THE results are in following a survey which asked the public how to improve Lymington Quay.
The consultation, carried out by New Forest District Council, Lymington and Pennington Town Council and the Lymington Harbour Commissioners, attracted more than 800 responses.
Cllr Alison Hoare, NFDC’s Conservative cabinet member for environment and regulatory services, said: “Lymington and the quay are very important to the whole district. The town is important for the economy of the area, with the quay being one of the town’s main focal points.
“I am grateful to everyone that took the time to complete the questionnaire, and we now have some valuable views from residents and visitors to inform our plans going forward.”
The aim of the survey was to gather the views of residents, businesses and visitors to inform improvement plans. An independent research company was appointed to analyse the data.
Most survey respondents used the quay weekly or more often, with the top three visits being for the quay itself (71%), local businesses (67%) and car parking (49%).
Public toilets were the standout answer for facilities people wanted at the quay. And 98% of respondents also said visitors were important to the area.
Asked how important the toilets were to the quay, 93% chose either very or slightly important.
NFDC wants to modernise the 25-year-old public toilets, the harbour commissioners want to improve the shower facilities, and the town council is keen to use the area to hold more events.
After talks broke down earlier this year, all three partners wanted to involve the community to draw up fresh plans.
NFDC chief executive Bob Jackson said: “The analysis of results from over 800 responses provides us with a good understanding of the wide range of views of Lymington Quay.
“We now need to develop these views into what we can achieve along with the town council and the Harbour Commission. We will aim to hold a public exhibition of proposals within the timetable we have set out.”
The results prompted Liberal Democrat Cllr Jack Davies to warn that his party would seek to protect parking at the quay, where there are 54 spaces, and call for more cycle racks and electic car charging points.
He said: “The Liberal Democrats are clear. We will tolerate not a single parking space lost in this redevelopment. Car parking spaces are already a scarcity in Lymington.
“The businesses on the quay rely on people coming in their cars to visit them. Until we have greener transport infrastructure in place, we must keep the car parking spaces on the quay for local businesses.”
Options will be published in November before a preferred plan is presented to the community. A full planning application will be lodged by February 2020 with work scheduled to start in August.
The full survey results are available at www.newforest.gov.uk/LymQuay.