Council
Totton and Eling Town (November 2014)Area of the parish of Totton and Eling within the National ParkTotton & Eling Town Council
New Milton Town (February 2015)Area of the parish of New Milton within the National ParkNew Milton Town Council
Lymington and Pennington Town (September 2015)Area of the parish of Lymington and Pennington within the National ParkLymington and Pennington Town Council
Hythe and Dibden Parish (December 2015)Area of the parish of Hythe and Dibden within the National ParkHythe and Dibden Parish Council
Wellow Parish Council (June 2016)Area of the parish of Wellow within the National ParkWellow Parish Council

Our decision to designate the above Neighbourhood Plan Areas relates only to the part of the Neighbourhood Areas within the National Park. The reports confirming these designations and a map showing the areas designated within the National Park are available to download on the right.

Neighbourhood planning

Totton and Eling Town Council Neighbourhood Plan Area

Milford-on-Sea Neighbourhood Plan Area

New Milton Neighbourhood Plan Area

Lymington & Pennington Neighbourhood Area

Hythe and Dibden Neighbourhood Plan Area

Wellow Neighbourhood Area



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