28 July 2020
An online meeting of New Forest District Council's Planning Committee yesterday (27 July 2020) gave the Council's go ahead for the development of a new waterside community at the old Fawley Power Station site adjacent to Southampton Water. The major redevelopment will provide 1,500 homes, an estimated 2,000 jobs and public open space on currently disused land in this key coastal and Forest location within the district. Identified as a strategic development site within the recently adopted Local Plan for the district, the innovative mixed-use scheme is a significant, high quality development that will bring much benefit to the area.
Outline planning applications were submitted to NFDC and New Forest Park Association (NPA) last year. NPA Planning Committee granted permission for the development on Tuesday 28 July 2020.
The proposed scheme will see major redevelopment of the decommissioned power station land, a key brownfield site, to create a sustainable new waterside community including 1,500 homes, 96,500 square metres of new commercial, civic and employment space, with a canal and dock and a boat stack. The development will be supported by community infrastructure including a two form entry primary school, public open space and land that designated for ecological improvements and increased biodiversity through the creation of new habitats. The development would be served from a new access off the B3053, a package of transport infrastructure improvements which will include walking and cycling improvements and improvements to public transport and significant green infrastructure.
Councillor Christine Ward, Chairman of NFDC's Planning Committee said: "I am very glad of the positive outcome from yesterday's meeting. The Committee heard and debated all aspects of this scheme thoroughly. We overwhelmingly agreed that this development will be great for the New Forest. The architecture and design is superb, and the applicant's commitment to the community is clear. We all recognise how special and unique this place is, and all parties are committed to working through any concerns raised. I am looking forward to seeing this exciting development move forward."
Councillor Barry Rickman, Leader of New Forest District Council said: "This decision marks the start of a truly exciting project that will revitalise the economic future of the New Forest area. I would like to extend my tremendous thanks to all those involved, council officers and members, partners and interested groups in our community, whose contributions have all brought us to this point.
"As well as providing much needed affordable housing, this development will provide employment opportunities, as well as supporting the ever-increasing amount of home working.
"I am pleased the project is spearheaded by a well-known, local family with a great knowledge of the New Forest area, who I know will work very hard to look after the interests of the National Park, providing a real, long term vision for its protection."
Steve Avery, Director of Strategy and Planning at the New Forest National Park Authority said: "After five years of detailed negotiations we have secured a high-quality scheme for this large redundant power station site that will bring lasting benefits for the landscape, wildlife and the local economy. Half the new homes in the National Park will be for local people in housing need. It is the most significant development to have ever been considered by the National Park Authority.
"The benchmark we set is that any development should be of such an exceptionally high standard that there should be no reason why the whole of the site should not be included in and be worthy of National Park status in the future.
"There is work to do now on completing the legal agreement and once the outline planning permissions have been issued, detailed planning approval will still be required to agree the layout, design and landscaping for each phase of the new development."
The developer Fawley Waterside Ltd extensively engaged with the two planning authorities, the community and the key consultees prior to the applications being submitted.
Aldred Drummond, CEO of Fawley Waterside Ltd said: "We're pleased with the strong support from District Councillors and the National Park Authority, and their recognition of the enormous efforts that have gone into these outline planning applications. Our ambition has always been to build one of the most beautiful small towns in England, one with solid economic purpose that provides much needed job opportunities and acts as a significant economic boost for the Waterside. Paramount is the protection of the New Forest and enhancement of the landscape and biodiversity surrounding this new town. A major topic of discussion was the A326 and improvements, in partnership with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Hampshire County Council, will start later this year"
The NFDC planning committee approved the development 15 to one, with two abstentions.
Having approved outline planning permission for the development, subject to conditions, further applications for reserved matters applications will be submitted. Further public and stakeholder consultation will take place on details of the development as these applications come forward.
Fawley Waterside Ltd intend to commence infrastructure development in 2021 with the first homes expected to be available by 2023.
Full details of the application (reference 19/10581) as submitted to New Forest District Council can be found via the Council's planning application public access page https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/1051/View-or-Comment-on-a-Planning-Application
You can watch a recording of the meeting and debate online on NFDC's You Tube Channel at https://youtu.be/X_AqduuL9NU