Mitigation Strategy

Consultation on the draft Mitigation for Recreational Impacts on New Forest European sites Supplementary Planning Document

or view a web version of the draft strategy here

We recently invited comments on the draft 'Mitigation for Recreational Impacts on New Forest European Sites' Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The six-week consultation period closed on 21 February 2021.  Thank you for the comments we received.  These will be considered and taken into account before adoption due around Spring 2021.

This draft SPD provides supporting guidance on the implementation of Policy ENV1: Mitigating the impact of development on International Nature Conservation sites  in the Local Plan 2016-2036 Part 1: Planning Strategy adopted in July 2020.   

The recreational pressures arising from residential development within our Plan Area have a potentially harmful impact on the internationally important nature conservation sites within the New Forest. To comply with both national and international legislation to protect the designated sites measures need to be taken to ensure adverse effects on the integrity of protected sites from recreational impacts is avoided or mitigated.  Local Plan policy supported by this supplementary guidance addresses these issues.

Our draft SPD sets out the detail for a suite of measures either provided by, or funded by, residential development within our Plan area to provide the required mitigation. It also sets out design guidance for how on-site recreation mitigation should be provided as part of new development. 

It will replace the Icon for pdf Mitigation Strategy for European Sites: Recreational Pressure from Residential Development [4.81MB] adopted by the Council in June 2014. While the approach to mitigating the recreational impacts of new development was confirmed through the recent Local Plan review and subsequent Examination, some changes in the detail were required. These include:

  • The requirement for at least 8 hectares of alternative natural recreational greenspace (ANRG) to be made wholly additional to the public open space requirements of Policy CS7; and
  • Recognition that occupiers of new dwellings also visit the New Forest protected sites and these visits would need to be mitigated by access and visitor management measures.

The draft SPD also takes account of the results of the recently published New Forest Visitor Study (2020) and comments made on the preliminary draft of this SPD, published in June 2018.

Unlike the SPD adopted in 2014, this document does not include a detailed programme of off-site mitigation projects covering the entire plan period. This will allow off-site project delivery to be more responsive to changing needs and opportunities. It is intended to separately agree and publish a five-year programme of off-site mitigation projects, which will be kept under view.

The Mitigation SPD is now focused solely on the recreational impacts on the New Forest European Sites. Addressing the impacts on the Southampton Water and Solent Coast European Sites is dealt with by the separate Solent Recreation Mitigation Strategy.

The following documents are still available to view

Icon for pdf Draft Mitigation for Recreational Impacts on New Forest European sites SPD (2021) [5.38MB]

a web version of the draft strategy is also available here

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