As the planning body for the National Park, the Authority negotiates financial contributions from developers for open space enhancements and then works with town and parish councils to improve recreation facilities across the New Forest.
Since May this year alone, over £30,000 has been handed out to communities to support improvements to local open spaces in the National Park.
Pat Wyeth, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority’s Planning Committee, said: ‘Nearly all local planning authorities require developers to help enhance open spaces to offset new development and make sure communities have open spaces on their doorstep that they can use.
‘This money comes from new developments and can only be spent on outdoor spaces in the community where the building work took place.
‘I’m delighted that parishes are able to see a real benefit from these developer contributions and this funding is making a difference in New Forest communities.’
Schemes allocated funding so far this financial year include:
- re-surfacing the children’s play area at Highwood Road, Brockenhurst
- a contribution towards the costs of new skateboard equipment at the Coles Mead Recreation Ground, Lyndhurst
- new play equipment at Whartons Lane Recreation Ground, Ashurst
- up-grading the surface around the toddler play equipment at Landford Recreation Ground.
Other projects to benefit in recent years include:
- enhancing the Great Mead open space, Lyndhurst
- installing new play equipment at Nomansland Sports Ground.
The Authority continues to work with parish councils in the National Park to identify further projects which could benefit from the funding available.