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Vision plan sought for Moore Close site at Fawcett's Field, New Milton, to avoid over-development

PLANS are being drawn up to cope with the growing demands on a popular green space in New Milton.

Cllr Geoff Blunden, chair of the town council's amenities committee, told a recent meeting that several proposals had been made for the section of Fawcett's Field, off Moore Close, and there was a danger of the site being overwhelmed without careful planning.

Schemes include the provision of a permanent base for the New Milton Men’s Shed group, a new BMX pump track, and a community garden.

An affordable housing development could be built on land off Moore Close (photo: Google)
An affordable housing development could be built on land off Moore Close (photo: Google)

Part of the site is also being considered for a new youth building after the Phoenix Centre in Culver Road was sold off by Hampshire County Council in 2017 after 30 years of use.

There is also a proposed affordable housing development of 10 houses and six apartments on nearby land off Moore Close.

Cllr Blunden suggested a new play area could be installed in the north-east corner, but added: “There is a lot of pressure on the site.

“This is why we’ve been working with New Forest District Council to compile what I call a vision plan, or they call a green space master plan, to see how we can fit all the facilities into this location.”

Amenities committee chairman Cllr Geoff Blunden
Amenities committee chairman Cllr Geoff Blunden

A community garden of at least 300 square metres is the most recent proposal for the site, having been suggested by Julia Stamper, of the New Milton Residents’ Association, to help people connect with nature and build on community spirit shown in the pandemic.

Referring to the youth building, Cllr Blunden said some youth football pitches may have to be reconfigured to better accommodate it. But it was also noted the facility could end up on an alternative site.

Cllr Steve Davies suggested Bashley Village Hall be considered as an example to follow, adding: “It’s a very idyllic hub. It has a stage, it hosts parties, and it has a green space around it.”

Cllr Blunden agreed: “Whatever we do for the new youth building, it must be good for other community use as well.”

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