Published Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A consultation event about proposals to build a new visitor centre at Frensham Great Pond and Common is taking place this weekend.

Local residents, visitors and anyone else with an interest in the site are being invited to give their views on the Heathland Hub plans and attend the event, which is taking place on Saturday 21 July, from 10am – 4pm, at the Frensham Pond Hotel.

Council officers will be on hand to answer any questions about the proposals, which include demolishing the existing, ageing building and replacing it with a new, modern, eco-friendly visitor hub on the same site, complete with a new café (with indoor and outdoor seating), toilets, a ranger’s office and multi-function room. The proposals also include improvements to the car park layout and the installation of parking machines, which will help to free up rangers’ time to focus on conservation tasks and help to reduce problem parking and congestion on Bacon Lane, a rural clearway that accesses the site. As the site is home to a number of rare and protected species, a number of conservation tasks will also take place as part of the project, including creating some new small ponds for the protected Natterjack Toad.

As Frensham Great Pond and Common is protected by national and international designations due to its unique habitat, special consent needs to be obtained from the Planning Inspectorate before any construction work can begin. As part of this process, the council wants to consult and hear from all those who have an interest in the common to help reach a decision on the proposals.

To take part in the consultation, residents and visitors can: record views at the consultation event, email comments to commons@footprint-ecology.co.uk, or write to Fenella Lewin at: Forest Office, Cold Harbour, Wareham, BH20 7PA.

The deadline for submissions is 20 August 2018. More information about the proposals can be found at: www.waverley.gov.uk/frenshamgreatpond