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

Approved: alterations and extensions to house in the New Forest National Park

New Forest National Park Authority: Dan Wilden is pleased to have secured planning permission for a[...]

Approved: S73 material amendment to approved swimming pool building near Ringwood

New Forest National Park Authority: Matt is pleased to confirm that he has recently secured pe[...]

Won on appeal: outbuilding in Bransgore, Christchurch

New Forest National Park Authority: Neil McKeon is pleased to confirm that he has recently won a[...]

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: There is a charge for this service (fees here). Contact us for advice as to whether this is worthwhile in your case.

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:

There is no CIL adopted in the National Park.

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:

    1. to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; and
    2. to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public.

Useful Links

NFNPA Planning Homepage

Planning Applications Search

Planning Policy