Eastleigh Borough Council has approved the creation of two new green spaces as part of an initiative to help reduce the impact of Borough residents visiting the New Forest.
The new spaces, known as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG’s) will provide an attractive local alternative as part of a regional scheme to ensure that development does not have an adverse effect on designated sites supporting internationally important species and habitats. This includes Special Protection Areas (SPAs) which are designated for certain bird species and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Ramsar sites which are designated for their habitat. A large proportion of the New Forest is designated as SAC, SPA and Ramsar sites
The Council will create 27.1 hectares of SANG made up of 14.3 hectares on land east of Allington Lane together with land north of, and improvements to, Itchen Valley Country Park at West End. It will also fund one full-time ranger post in the New Forest National Park until March 2027 to address the impact of residents from new development in the Borough who visit the New Forest and its special landscapes and wildlife.
The scheme will be paid for through developer contributions of £1,161 per dwelling from all new residential development permitted in the Borough.
Council Leader Keith House said, “By creating these new dedicated recreational green spaces within the Borough we can help provide a significant economic and health benefit for local people by encouraging healthier lifestyles, minimising travel outside of the
Borough and boosting the local economy. This benefits both the National Park and the Council’s residents and businesses and at the same time provides more green spaces for our wildlife and helps to increase the biodiversity within the Borough.