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Public Consulation - October 2016

OVERVIEW OF THE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN OCTOBER 2016

In October 2016 the New Milton Neighbourhood Plan sought views from the community to establish a ‘vision’ for the future of the area and the content of the Plan. Residents were asked what was good about New Milton, what they would like to see in the future and particularly how they felt about the proposed new housing (NFDC); as well as healthcare, education and traffic.

Questionaires were available online, via social media and in paper from community , health and sports centres, local supermarkets and schools.  In total 415 residents gave us their views. 80% of respondents were over 50, reflecting to some extent the age profile in New Milton (around 33% of residents are over 65), but also the increased time of older residents. Most were also homeowners from New Milton. 

When considering that the younger residents, and those renting, were not well represented the cautious ‘call for change’ from the majority of the older residents was surprising.  Younger residents may find much accord with the key messages given.

KEY MESSAGES FROM THE SURVEY

1.       New Milton residents love living close to the sea and New Forest in a semi-rural , peaceful town with a range of ‘small town’ facilities – especially the main-line railway station.

2.       But they would like to have a more vibrant town centre with a better quality and variety of shops – more character – and especially a town centre that comes alive in the evening with restaurants and family pubs, a cinema and theatre– a younger feel.

3.       Thinking about NFDC proposals for 950 new homes up to a quarter of people do not want to see any change – they like New Milton just as it is and fear losing what is precious. For more people there are concerns about pressures on healthcare, education and increased traffic congestion that would need to be resolved before they would be happy and they would like reassurance that housing would be affordable for young people.

4.       But up to half can see the opportunities that new housing could have to make positive changes for everyone; a more vibrant town centre with a younger feel, affordable homes for youngsters and increased employment of a better quality and variety.

5.       New housing should be 2-3 bed and well-designed to be safe from flooding and crime, energy efficient and affordable.

6.       More than half respondents were not happy with traffic flow now and over 200 suggestions for improvements were received, particularly resolving frustrating waits at the double set of lights in the town centre and resolving the difficulties at the Whitefield Rd/Station Rd/Osbourne Rd junction.

7.       Most people are happy with their health care now but can see that more clubs for friendship and activities and better cycle and walkways would improve health and well-being.  Over 100 people would be happy to volunteer their time to support others in their community.

8.       Most parents and students were happy with education now but there were comments about a need for more nursery, pre-school and special needs education.

View a detailed analysis of the Responses received from the October Consulation

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