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Consultation on redevelopment proposals for Ashurst Hospital site

Consultation on redevelopment proposals for Ashurst Hospital site

PUBLISHED ON: 23 JANUARY 2019

People are invited to have their say on proposals for redeveloping part of the Ashurst Hospital site for 30 homes or care accommodation.

New Forest National Park Authority’s draft Local Plan – its suite of planning policies – has already been through several rounds of consultation since 2015 and two weeks of examination hearing sessions by Government Planning Inspectors in November.

During the review, NHS Property Services promoted the site for redevelopment, stating that part of the hospital site had now become surplus to its requirements and asking for it to be included in the policies for housing. The existing birthing centre (the Snowden Building) would be retained on the site.

As this would be a change to the draft Local Plan which people previously had their chance to comment on, the Inspectors have asked for a further six-week consultation on the proposals for including the Ashurst site among the draft Local Plan sites earmarked for development.

It’s the only additional site the Inspectors are asking the Authority to consider for development and this is the only aspect of the whole Plan people will be invited to comment on during this latest consultation.

This consultation allows local residents, statutory consultees and other interested parties to give feedback on the wording of the draft policy and to review the supporting documents.

Steve Avery, New Forest National Park Authority’s Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, said comments had been received in a previous round of consultation on the principle of redeveloping part of the site (alongside the retained healthcare uses), but now the proposed policy had been firmed up.

He said: ‘We met with NHS Property Services and Natural England to discuss how the site can be allocated for redevelopment in our draft Local Plan in a way that protects the natural and built environment features of the site.

‘In drafting the policy, we commissioned a detailed assessment of potential impacts on the internationally-protected habitats that adjoin the site. This work has influenced the proposed form of residential development on the site. Our draft allocation policy also seeks to retain the Victorian Chapel at the entrance to the site.

‘We have taken into account the feedback we received in Summer 2017 on the potential redevelopment of the site and would encourage people to submit their comments on the draft policy during the six-week consultation period.’

The public consultation runs for six weeks from Wednesday 23 January – Wednesday 6 March 2019. Details can be found at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/localplan.

Comments should be emailed direct to the Planning Inspectors, addressed to ‘the Local Plan Programme Officer’ at bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com by 5pm on Wednesday 6 March.

The consultation will be followed by a one-day public hearing at Lymington Town Hall on 21 March.

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