Cicero Split and Expand SS6
Cicero Estates, the site promoters of the part of SS6 that is currently owned by the Smith family and the owners of Northfield Nursery - have applied for a "screening opinion" to New Forest District Council (NFDC) to see whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is necessary on SS6. The request is essentially to state that they, in their opinion, don't need to do one (an EIA) and includes a lengthy statement about the site and their intentions for it. This is what was reported in the Lymington Times on 9th April.
The report that Cicero submitted can be viewed following the link below and, it would be fair to say, contains a number of errors, omissions and changes to the site as stated in the Local Plan, which we will be highlighting to NFDC. It appears, however, there is no formal consultation process for this EIA screening as there is with other parts of the planning application procedure.
We were very surprised to see that Cicero want to expand the extent of SS6 further into the National Park (see the map from their document in the picture above) by utilising a 1 hectare field adjacent to the site to build the drainage ponds in an attempt to deal with flooding issues. This field is NOT currently part of SS6 and has never been part of the promoted site. Additionally, this document shows the entrance to the site from Lower Pennington Lane (the in-patient entrance to Oakhaven and access point to Northfield Nursery) now also intruding into the National Park to create extra width. Add this to the use of National Park land to facilitate the Ridgeway Lane access point to SS6 and it does seem that the New Forest National Park is bearing a surprisingly large cost of this NFDC development and are expected to agree to additional development with no justification.
It increasingly looks as though SS6 is being pushed as two separate developments by the two separate site promoters. This raises many issues such as connectivity, access and infrastructure and is completely at odds with the rose tinted comprehensive development that we were promised at the Local Plan Examination by Cicero's representative from Ken Parke Planning. Promises and platitudes that have been quickly forgotten.
PALLS have been speaking to the case officer at NFDC for SS6 - David Norris - who is also newly appointed head of Development Management at NFDC. He has kindly agreed to meet us and we look forward to an open sharing of information with him and the opportunity for PALLS to be constructively involved with and made aware of pre-application matters.
Claire Upton-Brown, Chief Planning Officer at NFDC, is keen that local communities should be involved at all stages of the planning process - especially at the pre-application stage. However, we are concerned that with the direction that Cicero seems to be moving in, it rather looks as though they are going to bulldoze their way towards a planning application with absolutely no intention of seeking the views of local residents - positive or negative.
A site promoter or developer builds and moves on - a community is left to live with the outcome of their actions for a long time.