News release Monday 22nd April 2013 by One Voice, New Forest
ONE VOICE are concerned that the New Forest National Park Authority’s (NFNPA) latest consultation paper “Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment” may prove to be a chilling twist on previously failed plans from 2008 to prescribe just how homes, gardens, paddocks and businesses should look within the ‘landscape’ of the New Forest.
These draconian measures, if adopted, will greatly intrude upon the civil liberties of residents. No other planning authority in the land has been given such sweeping powers by an unelected body such as a National Park. Those who remember the outrage of local residents when these policies were first mooted will see this as an attempt to resurrect the 2008 recreational and management plans by stealth. This public outrage ultimately led to the resignation of the National Park’s CEO in 2009.
The plans will prohibit the use of: wrought iron gates to properties; close-board fencing; post & wire fencing; high boundary walls; laurel hedges; house signs (other than timber); conifers in front gardens; garden security lighting; white pony tape and many more restrictions. It even stipulates how long paddock grasses should be. These restrictions will be monitored and enforced by evidence-gathering means such as field surveys using fixed-point photography.
Sue Baillie, co-founder of ONE VOICE said, “This consultation document is divisive, contentious and manipulative. Coupled with the NPA paper ‘A New Forest Approach to the Government’s Forestry and Woodland Policy’ dated 28 March 2013 (NFNPA 430/13) the consultation reads more like a business plan to requisition the Forestry Commission’s management of the Public Forest Estate and is more about the ambitions of the NPA rather than the well being of residents.
These policies will be set in stone for the next 20 years. As the NPA deal with all planning applications within the National Park, It is vital that residents respond to the consultation, which closes on 13 May 2013”.
Residents’ comments on 2008 consultation: http://www.onevoice.officeoverload.com/FormalComplaintComments.htm
One Voice Formal Complaint on the 2008 consultation:
Sue Baillie: firstname.lastname@example.org