Our guide to developing in the New Forest National Park
The New Forest National Park Authority handles all the planning functions of the country’s smallest National Park which sits mostly in Hampshire (in the New Forest District) with a small area in Wiltshire.
Latest News from New Forest National Park
Key points about developing in the New Forest National Park
Development Plan: The principle document is the Core Strategy adopted in December 2010.
Pre-application advice: At present there is no charge for this service although given this such enquiries are not necessarily given the highest priority!
Affordable Housing: No threshold (i.e. even one new residential unit is expected to contribute towards affordable housing). In the defined New Forest villages of Ashurst, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Sway, the only locations where residential development is likely to be acceptable, 50% provision is required with only single dwellings allowed to contribute towards off site provision. Elsewhere only affordable housing “exceptions sites” are ever likely to be approved – which would be 100% AH.
Section 106 contributions:
Public Open Space – £1,168.30 per additional bedroom (i.e. a new three bedroom house would be £3,505)
Transport – part of the Hampshire-wide Contributions Scheme, for new residential units it is £1,980 for a one bedroom unit, £3,745 for a two or three bedroom unit and £5,457 for 4 or more bedrooms – they should take into account the number of traffic movements the previous use generates
New Forest SPA – Development within 400m of the New Forest SPA will be charged £1,250 per net additional dwelling.
Special policy restrictions:
Being a National Park everything is that bit stricter and scrutinised that bit more. For example change of use of a decent rural building to a holiday let (generally ok in the countryside elsewhere) is a big no no except for farm diversification schemes. Also a change of use to commercial is much harder work than elsewhere. The two National Park purposes as set out in the Environment Act 1995 take precedence over everything, these being:
- to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; and
- to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public.