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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

National Parks (New Forest)

When the then Deputy Prime Minister announced in 1999 that the New Forest was to become a national park, the two hon. Members representing the New Forest were not alone among those critics who said that the imposition of such a regime would replace the interaction of voluntary and representative bodies with a top-down bureaucracy. That has come true, and we now have a phenomenon known as the forest uprising as a result of proposals made by the national park authority. The petition states:

The Petition of Mr Desmond Swayne MP and 7,200 other residents and users of the New Forest,

Declares that the proposals set out in the New Forest National Park Authority’s National Park Management Plan and Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Development Policies August 2008—

they really dream them up, do they not?—

specifically Chapter 9, Policy DC 12 Recreational Horse keeping, DC 13 Field Shelters, and DC 14 Stables and Maneges, are poorly thought out, draconian in intent, and will have far-reaching repercussions on the quality of life, livelihood and freedom of many occupants of the New Forest and surrounding areas; and further declares that said proposals will have a serious impact on the traditional make-up of the National Park and its neighbouring communities.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw these unsuitable proposed arrangements for the management of the New Forest.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.