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Protest group considers legal action over NFDC housing plan approval

PALLS chair Bruce Tindall (left) with George Trevelyan and protesters
PALLS chair Bruce Tindall (left) with George Trevelyan and protesters

A PRESSURE group has said it is “considering” a legal claim against a Lymington site being included in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan.

The keystone document of development policies for about 10,500 new homes until 2036 outside the national park was approved at a recent NFDC meeting.

It includes about 100 units earmarked for land between Lower Pennington Lane and Ridgeway Lane, near Oakhaven Hospice. The allocation is fiercely opposed by the Pennington and Lymington Lanes Society (PALLS) who fear it will spoil the quiet area.

Bruce Tindall, PALLS chairman, told the A&T: “Despite the many opportunities to properly consult as they could and should have done, the council may now find themselves in a wholly avoidable legal difficulty.

“PALLS is considering its options while hoping that, even at this late stage, councillors will work with us to protect the green lanes and Oakhaven Hospice and do their best to mitigate the problems they have created through their lack of meaningful consultation and their complete disregard for the concerns of the community.”

NFDC says it has included safeguards in the Local Plan requiring development to be in-character and to respect the peace and quiet of Oakhaven Hospice.

As reported by the A&T, the Local Plan went through two public consultations and was scrutinised by government planning inspectors and stakeholders. It features 18 major housing sites in towns and villages.

The document sets out a minimum number of homes to be built on each and overarching development rules. It has a target of providing 300 homes per year for the first five years, with an aim that 35-50% of new homes will be affordable housing to rent or buy.

The allocation of land does not mean automatic planning approval, however. Developers must still get permission to build.

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