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November 2020 Update


Dear Lymington Society Member,
Welcome to our new way of communicating with members using a regular email update instead of the traditional Lymington Voice Newsletter that we have used for so many years.

In these difficult times, more and more organisations are moving to newsletters coming by email which we hope you will appreciate is a more cost effective and more coronavirus-safe method then printing and delivering newsletters.

Please let us know what you think about this new way of communicating with members.

Finally, if you would like to forward this email to anyone whom you think would be interested in hearing about the Society, we would be really grateful.

Don Mackenzie

Top stories this month:

Message from Clive Sutton, Society Chairman

Dear Lymington Society Members
Nigel Seth-Smith, the previous editor of our newsletter, headed the last edition in the summer, “Covid-19 Special”. That was circulated in July as Covid restrictions started to ease. I don’t think any of us really expected that we would be back in a situation which is now replicating the first lockdown.

I am very conscious that to many of you social interaction with other members and the Committee members, both at the AGM and social meetings, enables you to relate to the work that the Committee is doing to support Lymington and maintain its character. What I would like to encourage in this message is your continuing support for the Committee and the amount of work it does on your behalf and I hope you will see numerous signs of that in this autumn Lymington Society Update. 

Given that the Internet is so useful at the moment, we are trialling an email update which we plan to send out on a more regular basis than the  previous newsletter and I hope you will like it. 
Given the obvious apparent restrictions on meetings until well into next year at the moment, we have decided to have our first member's meeting, which will consist of the 2020 AGM deferred from March.

This will enable members to interact with the Committee and express any views, criticisms and possibly support, that they may wish to pass on to the Committee at the moment. 

Please bear in mind that these restrictions will not go on forever and the Town will continue to need a vibrant and active Amenity Society to continue to support and protect it, so continue to maintain your membership and your support so that we are in a good position to celebrate the end of these restrictions.
I would also wish to give mine and the Committee’s personal thanks to Nigel Seth-Smith who has been an active Committee member for more than 15 years dealing with the newsletter and website, who has now stepped down. We will be looking for someone to take on both these roles in the future.
Clive Sutton
Lymington Society AGM online

AGM to be held online: 30th November, 6pm

With the new lockdown in place and no sign of any public meetings being possible, the Executive Committee of the Lymington Society has decided to hold its much delayed AGM online.

The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on the 30th of November. We are using Microsoft Teams App as this will allow us to hold a meeting longer that the 40 minutes available on Zoom.

Members can join the meeting by clicking on this link: Lymington Society AGM on Teams and more detailed instructions for joining the meeting can be found on our website at

The new AGM Agenda and other documents for the AGM are available on our website under Newsletters or by clicking on this link. Click Here for AGM Documents

Members who wish to join the meeting will need to download the Microsoft Teams App and can use the following links to download the Microsoft Teams App before the meeting.
• Here is a link to get Teams for Windows PCs: Download Microsoft Teams
• Here is a link to get Teams on your IPad tablet: Download Microsoft Teams for IPad

If members wish to join us using their mobile phones, please search in the appropriate App Store for the link to download Microsoft Teams.
St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery Lymington

LymSoc Christmas party cancelled

The Society has decided reluctantly that due to the increasing level of the virus and restrictions on holding events, it will not be possible to hold the Christmas Party, which was scheduled to take place in December at St Barbe Museum.

It is looking increasingly likely that events such as this, will not be able to take place for some time and the Society will inform members as soon as events  can take place again.
Proposed development Lymington

Plans for sheltered flats turned down again

The Society is very pleased to report that for the second time, the Planning Committee of the NFDC has turned down an application for a very large block of 44 sheltered apartments on the site of 4 family homes at Stanford Hill in Lymington.

Appearing in front of the Planning Committee by Skype, Don Mackenzie, Deputy Chair of the Society, set out for the Committee the opinion of the Society that this was a totally unsuitable development for this important site on the edge of the historic Georgian centre of Lymington. He went on to say that if the application were granted it could undermine the Local Distinctive Planning Guidance that has done so much to protect the town and lead to many more similar developments. Our team is extremely happy that the opinions of the Society were very much in tune with the views of the councillors and that this application was turned down unanimously.

Following the unanimous rejection of the application by the planning committee, the Society issued a press statement stating that “the Society hopes that the emphatic rejection of this scheme by NFDC will lead to a major rethink by developers of this type of housing in Lymington and that they will now look elsewhere in the future."

One further hurdle does however remain as the developers are taking their first application to appeal so that the Planning Inspectorate may well have the final say on this scheme
Shop Local, Save Jobs poster

Shop Local - Save Jobs initiative: a great success!

Working jointly with the Lymington Chamber of Commerce, the Society decided that as lockdown was eased it would undertake an initiative to help local retailers and businesses to bounce back from the effects of the enforced closure that had hit the economy so hard, by urging local residents to "Shop Local" and therefore "Save Jobs."

As well as a press release that was widely reported, banners designed by Committee Member Roger Liley were erected at locations around the town and posters put up in many shop windows locally.

A survey carried out by Committee Member Pam Morrissey of shops in the town showed great support for this initiative and so it had been decided to leave these signs up until Christmas to remind local people how important it is to support local shops. However, with the new "lockdown" in place the Society intends to take down the banners but put them back up for Christmas with a new "Shop Local For Christmas" theme.

Although a slight departure from the usual activities of the Society, the Committee felt that this was an important initiative to show that the Society is concerned with more than just planning applications and has the wider interests of the whole community at the heart of its remit.
Hurst Castle and Hurst Spit from above

Lymington Society invited to join Hurst Spit to Lymington Stakeholder Advisory Group to help plan new sea defences

Following the Lymington Society’s attendance at an online Teams workshop on the risks to the Hurst to Lymington sea defences caused by climate change, organised by the Environment Agency, the Society has been invited to join the Advisory Panel set up in connection with this project.

The Environment Agency in partnership with New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council and Natural England, with expert support from JBA Consulting, are exploring a sustainable future for the coastal frontage between Hurst Spit and Lymington in relation to flood and coastal erosion risk management.

The Hurst Spit to Lymington project aims to investigate if and how to respond to the significant challenges facing this area of coastline now and into the future, and how to fund any potential works. This coastal frontage is located within the New Forest and extends from Milford-on-Sea in the west, encompasses Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes extending up the Lymington River to the east.

The Society has now attended the first online workshop of the group and was able to contribute to the discussion of what a successful project would look like and examine options from doing nothing, to building a new sea wall all the way from Hurst to Lymington.
Lymington High Street

Hampshire County Council (HCC) backs down on parking charges again after pressure from the Society and the Town Council

As members will most likely be aware, HCC announced early this year that they intended to start charging for parking in the High Street. The Society had already written to HCC opposing the introduction of charges on the basis that it could do harm to the retail climate in the town, which was already suffering before Covid arrived. See article in the Lyminton Times

As the extent of the problems caused by Covid became clear, with the imposition of the original lockdown, the society wrote to Cllr. Humby, HCC Deputy Leader, demanding that these charges be cancelled or at least postponed until the economy had recovered. In response to this pressure both from the Society and from the Town Council, Councillor Humby eventually announced in a reply to the Society, that he would be deferring charges for the summer with the review to take place in September.

Despite the relative bounce in the economy in the summer, it is now clear that we are in for the long haul and so the Society again wrote to Cllr. Humby in August setting out our continued opposition to the imposition of parking charges due to the difficult time being faced by retail and leisure sectors. Following this, we were very pleased to see it in the Lymington Times recently that HCC has again deferred the review of these possible charges until the middle of next year at the earliest.

Whilst recognising that some form of enforcement of parking in the town is needed to ensure that the free parking is not abused, the Society will remain implacably opposed to these charges which would only add further pressure to the already beleaguered retail sector in the town.

Appeal refused on unsuitable shop and takeaways at Hills Garage site

The Lymington Society was very pleased to see the refusal by the Planning Inspectorate of plans to turn the Hills car showroom and car wash facility at Milford Road, into a large convenience store and several takeaway food operations.

As well as writing to the NFDC to oppose this application, the Society sent a detailed submission to the Planning Inspectorate setting out several important reasons why this was an unsuitable development. Chief amongst these reasons was the dangerous situation which could be created by large numbers of cars exiting the site onto a busy road, as well as the harm this development could do to plans to use of the site for a mixture of some retail units to complement the existing shopping area, but allowing a large number of new homes to be created on the site as well.

The Planning Inspector refused the developer’s appeal on very similar grounds to those put forward by the Society, which reinforced the Society’s view that this was an inappropriate use of this important site.

Lymington Society welcome decision to erect Christmas lights in 2020

The Lymington Society is very pleased to hear that the Town Council has been able to arrange for Christmas Lights to be put up this year despite announcing earlier that they could not go ahead, having overcome what seemed to the Society unreasonable demands by by Hampshire County Council for £60,000 to erect new supporting columns. See link to Lymington Times article.

This was apparently on the basis that the existing street lights could not take the extra weight of a plug and a short length of wire! However sense has been restored and after further tests, it has been decided that they can after all take this extra load this year only, with new lamp posts planned for next year

It was in fact the Lymington Society who masterminded the return of the Lymington Christmas  Lights in 2007 after a gap of many years, when a Committee chaired by Society member Don Mackenzie raised over £23,000 to enable new brackets to be fixed to the buildings, tested to the required standard, as well as new lights purchased and erected.

It is really good news for the town that the lights are back as this will certainly be a lift for the town in these difficult times.

LymSoc welcomes plans for new homes in Pennington but has concerns about important issues with the site

As most people agree, the country is very short of housing, especially social housing. It is for this reason that the Society agreed with the inclusion in the NFDC Local Plan of what was called Strategic Site 5 or SS5. This site comprised a proposed development of 175 homes on either side of the Milford Road near the road to the HCC Amenity tip.

The developers called Bargate Homes are planning to start the development of the southern part of SS5 with a plan for 110 homes on part of the site which the local plan set aside for a total of 140 homes. Details are here. 

The Society does have concerns about several aspects of the plans as they are set out in this application.  Details Can be seen here. NFDC Planning 
  • The traffic access on to a very busy road - which is already difficult to cross 
  • The known problems of flooding on parts of the site
  • The problems of the odour that is known to come from the sewage treatment plan nearby.
The Society will be closely looking at the plans and the proposed solution to these problems and will be sending its conclusions to the planners in time for the Planning Committee hearing. 

NFDC announce consultation over plans to introduce wheelie bins 

The NFDC have announced that they are considering a new system for waste collection that could bring wheelie bins to the New Forest alongside a new system of alternate collections, general week one week and recycling waste the next. 

Details can be seen here: NFDC Waste Consultation

Whilst understanding that new methods and efficiency and cost must be carefully considered. the Society has big concerns about how the wheelie bins will be introduced to the Georgian town of Lymington

We are carefully examining the proposals and would like to hear from members about their concerns and suggestions on these proposals.
The Lymington Society website
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The Lymington Society
Protecting our Town and the surrounding area for the future
The Lymington Society was formed in 1968 with the aim of helping to preserve and protect the town and area of Lymington and its aims were set out at the time.
  • A Civic Society for all wishing to protect the character of our historic town
  • To ensure new development is in keeping
  • To encourage the maintenance and improvement of civic amenities
  • To provide a forum where residents can express views on such subjects publicly
Often called a "planning watchdog" we look objectively at planning applications and try to stop what we and our members feel would be unsuitable development schemes.
We welcome new members who can join online on our website at:
Join The Lymington Society
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