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“Rejection of plans for a major holiday development in the middle of Black Wood shows local democracy at its best,” said the Society’s Chairman Douglas Paterson.

Commenting on Winchester City Council’s refusal of permission for a 130-chalet holiday park near Micheldever Station2, Douglas Paterson hailed the news as “a victory for local people, local wildlife and the local environment.”

The Dever Society has been actively monitoring the proposals since March 2008. “We held several meetings with representatives from the developers, Forest Holidays, before lodging our formal objection to the scheme,” said Douglas Paterson. “We’ve also liaised closely with Micheldever Parish Council, and we supported their judgement that there were strong planning reasons for opposing a holiday development in this particular location.”

The Society’s objection was amongst more than 120 representations received by City Council planners, with objectors including CPRE Hampshire, the Hampshire Wildlife Trust, local parish councils, and the Government’s wildlife agency Natural England. Dever Society members were amongst the many local people who also wrote to oppose the proposals.

In rejecting3 Forest Holidays’ application, the City Council reflected the Dever Society’s view that the development would significantly harm the landscape setting, tranquillity and wildlife of this protected ancient woodland4. “The City Council also accepted our opinion that the scheme would generate an unacceptable increase in the amount of traffic on local roads, posing a danger to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users,” Douglas Paterson concluded.

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Notes for Editors

  • The Dever Society is an amenity society for the Hampshire Downs and the Dever Valley, and is a registered charity affiliated to the Campaign to Protect Rural England. The Society’s principal objective is to conserve, protect and celebrate the countryside in this part of Hampshire. In particular, it is concerned with the conservation and enhancement of the Hampshire Downs, which comprise the county’s rural heartland. The Downs provide a unique and valued resource for those who visit and enjoy the countryside, as well as forming an essential feature of the agricultural economy of the county.

    The Society has a large membership, drawn not only from those who live in the Dever Valley, but also from a wide area of Hampshire and elsewhere in Britain.

  • Forest Holidays applied for permission to construct a holiday park at Black Wood, near Micheldever Station, just off the A33 between Winchester and Basingstoke. The application comprised 130 wooden holiday cabins, facilities building with reception, shop, cafe, forest experience room, managers accommodation, cycle hire, WC, back office and storage, maintenance yard, biomass boiler room, sewerage plant and electricity sub-station, access tracks, walking and cycling routes, cycle stands and car parking, and included an enhanced woodland management plan.
  • Winchester City Council refused the application on 18 May 2009. The full text of the Decision Notice can be read here:
  • Black Wood is identified on Natural England’s Ancient Woodland Inventory and is notified as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation

    Further details

    The Dever Society:
    m: 07958 241738 e:

    Douglas Paterson:
    t: 01962 760287 m: 07802 391105 e:

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