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Local plan

The planning system is a vital tool in helping to deliver the two National Park purposes and related socio-economic duty. The ‘Local Plan’ sets out the planning framework for the National Park, including the scale and location of new development and the need to conserve the local distinctiveness of the area.

Here are details of the current Local Plan for the National Park – the Core Strategy (2010) – and also how we’re preparing a new Local Plan for the National Park.

Ashurst Hospital consultation and examination hearing session – March 2019

In response to correspondence received from the appointed Inspectors in November 2018, we have proposed an additional Local Plan site allocation policy relating to land at Ashurst Hospital.

A six week consultation ran from Wednesday 23 January – Wednesday 6 March 2019. An additional hearing session on Thursday 21 March will consider the proposed site allocation at Ashurst Hospital. More information on the Ashurst Hospital Examination hearing session – including the agenda, list of participants and submitted hearing statements – can be found on the Ashurst Hospital Examination page.

Local Plan Review 2016 – 2036: Examination

We started reviewing the Local Plan in summer 2015 and held a final consultation on the proposed Submission draft Local Plan in January 2018. Representations were received from just under 200 respondents.

On 14 May 2018 we submitted the draft Local Plan; copies of all the representations; and a wide range of supporting documents to the Secretary of State for independent examination. Caroline Mulloy BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI and Kevin Ward BA (Hons) MRTPI were appointed to conduct the examination on behalf of the Secretary of State to determine whether the submitted Local Plan is sound. The Inspectors were supported by a Programme Officer – Chris Banks of Banks Solutions – who was appointed by us, but acts independently from us. The Programme Officer can be contacted at

On 12 June 2018 the Inspectors wrote to us with their initial questions for the examination. Our response was sent on 22 June 2018. An additional response and accompanying report was sent on 4 July 2018 regarding the implications for the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of the draft Local Plan following a recent legal judgement. This response also included a revised schedule of proposed minor modifications and a revised schedule of proposed main modifications to the draft Local Plan.

On 9 October 2018 the Inspectors wrote to us regarding the implications of the recently published 2016-based household projections for the calculation of housing need in the National Park. Our response was sent on 16 October 2018 confirming that we do not consider additional work to be necessary on the OAN figure for the National Park.

We will publish the Inspectors’ report on this web page when we receive it.

Hearing dates, Matters, Issues and Questions

In July 2018 the Inspectors published their guidance notes for the examination.

The examination hearing dates (including a list of participants) were Tuesday 6 November to Thursday 15 November 2018 at Lymington Town Hall. The list of matters, issues and questions were published and the additional written statements submitted for the hearing sessions in November 2018 and can be viewed below.

The hearing sessions were open to the public to observe but only those invited participants will be able to speak. The Authority’s Examination Opening Statement can be viewed here.


Tuesday 6 November 20181 – Procedural & legal requirementsDownload agenda
Tuesday 6 November 20182 – The Duty to CooperateDownload agenda
Tuesday 6 November 20183 – Spatial Strategy, Strategic Policies & development principlesDownload agenda
Wednesday 7 November 20184 – OAN and the housing requirementDownload agenda
Thursday 8 November 20185 – Protecting & enhancing the natural environmentDownload agenda
Thursday 8 November 20186 – Protecting & enhancing the historic & built environmentDownload agenda
Thursday 8 November 20187 – Housing PoliciesDownload agenda
Friday 9 November 20188 – Affordable HousingDownload agenda
Friday 9 November 20189 – Gypsies, Traveller and Travelling ShowpeopleDownload agenda
Tuesday 13 November 201810 – Housing Site AllocationsDownload agenda
Wednesday 14 November 201811 – Housing Supply & DeliveryDownload agenda
Wednesday 14 November 201812 – A Sustainable Local EconomyDownload agenda
Thursday 15 November 201813 – Retail DevelopmentDownload agenda
Thursday 15 November 201814 – Transport and Infrastructure and Community FacilitiesDownload agenda

All the documents relating to the Local Plan and examination are set out in the Core Documents Library. You can view copies of the core documents, supporting evidence base documents and representations received at our offices at Lymington Town Hall.

Following the Examination hearing sessions, the Inspectors identified a series of actions to be completed as soon as practicably after the close of the sessions. The full schedule of the actions identified can be viewed here and the Authority’s responses are available to view below under the title ‘Examination Hearing Sessions – Actions’.

On 29 November 2018 the Inspectors wrote to the National Park Authority regarding the duty to cooperate, the supply of housing land and land at Ashurst Hospital. A copy of this letter can be found here. The Authority’s response was sent on 9 January 2019 and was accompanied by a Habitat Regulations Assessment Addendum.

Find out more about the examination in this useful guide from the Planning Inspectorate: Examining Local Plans Procedural Practice.

Core Strategy & Development Management Policies DPD (2010)

The first set of dedicated planning policies for the whole of the National Park was adopted in December 2010. The Core Strategy provides the overall vision, strategic aims and objectives and spatial planning policies for the New Forest National Park.

The Core Strategy will continued to be used to guide decisions on planning applications within the whole of the National Park until it is formally replaced by the revised Local Plan.

Examination written statements

Core documents list

Statement on submission

Core strategy

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