Read below about the important work of the Lymington Society - but first read here about its new and important campaign.
The Lymington Society has today called for a big improvement to the appearance and environment of the very neglected and tired looking Town Quay area in Lymington for the forthcoming tourist season. Often described as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Lymington tourist offer to visitors, the Town Quay area is now a neglected place with dirty pavements, weeds growing, loose paving stones and with a general feeling of neglect.
With the redevelopment of the new toilet and shower block not likely to be completed until 2022, the Society has urged that the Town Quay area should be given some TLC now by the various public authorities that look after this area of the town, which after all is the main area for visitors who flock every year to the Quay.
Writing to NFDC officers and senior officials, the Society has suggested that the area really needs a major spruce up and tidy up for the new tourist season of 2021. Instead of waiting until the toilet block to bring forward other improvements to the “public realm” on the Quay, the Society is urging that if at all possible, some of these improvements are implemented now rather than wait until Spring next year.
Some of the issues that the Society has drawn to the attention of the NFDC who are mainly responsible for the area include:
Weeds growing around the benches, dirty stained paved areas needing a good power wash-down, benches needing sanding down and varnishing, loose cobblestones in the road and a general feeling of neglect.
As well as improvements to the physical condition of the Town Quay, the Society has also urged that other improvements are made to the area to try and create a “café culture” in this ideal location which attracts so many visitors to the town.
Writing to the NFDC officials, Society Deputy Chair Don Mackenzie said:
“In addition to some TLC for the physical parts of the Quay, might it not be possible to try and bring forward some of the “Public Realm” improvements to try and create much nicer “café culture” feel to the area now rather than delay those changes until the toilets are finished in 2022.
In line with other suggestions to increase space on pavements for cafes and pubs because of the coronavirus, could the Ship and other food/drink outlets not be allocated space to have tables and chairs on the pavement and maybe in the car park. Let us try and think creatively to make the most of this important area which is after all the “jewel in the crown” for the tourist attractions of Lymington.
We hope that with the huge damage to the economy of the town because of the coronavirus, our local Councils can work together to help create a welcoming, attractive area for the many tourists who come to Lymington and visit the Quay area.”
Lymington is one of those special places. An historic town, with a wonderful Georgian High Street and set in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
The Lymington Society is what is known as a Civic Society or a Preservation Society and was formed in 1967 by a group of local people led by Peter Hope-Jones who also helped set up the Lymington Centre.
They felt that the need existed for a Society to help local residents protect the community from unsuitable developments and to provide a focus for local people to raise their concerns about a wide range of issues affecting life in the town.
The Society is a member of Civic Voice which is the national organisation for Civic and Preservation Societies. This brings many benefi ts to the Society and to members and more details can be found on our website.
Over the years, the Society has been involved in many planning issues in its role in protecting Lymington from unsuitable developments. Highlights include helping prevent building in the historic Iron Age hill fort at Buckland Rings, appearing at the Public Inquiry into the new Wightlink ferries introduced in 2010 and obtaining Grade II listed building protection for the Master’s House in the grounds of the Victorian workhouse at East Hill.
The Society’s major role is to act as a ‘planning watchdog’ seeking to prevent unsuitable development taking place which could harm the character of the town.
We review all planning applications on a monthly basis, and make representations to the authorities to either object to or support applications as they come forward.
If necessary we will appear at planning appeal hearings or Public Inquires to make our views heard.
The Society is regularly consulted by local councils concerning major planning applications and planning policy announcements such as the development of Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. We take part in all major planning consultations that the authorities may undertake to represent the views of our members and the wider community.
The Society organises regular programme of meetings and talks including Christmas Drinks and summer garden partyfor its members, as well as illustrated talks on topics of local interest and visits to local places and businesses of interest to members.
The Society has undertaken various initiatives to protect important local buildings. We successfully obtained listed building status for the ‘Master’s House’ the only surviving ‘fever ward’ built for sick inmates in the grounds of the local workhouse in the early 1800s.
We have also undertaken the task of raising funds for the restoration of the Burrard Neale Monument at Walhampton, and the surrounding grounds.
This has resulted in a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for almost £100,000 which will be spent restoring and repairing this monument to one of Lymington’s most important historical figures.
In connection with the successful project spearheaded by the Society at the Burrard Neale Monument at Walhampton, we have organised teams of volunteers to undertake bulb planting and other conservation tasks. The Society intends to continue to develop volunteering opportunities in the town for members.
The Lymington Society runs public debates concerning important issues or particular developments that have the potential to have significant impact on Lymington and its surroundings.
We have held three major Public Meetings in recent years to draw attention to important developments and have campaigned on a range of other issues.
These major concerns have included:
We will continue to keep a watching brief on important issues affecting the town and welcome suggestions on important concerns that we should investigate.
The Society welcomes new members to help with the important task of keeping Lymington special. If you have an interest in preserving the unique character which makes Lymington such an attractive place to live, then why not join the Society and make your contribution to keeping Lymington special.
We especially would welcome new members who bring skills in architecture, conservation and town planning as well as public relations, social media and website design.
However, all residents of the town with or without particular skills to offer, are very welcome to join our thriving Society both to support the community and to enjoy our lively social programme.
Why not help to preserve your town and meet and make new friends as well at our many social events. If these matters interest you, please come along to our next meeting and find out more
Please find full detail of how to join the Society on our website www.lymsoc.co.uk.