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Thursday, 9 December 2010

National Park members adopt Core Strategy

The New Forest National Park Authority’s members adopted the first set of dedicated planning policies for the New Forest National Park at today’s Authority meeting (Thursday 9 December).

An independent Government Planning Inspector endorsed the planning policies for the New Forest National Park in October, declaring that ‘…the Authority’s ‘Core Strategy’ provides an appropriate and sound basis for planning within the National Park.’

Member adoption of the Core Strategy follows an extensive and lengthy consultation process with a very wide range of public and private sector organisations and individuals. Around 10,000 people have been involved in the consultation over the last two years.

Hundreds of existing planning policies have now been simplified from the five plans that covered the New Forest into a succinct set of 42. The Core Strategy document will be used to guide decisions on planning applications within the whole of the National Park up to 2026.

Before members could adopt the Strategy it had to undergo an examination in public by an independent planning inspector in September, at which he invited a wide range of organisations and individuals to give evidence.  He also took into account the 10,000 comments received during the draft plan consultation. A report on his findings was produced and he judged that the Strategy met all its legal requirements and was judged to be ‘sound’ in that it was justified and consistent with national policy.

The Inspector supported the modest level of housing development proposed within the National Park, highlighting its role in maintaining the vitality of local communities and in sustaining local services. The Authority’s proposals to increase the proportion of local affordable housing sought on development sites within the main villages were also endorsed.

Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Now that the Core Strategy is formally adopted it should significantly simplify the planning policy framework for the National Park. After an extensive consultation process, we believe the Core Strategy strikes the right balance in seeking to enhance and protect the New Forest environment, whilst sustaining the social and economic well-being of the national park communities.'

Pat Wyeth, Chairman of the Planning Development Control Committee added: ‘I am pleased the Core Strategy is now adopted. It will make it much more straight forward now that the National Park has ownership of its own policies.’

All planning applications decided after 9 December 2010 will be made in accordance with the new Core Strategy policies.

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