SIR – I am a long-term resident in the little New Forest village of Sway. Like many residents, we were pleased when the New Forest and Sway became part of the national park as we assumed it would protect the beautiful national environment and all the creatures, many protected species, within it.
We certainly believed that the ancient way of life of the commoners and their ponies, cattle etc would also benefit. But as we now all know, in many cases this has failed to happen.
Another expectation was that there would be strict and sympathetic control of all development within the Forest boundaries. Sadly, this too has failed us.
My concern is the astonishing commercial development taking place in our small village of less than 4,000 residents. This is the new Co-op store and the flats and houses to be built on a small site in the centre of the village. It is unsympathetic both in style and purpose.
I cannot understand how the NPA could agree to this store, with flats above it and more flats and three houses behind it, being permitted for a village that already has two small grocery stores and an award-winning butcher.
The development, with too few parking spaces on it, fronts on to the very narrow village high street in an area close to the village school, and the school buses’ collection and drop-off point. There is little parking space now and the village has no public car park.
Perhaps someone can explain to me how this can have passed as a suitable development for this village which had no need for another food store and the traffic problems that it is already causing and which are bound to continue?
It can in no way be said to benefit or maintain the daily life in this small village.