On 12 January the National Audit Office confirmed to Professor John Shepherd that their enquiries into the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship Scheme are continuing. The letter from NAO is here and more information about the enquiry is here (24 Nov) and here (2 Nov).
In his New Forest Notes for December (Lymington Times, 2 December 2016), Anthony Pasmore reflects on the possible outcomes of the recent Latchmore planning decision.
The Lymington Times dated 25 November 2016 reports the grounds for refusal of the planning application to “restore” Latchmore Brook.
Professor John Shepherd has written to the Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office regarding their current review of aspects of the New Forest HLSS Wetland Restoration projects. To read his letter please click here; and for the documents referred to in his letter click here (objection to the Latchmore planning application), here (comments on the review by Thomas et al, 2016) and here (comments on the “Assurance Report”).
Articles reporting on the planners’ decision have appeared in the Southern Daily Echo dated 16 November 2016; the Forest Journal dated 17 November 2016; the Bournemouth Echo dated 17 November 2016; and the Lymington Times dated 18 November 2016.
We are delighted to report that at the NFNPA Planning Meeting on 15 November 2016 the committee members voted to refuse planning permission for the Latchmore application no.16/00571. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us so loyally and helped us so much throughout this campaign, but for the time being we all need to continue to keep an eye on any activity in the vicinity of Latchmore Brook.
Latchmore makes the front page again in this week’s (11 November 2016) Lymington Times.
A letter dated 11 November 2016 from our Solicitors to the NFNPA requests deferment of the planning decision pending the NAO report on 30 November and to allow a formal period of consultation for the recently-submitted NE Assurance Report which has been added to the Latchmore application.
Richard Buxton also wrote to the NFNPA on 10 November regarding the restricted time allowed for speakers wishing to address the planning committee at their meeting on 15 November.
Obtained through a Freedom of Information request, a report entitled Management of the New Forest, Hampshire – Restoration proposals for Latchmore Brook carried out for Natural England by Tom Langton, Consulting Ecologist, in May 2016. In the report the author reviews potential species and habitat impacts and related matters in relation to Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) wetland interventions in the New Forest.
The NFNPA Planning Development Control Committee will consider the Latchmore application on Tuesday 15 November 2016. The meeting will be held at 9.30 a.m. in the Chambers at Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG. Please note that parking space at the Town Hall is limited, but there are pay-and-display car parks nearby.
Papers relating to the meeting are on the NFNPA website at http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/394/planning_development_control_committee : the Agenda, the Committee Schedule, and Report Item 1. On the Agenda, Latchmore is the first application to be considered.
Members of the public are allowed to speak to the Committee before a planning decision is taken. If you would like to speak, you should ring Member Services on 01590 646643 or email MemberServices@newforestnpa.gov.uk by 5 p.m. on Thursday 10 November 2016. The time allowed is to be restricted to a total of 9 minutes for all objectors, and 9 minutes for all supporters so unfortunately it is uncertain whether you would get an opportunity to speak, but we encourage you to try.
It would be good if anyone who is concerned about the application would come to the meeting even if you don’t want to speak, if only to show the planners that our campaign is still very much alive. Please get in touch with us if you need any more information.