|We welcome a guest post from our former chair, Peter Roberts, who gave this Presentment in this month’s Verderers Court.|
My name is Peter Roberts. I am a former Verderer and a former resident of Ashurst.
Yesterday the National Park Authority published their Plan Amendments which includes the use of of land at Ashurst for housing. This land is the former Workhouse Site, which was taken from the open Forest in 1836. When the grant for the land was made there was a specific reservation that in the event of the workhouse no longer being required it should revert to the Forest. Seven acres of the site were returned to the Forest in 1988, thanks mainly to the work of the late Verderer David Stagg.
The remaining land is commonable land from which the common rights have never been removed. It should be returned to the open Forest for grazing for the commoners stock. I implore you to object most strongly to the National Park Proposed Main Modifications and work towards returning this land to the rightful users.
The grant was made on 31st December 1836 and may be found in the Wood Lease Books now held by the Forestry Commission in Queen’s House (Vol 4 pp 279-285). The original is at Kew: NRA ‘Grants of land for Workhouse 1836-1915’, F10/52 4079/1.
|We thank Peter for permission to share this Presentment, and his notes. For the 150th Anniversary of the New Forest Association (aka Friends of the New Forest) he wrote our history in Saving the New Forest.
At last month’s court, in a short, off the cuff, two sentence presentment, one of our trustees similarly urged the Verderers to assert the Forest’s rights to the land in question. Our planning committee had made a representation to the New Forest National Park Local Plan Inspectors regarding the site. Notes from both Peter Roberts and Richard Reeves regarding the site were shared privately with the Verderers at that time.
New Forest Local Plan Modifications are open to consultation until 31st May 2019. More information, including the additional Ashurst Workhouse allocation, which does NOT recognize nor even mentions the Forest rights of the portion not returned to the Forest, may be found here.