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Residents urged to have their say on development plan for Ringwood

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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SUBMISSION of a planning application for up to 164 homes on land adjoining Crow Arch Lane in Ringwood has prompted a call for local residents to make sure that New Forest District Council are made aware of their feelings.

Local residents and businessmen Colin Harrison and Jeremy Bradshaw, who have formed a working group to get the best deal possible for the town, are spearheading a campaign to get fellow residents to 'have their say'.

The plans now available to view on the New Forest District Council website have been submitted on behalf of Linden Ltd, owners of the majority of the 13.8 hectare site which forms part of the land allocated in the New Forest Core Strategy for residential and industrial development immediately south of the existing Hightown area and close to the employment areas of south Ringwood.

The application is outline, providing details only of access which is proposed onto Crow Lane and Crow Arches Lane.

But the proposal includes up to 175 dwellings; up to 1.5 hectares of small employment; a nursing home and child nursery; a fitness centre, and hotel, pub, restaurant, retail and professional services.

An indicative layout suggests employment use and small residential plots on 1.84 hectares of county council land west of Crow Arch Lane, three hectares of employment land north of the Castleman Trail, 1.33 hectares of residential on county council land north of Crow Arch Lane, 5.04 hectares of residential on land north of the Castleman Trail.

Nearly a third of the site will be given over to open space areas and community allotments, a north/south pedestrian cycle way and footpaths, and habitat mitigation.

The 32 per cent employment use, and nearly 40 per cent residential will ensure, say the developers, "a vibrant mix, most of which would be available to the wider community."

Mr Harrison and Mr Bradshaw say: "Planning on this site has been on the table for many, many years. The trouble is with such a history of planning submissions that the local residents may believe it will never actually happen.

"The application submitted last week appears to have real leverage, and therefore, whether you agree with the plans or not, we would like to encourage people to make sure their opinions are heard. It's about getting the best deal for Ringwood, not just the best deal for the developers."

"There are worries over the effects on the ongoing flooding and drainage issues in the locality, the road access, traffic volume and pedestrian safety.

"It is common knowledge that the schools and the two GP practices are already running on full capacity which raises questions on how the local infrastructure can deal with substantial increases in numbers.

"The mix of housing/commercial units should be considered too. We don't need six bedroom executive homes that people leave for London every day - we need a well thought out blend of housing including shared-ownership to suit local people at all life stages."

The working group meets weekly and is interested to hear from local residents with concerns and suggestions.

Further information is available by emailing info@aBetterRingwood.co.uk or phoning 01425 475413 to find out more details.

Ringwood Town Council planning committee will be meeting this morning (6th December) to consider the implications of the proposed development and how best to deal with it.

Nicci Brown

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