photographer: David Miller
Your Council has commenced work to create a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for Lymington & Pennington which is intended to provide a policy framework to resolve and manage for the long-term success of the Town.
Neighbourhood plans give communities more control over the type, location, size, pace and design of development in their area. They were introduced under the Localism Act 2011 to allow local people and businesses to plan for the future in a sustainable and fair way. They can:• give communities a bigger say over the type, location, size, pace and design of development coming forward (including infrastructure, housing and commercial development)
• tackle long-term trends or challenges affecting communities
• foster progressive relationships between communities, developers and local authorities
• provide neighbourhoods with more influence on delivery and implementation
Neighbourhood plans may not propose less development than the Local Plan (produced by the New Forest District Council), but they can propose more homes or businesses or alternative sites or higher design standards. In short they have an intensely local focus and can be as ambitious or modest as the community decides.
Demographic data predicts that, over the course of the next twenty or so years, there will be a disproportionate growth in the number of residents of the town over the age of 65 and it seems that, thus far, the reaction of house builders has been to anticipate demand by seeking permission to develop age-restricted properties. However, the Town also has a substantial young and economically active population which ought to be fostered to ensure that the balance between young and old is maintained. Lymington and Pennington has a thriving and distinctive town centre, well connected to the surrounding coast and countryside. It is currently able to meet all its community health, education and recreational needs and the Plan must endeavour to ensure that this is not diminished.
The draft objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan will be to:
• Minimise effects of development on the Green Belt
• Successfully integrate major developments into the town
• Plan for housing types to suit the needs of younger households
• Increase town centre leisure and cultural space to encourage visitors from the waterside locations into the town centre
• Raise design standards of new development to reinforce local character
• Protect green assets and improve connectivity to the wider rural hinterland
• Increase provision of smaller business offices / workshops to meet local needs
• To make recommendations on improving the infrastructure of the Town to meet the needs of the growing population occasioned by the proposed increase in housing e.g. roads, public transport, school places and GP surgeries.
In order to achieve the objectives outlined above, the Council has created six Working Groups to undertake evidence gathering and analysis leading to the development of specific policy ideas. These six Working Groups will focus on the following issues:
• Strategic Sites
• Green Infrastructure
• Town Centre, Business & Tourism
• Design & Heritage
• Social Infrastructure
• Travel Infrastructure
These groups will not be decision-making bodies but will make recommendations to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group at the Town Council. Each of these groups is chaired by a member of the Town Council and comprises of members drawn from the wider community and other interest groups. Some members of the committees will participate in making the final recommendations whilst others may be asked to contribute on a more focused basis.
By early Spring 2017 the Council anticipates that it will have received the recommendations of each of these Working Groups and begin to formulate its draft Neighbourhood Plan which will be published on this website. At this time we shall also arrange to hold a public meeting to obtain the views of the wider population of Lymington & Pennington.