Whether it’s a Boxing Day amble or a regular running route, you may have fond memories of using the quiet and tranquil lanes which run through the southern parts of Lymington and Pennington.
Mature oaks and natural grass verges create green tunnels. Birds populate the hedgerows and cow parsley runs rampantly through many of the wild verges. The Lanes are a special area – acknowledged as a unique part of Lymington in New Forest District Council’s Lymington ‘Local Distinctiveness Report’.
The unique feature of this network of lanes and footpaths is how we use them. Once ancient drovers routes for moving animals down from the New Forest to the salt marshes (you can see where animals were gathered in the grassy open areas such as the Foxponds triangle or the green at Chequers), we now mostly use them as recreational routes. We use them for walking – parking at Woodside Park and walking down to the salt marshes and the sea wall – and running, riding and cycling – adults and children. They feel safe and tranquil. They are full of natural delights – you may see a goldcrest darting amongst the hedgerows or even a stoat streaking across from one verge to the other.
The Lanes serve all of our community, not just those who live and work along them.
So, if this means something to you. If this is something you don’t want to lose either, then join the campaign to keep them as they are.
Signigicant building plans are submitted right now for a large housing estate (82 houses and more to come) which will result in the building of a through-route across fields between Lower Pennington Lane and Ridgeway lane. Large scale building in an area such as the Lanes will damage the lanes themselves. Huge works are planned for them - part of the plan is to ‘straighten out’ the historic bends in Ridgeway Lane and widen the junction with Poles Lane resulting in a straight and fast run from Woodside Park Car Park down to Chequers Inn. Tarmac passing places are planned in Ridgeway Lane with concrete curbs – culverting over natural ditches and ripping up hazels and oaks.
Traffic flows will increase, vehicle speeds will increase and our beautiful leafy lanes will resemble urban roads. Not such a pleasant location for a family stroll.
PALLS represents over 750 people who think this is wrong. There are a huge number of objections lodged with New Forest District Council already. Everyone also needs to object to the New Forest National Park as the application crosses over the boundary.
What can you do to Save The Lanes? Join PALLS and put in BOTH of your objections. Links to both are below.
Our key OBJECTIONS
Whilst mindful of the need for local housing, we believe this development proposed by NFDC and the site promoters will seriously damage the tranquillity and natural environment of Woodside, Lower Pennington and the surrounding Lanes.
The recreational and environmental value of the Lanes is cherished by the whole of Pennington and Lymington, and beyond. We cannot afford to lose them.
Read on to view some of our reasons to object.
NO...to Urbanisation of the Lanes
Increasing traffic flows along the lanes will make them less safe for all users. The site promoters, Cicero, show no safe pedestrian or cycle access to local schools and shops. Moreover, they show no way to provide them without destroying the soft verges and mature trees that line the Lanes and urbanising them with lighting and tarmac.
Cicero. the site promoter, cannot deliver a safe, sustainable development.
NO...to the new Southern Rat Run
A vehicular link road between Lower Pennington Lane and Ridgeway Lane is totally unnecessary and unjustified. It requires development within the National Park, which is contrary to its guiding principles; will encourage car use, contrary to Government policy; and create rat-running through the network of lanes including Poles Lane, Woodside Lane and Viney Road.
We have repeatedly asked why a through-route is needed and we have never received an answer which is justified under standard planning requirements.
Which just makes you wonder why it is being built..and who really stands to gain from it.
NO...to the straightening and widening of Ridgeway Lane
Cicero and the landowners want to realign Ridgeway Lane. This would increase traffic speeds in Ridgeway Lane close to Woodside Park, extend further into the National Park and destroy the character of this lane. Our rural lanes are ancient droving routes and their curves, hedgerows and verges are very much part of our local history.
There are plans to build two passing places on Ridgeway Lane - these will be edged with concrete curbs and will culvert ditches and destroy trees. This is effectively widening the lane.
We can't show you what the developers would like to do to Ridgeway Lane and Poles Lane because they will not allow us to use their maps. But this is how the junction looks now.
NO...to Development in the New Forest National Park
Cicero have massively increased the amount of land they now want to take from the National Park to incorporate within their development site. 1 hectare of land is now proposed to be used to provide two access roads and excavate a large drainage lake. This would set a huge precedent for major development within a National Park which is nationally protected because of the natural beauty of its landscape.
We can't show you a map here because the Site Promoters, Cicero, won't let us use their map used in the planning application. But this is a nice reminder of how things used to look on SS6.