Formed in 1956 the Society exists to protect, improve and develop the character and amenities of Brockenhurst and the surrounding forest area for the benefit of the residents of the village and the wider community.
It concentrates especially, but not exclusively, on matters related to planning, environment and the welfare of the community.
It will seek to influence local and other governmental bodies to advance its objectives.
In particular the Society will carry out regular and detailed reviews of all regional, structure and local plans, together with local planning applications. Representations will be made as appropriate.
We look into all aspects of planning issues within Brockenhurst to help to keep the beauty, heritage and special characteristics of our village in place.
Friends of Brockenhurst hold two main meetings per year, including their AGM. Guest speakers are invited to each meeting.
A New Local Plan:
Planning decisions are determined by national policy, largely the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the local authority's Local Plan. The New Forest National Park adopted a new local plan in September that will guide policy, with periodic reviews, until 2036.
Changes as they affect Brockenhurst are limited.
Friends of Brockenhurst have been involved in the new plan for the past several years. A primary aim was to avoid an expansion of the defined village development boundary. We would have liked to see a few areas removed but in the event the boundary was not changed. FoB were helped in defending the boundary by national changes regarding flood risk and the decision of Natural England not to allow the Park to plan housing within 400m of the New Forest Special Protection Area. Virtually all of Brockenhurst is within that zone. It is not clear how this ruling will affect the odd additional house built in the village and FoB are seeking clarification in the hope that increased restrictions will assist in resisting garden grabbing in the spacious parts of the village.
FoB wanted the new plan to ensure any houses built reflected the needs of village residents - smaller houses with many affordable for local families. We had only mixed success. All new applications must be for dwellings of less than 100 square metres, (an example is the new house by the Latchmoor railway bridge), but no limit has been put on extensions to existing houses. Flats in any new managed complex can only be for existing residents of New Forest District. (we had hoped limit would be existing residents of the National Park). While the National Park Authority wanted 50% of new dwellings in developments of two or more to be affordable, the inspectors changed that 50% to a target. On current form the National Park will fall miles below that figure and the children of local families will continue to be forced elsewhere for their homes.