Rat-run through the Lanes
The plan is to build a route which will allow traffic to pass between Lower Pennington Lane, through the proposed development and out onto Ridgeway Lane - with the likely route going through Poles Lane and further lanes as traffic makes its way towards the High Street.
There is no logical reason for the inclusion of this through-route. And it has never been justified by either the site promoters (Cicero) or New Forest Distric Council.
Straightening of Ridgeway Lane
Loss of our heritage
The Ridgeway Lane access to the new development will be at the point just beyond the footpath which marks the National Park boundary. This access point will utilise more land owned by Town Councillor Simon Smith and his family (much of SS6 is owned by them) in order to create a wide junction. Ridgeway Lane will be diverted through a small section of this land too in order to remove the bend and straighten it out.
We argue that by removing this natural bend, not only is there a detrimental impact on the character and beauty of the lane, there is also an incentive for traffic to speed up down the straightened section down towards Chequers Green.
Destruction of Grass Verges
In an attempt to mitigate the effect of increased traffic on the Lanes due to the development, Cicero plan to build two tarmac lay-bys. These willl be long enough to allow large vehicles such as bin lorries to use them, will be tarmac surfaced and have engineered edges (concrete curbs).
Introducing hard structures such as these will change Ridgeway Lane for ever - this ancient drovers lane will entirely lose its character..
We have always argued that the Lanes cannot withstand this level of development and retain their character and beauty. We object strongly to this proposal and are seeking advice from our Transport Consultants.
Development Beyond the Boundary
Encroachment on the New Forest National Park
This proposed development is unusual because it crosses the boundary into the New Forest National Park. Consequently, planning permission is required from both New Forest NPA (NFNPA) Planning and New Forest District Council (NFDC) Planning.
The boundary is crossed at three points - first at the Oakhaven In-patient entrance where the road will be widened into the adjacent field, secondly at the access point on Ridgeway Lane and thirdly the inclusion of a new field with a drainage pond.
This last field, which we understand is also owned by Councillor Simon Smith's family, was not included in the NFDC Local Plan when SS6 was first drawn up.
We argue that this incursion into the National Park in order to faciliate housing is not in line with the purposes of a National Park and sets a precedent for other developments.