Residents join campaign to halt Ringwood development

FIFTY campaigners turned up to a meeting to protest against proposals for 175 properties, a restaurant, hotel, industrial units and a children’s nursery off Crow Lane in Ringwood.

People gathered to sign up to the A Better Ringwood Campaign after plans were submitted to New Forest District Council by Linden Homes.

campaign leader Jeremy Bradshaw said: “It’s about getting the best deal for the town – not just the best deal for developers.”

Deborah Risbridger, who has lived in the town for eight years, said: “Ultimately we want to make sure we have the best outcome for the whole town, and we don’t believe that this proposal is it.

“I absolutely believe that houses need to be built to make sure everyone who wants to live here can do that. But we don’t want Ringwood to turn into a dormitory town full of empty properties. We want to keep this town vibrant.”

Marian Frey, who has been in the town for around 20 years, said she is concerned about the size of the planned development.

“It has made lots of us feel a bit helpless,” she said. “Publicity has been piecemeal, and now we’ve been told that we’ve all been consulted on this, when actually most of us didn’t know anything about it.

“The principle for me is that local people should be involved in the decision-making process for something on this scale.

“It really will be huge if it goes ahead – almost its own settlement adjoining Ringwood.”

Mrs Frey said schools and health centres are already at capacity.

“The effect on our roads will also be dreadful,” she said.

“There are already enough problems for motorists.”

Campaigners have estimated that around 1,500 additional journeys a day will be made if the development is built.

The plans are available to view on the New Forest District Council website.

For more information, or to have your say, visit www.newforest.gov.uk.

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