In this communication:
Local Plan review
A Local Plan is a framework for the future development of an area and is used to assess planning applications.
Since our current Local Plan was adopted in 2020, there have been several significant changes that our new Local Plan will look to address. This includes lower than expected housing delivery, our climate change and nature emergency declaration in 2021, and the opportunities that the Solent Freeport will bring.
After our next Council meeting on 26 February, we’ll start identifying the issues that this new Local Plan should address. This information will be formed into a draft version of the Local Plan, which is expected to be formally consulted upon next year.
In the meantime, you can find more information about our planning service on our website.
Did you know you can watch all our public meetings on our YouTube channel? The next meeting is Planning Committee on Wednesday 14 February at 9am. You can watch this on YouTube.
New CCTV camera installed
We have installed a new CCTV camera in Fordingbridge high street.
We’re testing new 4G camera technology which produces high quality colour images and uses infrared to capture images at night or in low light conditions.
Fordingbridge was selected for the trial as it currently doesn’t have any CCTV cameras. We’ve been working with Fordingbridge Town Council for this trial.
In the future, we’re planning to expand our CCTV network across the district to areas that do not have cameras. This is part of our commitment to maintain low crime levels in rural communities.
We’re hosting a community event where you can learn more about the project and ask questions. Join us at 6pm at Fordingbridge Town Hall on Thursday 22 February. The event is open to anyone who lives or works in the area.
Community grants awarded
29 groups and organisations in the New Forest will receive community grants from us this year.
The funding has been given to groups across the district who support vulnerable residents and communities.
These organisations include Honeypot Childrens Charity, New Forest Basics Bank, Forest Forge Theatre Company, New Forest Disability Information Services, and Youth and Families Matter.
Read more about the funding on our website.
Voting for British citizens overseas
Do you know a British citizen living abroad?
A change in the law means they can register to vote in parliamentary elections, no matter how long ago they left the UK.
Find out more on the GOV.UK website.
Please share this information with family and friends who are living abroad.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home
Since October 2023, 224 of our residents have used our free Cosy Homes online tool to see how they can improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
You can create a refurbishment plan to make your home warmer, reduce your carbon footprint, and cut energy bills. All you’ll need to get started is your postcode and an idea of how much money you want to spend.
Find out more about the tool, and the funding options that are available.
How to dispose of vapes
Research from Recycle Your Electricals has shown that around 5 million single use vapes are thrown away in the UK every week.
It’s important to dispose of single use vapes correctly and safely.
Vapes should never go in your black or clear rubbish sacks, like any item containing a battery.
If batteries are crushed in collection vehicles or at recycling facilities, it can cause devastating fires.
To find local drop-off points to recycle vapes, add your postcode to the Recycling Locator tool on the Recycle Your Electricals website.
You can recycle vapes at Household Waste and Recycling Centres, also known as the tip.
Electricity bill discount
You could get £150 off your electricity bill through the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The scheme is running until March 2024 and the one-off discount is applied directly to your electricity bill. If you use a prepayment meter, you’ll be given a top-up voucher instead.
You can receive the discount if you either get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or are on a low income and have high energy costs.
You would have received a letter in January 2024 if you are eligible.
If you didn’t receive a letter but think you are eligible, you can apply before 29 February 2024 by calling the Warm Home Discount Scheme team on 0800 030 9322.
More information is available on the GOV.UK website.
You can find cost of living advice and support on our website.
Explore more of the New Forest
Follow the New Forest Code
Thank you for following the New Forest Code. It continues to help protect and care for this unique place.
Go New Forest
There are lots of places to enjoy and discover in our area. We work with Go New Forest, who celebrate and highlight all the New Forest has to offer to residents and visitors.
To hear more about places to visit, plan cycle trails, and local events you can visit the Go New Forest website.
Go New Forest is part-funded by the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund aims to improve pride in place, and invest in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.
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