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Planning strategy for New Forest District outside the National Park endorsed by Government Inspectors

Our planning strategy for the area outside of the National Park has been supported by Government inspectors following a 17-month examination process.

The examination included public hearings in the summer of 2019, and a public consultation in the winter of 2019/20 on changes proposed.

The new plan, which covers the period up to 2036 sets out the planning strategy for the area during that period and includes provision for a significant increase in housing building across the district and employment growth, outside the National Park. The plan allocates additional land for new housing development at Totton, Marchwood, New Milton, Ringwood and Fordingbridge in particular, and promotes the redevelopment of the Fawley Power Station site as a new community with some 1380 new homes, and employment growth. The plan aims to direct a significant proportion of this new development towards housing tenures which will be affordable to local people, with all new development making a positive social, economic and environmental contribution to the community and business life of the area. We have also put in place policies to ensure new development has no adverse impact on environmentally sensitive areas in and around the district.

Having received the inspectors' report with the recommended modifications, we will now consider formally adopting the new planning strategy as part of the Development Plan for the area at our next full Council meeting which is planned for May.

The report from the Planning Inspectorate confirming that the new Local Plan Part One 2016-2036: Planning Strategy for the District (outside of the National Park) can be made 'sound' and proceed to adoption, can be found here:

Our planning portfolio holder and deputy leader, Cllr Edward Heron said,

"The Government inspectors have fully endorsed our vision and strategy for the future of this area.  The Council has worked hard to strike the right balance to ensure the long-term protection of our sensitive environment and the character of our area including the Green Belt, whilst also providing the right amount and mix of new homes, jobs and facilities that our communities need.

"I am very pleased that the Government inspectors agreed and recognised, thanks to the exceptional work of the Council's Planning Policy team and the strength of the evidence they prepared and presented, that this area needs a bespoke approach to get that balance right

"The Local Plan can now be adopted as the statutory basis for planning decisions the Council will make about development proposed in our area."

We are now working on Local Plan 2016-2036 Part Two, which will add policies on more detailed matters to complement the Part One planning strategy.  

Updated: 2 Apr 2020
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