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Housing for commoners

Providing affordable housing for commoners has long been recognised as essential for the future viability of the commoning system in the New Forest.

Commoning is an essential Forest tradition. The grazing of livestock under the commoning system shapes the landscape and cultural heritage of the national park. Without commoning the special qualities of the New Forest would disappear.

The commoners dwelling scheme was set up to provide a way for commoners to enter into a legal agreement which says they meet certain conditions which show a commitment to commoning. This allows them to apply for planning permission so they can build a home outside the New Forest villages and continue their tradition of commoning in the Forest.

The scheme includes checks to confirm that applicants are genuine commoners. The house has to be available long term at an affordable price for use by commoners exercising their rights.

In the box on the right hand side of this page you will see links to the guidance notes and application form.

Head of Recreation Management and Learning


'The ponies and other animals have no road sense and walk on the unfenced roads, so give them a wide berth and be especially careful at night.'

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