Forestry Proposal to convert an area of plantation forest to recreational open space
The Forestry Commission's proposal is to clear an area of trees covering 6.3 hectares (15.5 acres) in the Ashley Heath Forest 800 metres from the residential housing in Ashley Park. This is for the purpose of creating an open space for recreational events.
The anticipation is that the site may be used for up to six days per year with two of these used to host two open-air concerts on consecutive evenings (Saturday and Sunday) one weekend a year in summer. The concerts will be for around 5,000 to 7,000 people and the site will have the capacity to park 2,000 cars to include coaches.
The Forestry Commission state that they have been hosting concerts in seven other locations throughout England within similar sites since 1997.
The Forestry Commission are making reassurances that noise levels will be controlled by use of the latest digital sound equipment, vehicle access and egress will be managed, no permanent structures will be erected, no overnight camping will be allowed, the concert area will be temporarily fenced for events and car parks and access routes will be cleared of litter the next day.
The Parish Council has received a constant flow of visits to the Parish Office, emails, correspondence and telephone calls from unhappy residents. This proposal is, however, only subject to en-tertainment licensing approval under which the Parish Council is classed as a non-Statutory Consultee.
A summary of the Extraordinary General meeting held on 29 February 2008 can be found here
An email received from Bruce Rothnie of the Forestry Commission on 4 April 2008 regarding their present position can be found here
A letter dated 31 March 2008 from Mr Chope MP to Jonathan Edwards regarding his meeting with Mr Seddon, Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest can be found here
The latest flier from the Action Group can be found here
An email response in August 2008 from Bruce Rothnie regarding the use of the Horton Road entrance can be found here
The letter dated October 2008 from Lord Clark, Chairman of the Forestry Commission to Jonathan Edwards explaining that they have decided to put their plans to one side can be found here