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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.

Local Plan 2016 – 2036

The first set of dedicated planning policies for the whole of the National Park was adopted in December 2010 –  the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD. Following changes in national policy we started preparing the Local Plan in summer 2015 with extensive evidence gathering and public consultation.

A final consultation on the proposed Submission draft Local Plan was undertaken in January 2018. On 14 May 2018 we submitted the draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination. Hearing sessions conducted by two independent planning Inspectors were held in November 2018 and March 2019, with a further period of public consultation on the proposed main modifications to the draft Local Plan in April and May 2019.

More details of the Local Plan preparation and Examination, including relevant documents, can be viewed on the Local Plan Preparation and Examination webpage. Copies of the Local Plan can be purchased from us at a cost of £20 (including postage).

Inspectors’ Report – July 2019

On 24 July 2019, we received the Inspectors’ Report on the Examination of the New Forest National Park Local Plan 2016-2036. The Report sets out the Inspectors’ recommendations and their reasons for them. The Inspectors’ Report concludes that the Local Plan meets the criteria for soundness subject to the inclusion of a number of main modifications. The Inspectors’ Report and schedule of Main Modifications can be viewed below, or in our office at Lymington.

Local Plan Adoption – August 2019

The new Local Plan 2016 – 2036 was adopted at a full Authority meeting on 29 August 2019. 

The Local Plan is our principal planning policy document and sets out the vision, objectives, spatial strategy and planning policies for the entire National Park, for the period up to 2036. The Local Plan replaces the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies (2010) in full, meaning from 29 August 2019 the Core Strategy no longer forms part of the ‘development plan’ for the National Park.

Links to the New Forest National Park Local Plan 2016-2036, the Sustainability Appraisal, the Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement, the Policies Map and Adoption Statement are all set out below. The newly adopted Local Plan incorporates all the minor and main modifications recommended by the Inspectors.

The online interactive policies map is available to view, with a User Guide on how to use the online map. Alternatively, paper copies of the Policies Map are available to view at our office in Lymington.

Core strategy

National Park Member


'Our planning policies have been developed to ensure our duties to conserve and enhance the National Park are incorporated in all planning decisions.'

More New Forest Planning policy

Planning policy is a key statutory function and plays a central role in the achievement of the two National Park purposes and the related socio-economic duty.

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