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Fresh plans for business units would 'destroy' river views, warn objectors

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Business units proposed for the east bank of the River Lymington
Business units proposed for the east bank of the River Lymington

FRESH plans have been submitted to redevelop a prominent site on the east bank of the River Lymington with business units.

The scheme for a block of 11 premises follows the refusal by New Forest District Council earlier this year of a similar proposal for 14 off Undershore Road at the Haven Marine Park, formerly the Green Marine site.

The new version has met with some resistance over how it will look from the town, however, with seven objections lodged with NFDC against two in favour.

Boldre Parish Council had originally called for it to be turned down but on Monday night will look again at the designs which have since been redrawn.

One opponent wrote: “The visual impact of this proposed development from the quay is of great importance to Lymington's tourist-based economy.

“It would destroy the view across the river and the feel of this ‘old world’ quay, being hemmed in by modern industrial units and overlooked by people at first-floor level.”

A supporter countered: “The visual impact of the development will be highly positive, providing an improved vista both from Island Point and from the river and Lymington Quay.”

The first “contemporary” scheme was refused by NFDC as a “contextually inappropriate and poor design” that would have harmed the site's rural setting, adjacent conservation areas, and the neighbouring national park.

The revised, glass-fronted plans by Yacht Havens Group Ltd would have 1,327 square metres of floorspace and be provided with 55 parking spaces.

The rented business space would be at first-floor level to avoid floods, with the ground floor used as storage.

Rupert Wagstaff, Yacht Havens Ltd director, said: “The existing buildings are in need of substantial investment to safeguard the future of this important employment site.

“The redevelopment plans provide a new vision for an area of Lymington waterfront that will support the economic prosperity of the local and wider region. It will create employment and deliver a pioneering waterfront hub for local businesses.”

A decision is expected from NFDC later in the year following the deadline for public comments next Friday.

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