Should public opinion count?

A letter in The Lymington Times dated 25 October calls for a more responsible attitude by the government organisations which continue to approve EU-funded schemes involving major engineering works in protected environments (such as stream “restoration” in the New Forest), while completely disregarding very strong public opposition to the works.

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Growing opposition

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.  For more information, click here.

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“Restoration or destruction?”

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.

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More “restorations” without an EIA or AA

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.

 

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FOI request regarding the AA

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).

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The prospect for Latchmore Brook?

DitchendIMG0525.1

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.

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Further correspondence with the NFNPA

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.

 

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