At their Cabinet meeting today, Wednesday 7 February 2024, New Forest District Council (NFDC) moved ahead with a recommendation to Council that work commences on a formal review of its Local Plan.
As well as setting a vision for the future of the area, a Local Plan sets a strategy for how, when and where needs of the community will be met, including the imperative issue of addressing housing needs, and provides policies to address specific matters.
Once adopted the Local Plan provides the basis upon which future development proposals are assessed against.
Over the coming months, the Council will be engaging with communities and infrastructure providers across the New Forest to identify the issues that the Local Plan Review should address.
Since the Council’s most recent Local Plan was adopted in 2020, there have been several significant changes which a new Local Plan will look to address.
These include lower than expected housing delivery, the Council’s climate change and nature emergency declaration in 2021 and the opportunities from the designation of sites across the Waterside as part of the Solent Freeport.
Councillor Derek Tipp, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy said: “Now is an ideal time for us to be moving forward with reviewing our Local Plan to support a prosperous and thriving place for our residents and businesses.
We will be engaging with people who live and work in the area, as well as our partners in the community, to help inform our review. I urge residents to get involved and have their say to help shape our plans.”
Following expected ratification at the full meeting of the Council on 26 February, work will formally commence to identify the issues that the Local Plan should address.
This information will be formed into a draft version of the Local Plan which is expected to be formally consulted upon next year.
In the meantime, residents can find out more information and updates about the progress of the project, by visiting the Council’s website at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/