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Neighbourhood planning

Hythe & Dibden Neighbourhood Plan – ‘made’ December 2019

In July 2019 the independent Examiner issued their final Report on the draft Hythe and Dibden Neighbourhood Plan. The Report concluded that subject to a number of modifications, the draft Plan met the basic conditions. The Examiner’s Report can be viewed at the bottom of this page and the Authority’s ‘Decision Statement’ is also available to download below.

The final version of the Neighbourhood Plan, incorporating the Examiner’s required modifications, was the subject of a local referendum on 29 October 2019. The referendum was administered by New Forest District Council, and further details can be found on the District Council’s Hythe & Dibden Neighbourhood Plan webpage. At the local referendum 84.8% of the people who voted supported the Neighbourhood Plan, with a turn-out of 15%. Following this positive endorsement at referendum, we formally adopted (or ‘made’) the Hythe & Dibden Neighbourhood Plan at the full Authority meeting on 18 December 2019 for the part of the parish within the National Park. The ‘Decision Statement’ and adopted Neighbourhood Plan are available via the ‘Hythe and Dibden Neighbourhood Plan’ tab below.       

Draft New Milton Neighbourhood Plan – NPA Decision Statement on Examiner’s Report

In August 2019 the draft New Milton Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council. The draft Plan was published for a six-week consultation in September 2019 and was led by the District Council. The consultation closed on 21 October 2019.

The final Examiner’s Report into the draft New Milton Neighbourhood Plan was received on 19 December 2019. The Examiner concluded that, subject to a number of modifications, the draft Plan met the Basic Conditions. The Authority’s ‘Decision Statement’ in response to the Examiner’s recommendations was agreed on 23 January 2020. Due to the Covid restrictions, the local referendum has been postponed until May 2021, when the local community in New Milton will be asked whether they support the Plan.

The draft Neighbourhood Plan, supporting documents, the final Examiner’s Report (December 2019) and the Authority’s formal ‘Decision Statement’ (January 2020) are all available below.

About Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans were 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. 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 those preparing neighbourhood plans.

Hampshire County Council has also prepared a useful guide on its role in the neighbourhood planning process, 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 different roles of the County Council and the 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. 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 & Pennington; Wellow; Fordingbridge; and Ringwood 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 (June 2016)Area of the parish of Wellow within the National ParkWellow Parish Council
Fordingbridge Town (April 2020)Area of the parish of Fordingbridge within the National ParkFordingbridge Town Council
Ringwood Town (February 2021)Area of the parish of Ringwood within the National ParkRingwood Town Council

Our decision to designate the above Neighbourhood Plan Areas relates only to the part of the 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 below.

Neighbourhood planning

Totton and Eling Neighbourhood Plan

Milford-on-Sea Neighbourhood Plan

Lymington & Pennington Neighbourhood Plan

Wellow Neighbourhood Plan

Executive Director (Strategy & Planning)


'Our planning work promotes high standards of design in development while retaining and enhancing the Forest’s character.'

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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