New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council Local Plans
The Friends of the New Forest are concerned with the New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) Local Plan, which aims to build 10,500 homes over ten years. In their own summary NFDC admit this is three to four times their current development rate and that 13 of 20 of their proposed strategic development sites are on Green Belt.
The Friends of the New Forest believe this will increase the population in the District and National Park by roughly seven times that of Lyndhurst. One of these ‘Lyndhursts’ will be an entire new village at Fawley, which will increase the population of the park by 10 %, at the wrong end of the already stressed A326 transport corridor.
This would have a severe recreational impact on the New Forest with disturbance to habitat and livestock, and would further urbanise the already saturated Waterside Area, requiring upgrades to the roads that due to that saturation would necessarily encroach onto the highly protected Crown Lands within the National Park. This would increase traffic westward across the New Forest on roads already animal accident blackspots.
The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) and NFDC share a viability study that accepts the developer’s contention that in order to develop 1,500 homes at Fawley, they must also build 120 as premium homes on a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation within the National Park.
The Friends of the New Forest are concerned that the National Park is failing in its statutory purposes to conserve and enhance the New Forest, by adopting the poor logic and questionable feasibility behind the NFDC support for the Waterside development and by a lack of objection to the scale of NFDC’s 10,500 home plan.
The Government 25 Year Environment Plan promises greater protection for National Parks and both designated and undesignated habitats, and a review for possible expansion of the boundaries of National Parks. The Friends of the New Forest feel that the NFNPA and NFDC should be working together to fulfil their legal obligation to protect the New Forest.