The New Forest Association has voiced strong opposition to a proposed coastal development at Thorns Beach near Beaulieu in a formal letter to the National Park Authority.
The Association, which has been championing the interests of the New Forest since 1867, says it has serious concerns about the threat to protected coastal land at Thorns Beach and surrounding areas and is also worried about the precedent that could be set if the development goes ahead.
The planning application, from Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe, includes the proposed development of a new dwelling, boathouse, ancillary accommodation and sun house at Thorns Beach, replacing a summer house.
“We have a very good working relationship with Ineos and have welcomed the business opportunities and benefits that the company has brought to the New Forest,” said New Forest Association Planning Committee Chair Peter Roberts.
“However, this proposal for a private dwelling is an intrusion in an unspoilt and protected area of coastal development. Most of the north Solent shoreline is designated as a Special Protection Area and/or Special Area of Conservation under European Directives, and is subject to the Habitats Regulations 1994.
“Our role in the NFA is to protect and preserve all that is good and unique in the New Forest, securing it for future generations. We feel very strongly that this development is a serious threat to the New Forest coastal area and sets a dangerous precedent which could lead to more development in this precious area in the future.
“The New Forest National Park has an undervalued but very important unspoilt coastline between Calshot and Keyhaven. It offers rewarding vistas of the Solent and the Isle of Wight and is home to a variety of wildlife that changes with the seasons. It offers tranquillity and is largely free of modern industry although home to important historical salt workings.
“Quiet lanes alongside hedged field add to a rare feeling of an unchanged landscape set in a modern world. This is an area that requires protection from man’s intrusive development plans. The largely unchanged view of the coastline from the Solent is an important aspect of this and should be maintained.”
The NFA has set out its objections to the development in detail in its letter to the National Park Authority, dated March 11, 2011.