Where we've got to with the campaign
Where we've got so far...
We are often asked about the current situation with Strategic Site 6 (SS6) which is the site that lies between Ridgeway Lane and Lower Pennington Lane. So here is a brief synopsis of where we are at.
In July 2020, New Forest District Council (NFDC) voted to adopt the Local Plan which included SS6. This means that it is now a matter of NFDC policy that at least 100 houses should be built on this greenfield site adjoining the National Park ; however, in order to build here, a planning application is still required which will be considered by NFDC Planning Committee.
At the moment, a pre-application process on SS6 is happening whereby the site promoters are putting forward their proposals to NFDC officers before submitting an outline planning application. Unlike most of the other strategic housing sites, no housing developer has been publicly announced for SS6 which means an outline planning application would be likely to be entirely speculative. The Council encourages applicants to undertake a period of 'community consultation' before submitting a planning application but we do not know if that is the intention here. Once a planning application is submitted on the site, the public will have only 3 weeks to consider a very large amount of information and respond.
So what are we doing? We have had reports prepared by both a Highways Consultant and a Drainage Consultant which you can view via the link below to critically assess the information which is in the public domain regarding those matters. We have sent the reports to the Chief Planning Officer Claire Upton-Brown because, in a meeting with us in September 2020, she committed to involve the local community at an early stage of the planning process. So far we have had no response. We do not know whether there is any genuine will on the part of either our District or Town Council to listen to or respond to community concerns but we continue to try and engage with both of them and will update this page if we receive any response.
What support have we had from local councillors? When the Local Plan was voted on last summer by NFDC Councillors, Jacqui England (Independent) proposed an amendment, seconded by Jack Davies (Lib Dem) to withdraw SS6 from the Local Plan. Whilst we had support for this from most Liberal Democrats and some independent councillors, it was wholeheartedly rejected by the Conservative Councillors. They voted for the inclusion of SS6 in 2018 and again in 2020.
We would encourage all of you to continue to lobby your District and Town councillors with your concerns and to ask them whether they are prepared to represent you, their constituents, and to ensure that the concerns are raised and properly dealt with at pre-application and planning application stage.
We firmly believe we have the evidence to show that the development of SS6 will have a detrimental effect and remain committed to objecting to any form of development which affects the tranquillity and environmental quality of our network of local lanes