PLANS to build nearly 100 homes near Fordingbridge have been refused.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) has refused to grant permission for the outline planning application for land at St Johns Farm, Stuckton Road.

The proposal

The proposed development was for 78 new homes and 20 retirement flats, a village hall and playground as well as a new access.

The principle access was to be from the B3078.

The retirement units, village hall and playground would be located at the north of the site.

The 78 homes would range from flats, terraced housing, to semi-detached and detached properties.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said: "This proposal will provide new dwellings within easy walking distance of Fordingbridge town centre without compromising the local highway network - the location of the site ensures that there will be no additional congestion through the town centre as the majority of traffic movements will involve direct access off the A338.

"This is the right time for this land to be developed due to the huge shortfall in housing land supply."

What the district council said

A decision notice from NFDC said: “The proposal is considered to be a significant departure from the adopted Development Plan involving a large new housing development outside the established limits of Fordingbridge in a non-sustainable location and contrary to the Council’s strategy for locating new housing development.”

It also stated that it was contrary to the New Forest Local Plan as well as government advice on sustainable development, adding: “The proposal is not considered to constitute sustainable development by reason of the significant and demonstrable harm that is created which is not outweighed by any unquantified social or economic benefits.”

Local Plan Strategic sites

New Forest District Council's Local Plan has set strategic sites for development in Fordingbridge.

Three areas of the town have been earmarked for development in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan.

The sites combined would bring forward a total of at least 870 homes.

They are located at Station Road, Ashford (Site 16), Whitsbury Road (Site 17) and land at Burgate (Site 18).

Concerns over impact on area's character

Another reason given for the refusal of the application was the sensitive location in the open countryside close to the New Forest National Park boundary.

The proposed development, it said, would have a “significant adverse effect on the character and appearance of the local landscape creating a visually intrusive development, and a development that is contrary to local landscape character”.

The council also said the proposal “creates a scale, mass, and intensity of development that is poorly located, designed and laid out, not locally distinctive and out of character with its wider landscape and localised setting”.

Concerns were also raised over the impact on heritage assets and species on the site as well as concerns over the access and its impact and the inadequate provision of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

The decision notice added: “This would result in the users of the development being unable to make use of sustainable transport opportunities and would result in a greater number of trips by private car which will create a severe impact on the local highway network and environment contrary to the NPPF and Development Plan policies and advice.”


Fordingbridge Town Council objected to the proposals over infrastructure and traffic concerns and the impact of more houses.

Planning agent James Cain, speaking on behalf of the applicant at a previous town council meeting, said the proposal would provide 21 “affordable” homes and represented “sustainable development” and would have economic benefits for the town centre.

The application sparked 70 letters of objection and also received objections from Godshill and Hyde Parish Council.

To view the application documents go to New Forest District Council's website.

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