A letter in this week’s Lymington Times draws attention to the growing opposition expressed by parish councils on behalf of their electorate to the ongoing programme of Forestry Commission stream “restorations” in the New Forest.
On Wednesday 29 October we are holding a Bingo evening with a fish and chips supper at Hyde Memorial Hall. It will be a light-hearted and fun evening and we do hope you will come along and support us.
As a Non-Statutory Consultee, the Friends of Latchmore have submitted their comments on the Scoping Report in a letter and covering email, both dated 14 September 2014, and an annotated copy of the Scoping Report. In due course they will be posted on the NFNPA website.
In his ‘New Forest Notes’ in the Lymington Times dated 6 September 2014, Anthony Pasmore writes about the Forestry Commission’s “restoration” projects in the New Forest with particular reference to the recent work at Ditchend. He considers the long-term consequences of these projects which involve major engineering work on a Site of Special Scientific Interest and questions whether they really do benefit the Forest environment.
The Scoping Report for the EIA for Latchmore is now available. The Friends of Latchmore are one of the Non-statutory Consultees and we are preparing our comments on the Report; they will be posted here when they are completed.
Our Solicitors have been corresponding with the NFNPA regarding recent and forthcoming Forestry Commission “restoration” works at two other sites in the north of the New Forest, Slufters Inclosure and Harvestslade Bottom respectively, querying the NFNPA’s decision that environmental assessments are not necessary for either site, despite an EIA being required for Latchmore, where similar works are proposed.
Please click on the links to see a letter from Buxtons to the NFNPA dated 11 July (also referred to below); a letter from the NFNPA to Buxtons dated 25 July enclosing Planning Permission for work at Slufters Inclosure, granted on 17 July; and a letter from Buxtons to the NFNPA dated 19 August regarding the Planning Application for work at Harvestslade Bottom.
In their letter dated 6 June to our Solicitors, the NFNPA referred to their letter of 20 May, which was not received by Buxtons until 25 July. This letter concerns a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for information relating to Natural England’s decision that an Appropriate Assessment was not needed for the Latchmore Brook Restoration Project. The NFNPA notified our Solicitors that they would not disclose this information and cited their reasons. Buxtons’ letter of 19 August challenges their claim that the information we requested qualifies for a legal exemption (and also refers to Forestry Commission works at Ditchend and Slufters Inclosure, see below and above).
Please click here. More information will be posted as soon as it’s available. Here, posted on 22 August, is a report produced by Friends of Latchmore on the works carried out last month by Forestry Commission contractors at Ditchend. Also, our Solicitors referred to the works at Ditchend in their letter to the NFNPA dated 19 August.
Our Solicitors continue to correspond with the NFNPA on the subject of the need for both an AA and an EIA – a letter dated 6 June from the NFNPA is here and our Solicitors’ reply dated 11 July is here. We maintain that both Assessments should be carried out in order to provide maximum protection for Latchmore Brook and its surroundings. The issue has not yet been resolved.
The letter from Buxtons also refers to another, similar “restoration” at North Slufters, which has just been approved without, apparently, any environmental assessments being required, a decision which we challenge.
Friends of Latchmore are urged to go to a public exhibition on the scope of the EIA to be held by the Forestry Commission and their consultants, Land Use Consultants, on Tuesday 29 April at Godshill Village Hall from 4 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
At present we do not know whether further exhibitions will be held at other locations (we have asked the Forestry Commission to let us know), so this may be the only opportunity the public is given to talk to representatives from the FC and LUC about the preparation of the Environmental Statement.