Local Plan Review 2016 – 2036, New Forest

It seems that the public consultations for the forthcoming doughnut are a moot point – it’s all a done deal anyway according to this chap:

“In this area we have urban areas, but those urban areas don’t have large areas of derelict brownfield land. In some parts of the country there are many of those sites available. That isn’t the case in the New Forest, so unfortunately if we’re going to build any significant number of new houses, they have to be on green fields… We don’t have a choice about not having the houses… We can minimise the damage to the countryside through good design of the new proposal. It’s all about trying to reflect local distinctiveness and reflect the character of the towns and villages we already have… with proper landscaping and landscape treatment I think that it will not be that noticeable compared to the development we’re already got.”

It seems that the villages surrounding the untouchable New Forest National Park are destined to be destroyed because they don’t share its special status. The argument seems to be that more people (including first time buyers) want to be able to afford to live in desirable areas in the New Forest, therefore we must build more houses. But then the resulting urban sprawl is no longer desirable and everybody suffers – and only 20% of the houses will be ‘affordable’… so presumably 80% will be over-priced buy-to-lets.

The fact that there are green fields in the area and not derelict brownfield sites gives the area its character – isn’t that common sense? Building on them will ruin the villages, not to mention overwhelm their existing infrastructure.

If this nightmare is as inevitable as we’re told, surely a fairer solution would be to spread the house building over the ENTIRE New Forest, thus adding fewer houses to EVERY settlement rather than dumping the whole lot on the poor sods living on the boundary.

Some will agree and some will disagree – but whatever your view, make comments to the NFDC by September 16th: http://www.newforest.gov.uk/localplan2016