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Friday, 24 June 2011

Equine Forum and National Park Authority invite views on planning guidelines

Draft planning guidelines about horse-related development have been prepared by the New Forest National Park Authority working in partnership with the New Forest Equine Forum.

The guidelines acknowledge the economic benefit that horse riding brings to the local economy, and aim to ensure that any related development does not have an adverse impact on the special qualities of the National Park.

A six-week consultation on the draft will be launched on 29 June and the National Park Authority is asking people to send in their views.

The New Forest Equine Forum was established in 2009 as an independent forum whose membership is drawn from a range of local interests including: commoners, Verderers, New Forest pony enthusiasts, equine businesses, local residents, parish councils and nature conservation groups.

Steve Avery, Director of Park Services at the National Park Authority, said: ‘The Authority has been working closely with the Equine Forum for the last two years and the draft guidelines aim to help with planning matters relating to horse-keeping in the National Park.’

Vet and dressage trainer Fiona Macdonald is Vice Chairman of the New Forest Equine Forum. She said: ‘The Equine Forum was born from the early days of unrest in the Forest as a result of the first draft of the National Park Plan. The change in approach from the Authority allowed the creation of some workshops and from them the Equine Forum was born.

‘The Forum members all share enthusiasm and passion not only for horses and ponies but also for the Forest. I am proud of the Equine Forum’s contribution in producing what we consider very satisfactory and practical guidelines.’

The public consultation period will run from 29 June to 10 August. Following the consultation the National Park Authority and the Equine Forum will consider the comments received. The final guidelines will be presented for formal adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document at the next National Park Authority meeting in September.

Once the guidelines are adopted they will form part of the Local Development Framework for the National Park, and will be considered when determining planning applications within the Park.

The draft guidelines can be viewed at the National Park Authority’s offices and can also be viewed on line at

Please send your comments to the Policy Team, New Forest National Park Authority, South Efford House, Milford Road, Lymington SO40 0JD or email by 5pm Wednesday 10 August 2011.

Recommend Reading: New Forest Ponies: Architects of the Forest

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