Residents have raised concern over a planning application submitted for a development at a holiday park on the outskirts of Salisbury.

A meeting was well-attended in the village as residents met to discuss the application submitted for Green Hill Farm, on New Road in Landford, and a petition has been started.

The planned development

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFPA) received an application to build 174 holiday lodges at Green Hill Farm in Landford.

Read more: Plans submitted for developments at Green Hill Farm, Landford

The application is for the use of the land for the siting of 174 holiday lodges (static caravans), which includes the existing 60 holiday lodges on site and 114 in place of the 130 existing touring and camping pitches.

The extensive application also includes 16 glamping units consisting of eight safari tents, four glamping pods and four shepherd huts.

There are also plans for a central amenities building, greenhouse, two tipis, a play village, two classroom buildings, cycle hire, fishing hut, petting area, trim trail, pond and extension of existing lake.

'It's a disaster for the environment'

Landford residents gathered at the Landford Poacher pub for a meeting on November 24 to discuss the application.

The meeting was attended by around 70 people, and organisers received messages from more people who turned up but couldn't park, and a petition against the development has now been signed by more than 100 people.

It was organised by New Road resident Stephanie Hildon, 49, the CEO of Chichester-based herb company Langmead Herbs, who has lived in Landford for the last 11 years.

She says she moved from London to the New Forest as her and her husband wanted to bring up their children in the countryside, with space and "a lovely environment".

She said: "I think it's a disaster for the environment and for the local community. I think the development is damaging to the New Forest environment, and I think we should protect the New Forest environment as much as possible.

"I would like to see as much as much as the natural habitat and natural landscape and environment retained and protected for my kids and their kids as much as possible.

"I think it's a real shame that this is effectively going to be a housing estate on that piece of land. I realise there are technical details in terms of the definition of the properties being built, but they are talking about putting 174 small houses on that piece of land that is largely been agricultural or used with very low intensity for touring caravans for a number of years, and has had no intrusion into the local environment.

"The new application is for 174, over a much much greater area with all of the tarmac and the concrete. It will just destroy the environment.

"We moved here because we wanted our little children to have countryside and space and an incredible environment, and the New Forest is an incredible environment and I am incredibly lucky to live there. I have a responsibility to my kids and their kids to do everything I possibly can to maintain that environment."

She added that the site has installed lighting, when "a particular policy of the National Park is to maintain dark skies and tranquility".

"You go out at night time and you cannot see your hand in front of your face, it's so dark," she said, of living in Landford.

'We've worked hard to listen and address issues'

Green Hill Farm is owned by Lovat Holiday Parks, which runs holiday parks in Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as the New Forest park in Landford.

The Lovat Parks website reads: "We’re environmentally aware and conscientious. We all share a responsibility to be kind to our planet and protect local wildlife and habitats."

Responding to concerns over the environment, founder of Lovat Parks, Raoul Fraser, said that the company has responded to the concerns of residents by reducing the brightness of their lighting, and making it more bat and insect friendly.

He said: "Lovat Parks is committed to embracing the New Forest National Park, supporting wildlife and the natural environment.

"Whilst we have received fantastic support from the local community for our Green Hill Farm project, we understand the concerns of the small number of people who’ve raised objections. We’ve worked hard to listen to and address issues and have already made changes as a result.

"Local residents told us they were concerned about light pollution. In response to this, we’ve changed the lighting around our main office to reduce brightness and make it more bat and insect friendly. We’re also in the process of fitting motion sensors and timers to our lighting bollards. We’re exploring other things we can do to minimise light pollution, including tinted film on large windows to reflect the light.

"Our plans for Green Hill Farm are designed to benefit the environment. This is part of our responsibility as a B Corp, and we’re the first holiday company in the world to be awarded this status.

"We’re planting thousands of trees, shrubs, bulbs and plants, and we’re creating a wildflower meadow that will improve biodiversity. We plan to work with Rewilding Britain and The Wildlife Trust to ensure our planting and landscaping is in line with their guidance. We’re also working with an ecologist from Wild New Forest to map wildlife around Green Hill Farm and help us create the right habitats for it to thrive.

"We love what local residents love about Green Hill Farm, and we’ll continue to engage with them on our plans."

A spokesperson from the New Forest National Park Authority said: "The planning application is out to consultation with local residents, the Parish Council and statutory consultees and remains live.

"Comments received so far can be viewed on the NFNPA website under the application ref: 21/00928 on the planning application search page.

"No recommendation or decision has been made as yet for the application."

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