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Saturday, 30 June 2012

40 B4 40- Cantina Laredo

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No. 16: Cantina Laredo, London

Today we are still celebrating my wife’s birthday. I would love to say how well the week has gone, but I can’t.

Firstly, I attempted to buy my wife a birthday present last week.  I had been trying hard to pay attention and remembered that the bracelet I had bought at Christmas was one of those things you can add bits to. (Not sure that is exactly how their marketing campaign goes.)

Anyway, I went to Links of London and bought four nice ‘baubly bits’ for the charm bead bracelet.  Selection had taken about half an hour, as the girl in the shop wanted to show me everything.  Wrapping was even more painful, that took a whole chunk of my life, as she added boxes, tissue paper, gift labels, ribbons and I am sure a spray of ‘essence of ripped off man’.

Result!  As my wife opened her present on her birthday I saw a curly thing on her face, I didn’t recognise it at first, but then of course I realised, … was a smile.  Oh yes!  At long last I had got something right!

Sadly, my elation did not last long.  My wife tried to put the charms on her bracelet, and they did not fit.  Apparently, she has a ‘Love Links’ bracelet, and the Links of London bracelets are completely different.  How is a bloke ever supposed to get anything right.

Wishing to once again witness the curly thing on her face, I trotted of back to my smiley shop assistant at Links of London.  This time I came home with a (more expensive) bracelet, and had yet again endured the full shop tour and the excruciating wrapping process.  In fact I got very close to banging my head on the counter a number of times.  Another cheery smile from my new friend and I was on my way home.

As I leant over to give my wife my second attempt at her birthday present, it was a bit of luck she didn’t have a cup of tea in front of her.  Ah, yes she did, and the hot fluid dramatically hit the keyboard, all the papers on the desk, the carpet and the dog.  This was not going well.

After a clean-up campaign and nice shampoo for the carpet, my wife settled to open the next wrapped master piece.  Now, …….how was I to know bracelets come in different sizes!

You’ve guessed it, ……it didn’t fit.  Inside I was screaming like a banshee, but I stayed calm.  ‘Do you like it, though?’; I asked.  After a long delay, ‘Not really’; was the somewhat guilt reply.  ‘Get your coat’ I said.

In no time we were back in my nemesis of a jewellers, again greeted by my new found smiley friend.  They both got on well, and my wife enjoyed the obligatory full tour, as I sat on a chair wondering if life really was this complicated.  Finally, they were back, with a different bracelet and the curly thing on both faces.  ‘I like this one, but it’s a bit more expensive.’  At this stage I would have given the shop my house and car just to go home, so paying some more cash to get out was no problem at all.   As the wrapping paper came out, I bolted for a cigarette outside.  During my time standing on one High Street spot, I bought a ‘Student Rag Mag’ for £3 and spent another couple of quid on a ‘Big Issue’, neither of which I intended to read’.

As we returned to the car my day got a little bit better, a nice man had left a ticket in a plastic wallet. Only £70 to pay, or £35 if paid in 7 days.  How my wife rationalised that we were now saving £35 I am still trying to work out.

Anyway, back to today, we are off to see ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’’ at The Haymarket Theatre in London.  On arising from her beauty sleep my lovely wife was a bit sheepish.  Normally, she is just desperate for a cup of tea.  ‘Ermmm’; she said.  ‘Ermmm what’; I replied.  ‘You know the other bracelet?’, ‘What the one I said I liked?’, ‘Yes, well I couldn’t sleep last night, as I preferred that one.’  I simply smiled, with my teeth so tightly clenched that I could have hung from a banana skin dangling from the top of big ben. ‘It is your birthday, and you shall have whatever you want my love’, I somehow spat out.

Our leisurely morning now became a rush to include my now daily visit to Links of London.  Arriving at the shop my smiley friend saw me, and this time had more of a grimace than smile, ironically my grimace was very similar.  To break the ice I simply said; ‘I really don’t know if this is more painful for you or me.’

Being a girl, she seemed to think it was quite rational that my wife had changed her mind, so I was able to quickly pay some more extra money, and thankfully leave the shop insisting I didn’t need the bracelet torturously wrapped.  Having got to know my new smiley friend quite well by now, I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to kiss her goodbye or not?  The sound slap to my face indicated to me it wasn’t.

On our way to the station I presented my wife with her fourth new bracelet, and she happily added it to her other birthday gifts from friends.  New sandals, new top, and new bag, the only thing missing were a few candles behind her ears and a slice of cake in her pocket.

Next year I plan to give my wife my wallet, and access to my bank account, and she can buy whatever she wants.  Surely this will be cheaper, and it will certainly be less stressful.  Men are simply not designed to buy presents for complicated species like women.

At long last we made it to Waterloo Station, and before seeing any West End show, a good meal is of course in order (& surprisingly, but not evidently, the real point of this story).  From the carefully constructed list of six dining options I had prepared a few days ago, (I worked hard on this birthday you know, in fact a sainthood might be in order?), my wife had not selected the most elaborate or fine dining options, but instead had chosen, Cantina Laredo, a gourmet Mexican restaurant near Covent Garden.

Arriving at Cantina Laredo the décor was modern, with a friendly welcome, and Latina background music creating an immediate atmosphere.  The restaurant had a crisp and classy feel, and the cocktail bar seemed a place you could while away many a happy hour or two.

At the table the menus caused much lip licking and indecision. Our waitress, (who wasn’t wearing a bracelet) recommended the house speciality, ‘Top Shelf Guacamole’, to start.  We agreed, and also ordered, a bowl of Warm Tortilla Chips, with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and Roasted Tomato Salsa.

For drinks I went for a Lime Margarita ‘Casa Rita’ with premium blend of El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, strawberries and freshly squeezed lime juice. My wife chose the El Cubano which consisted of Bacardi Superior hand-muddled with fresh strawberries, raspberries, passion fruit and apple juice, with a hint of vanilla.   The prices were around a tenner each, but the glasses enormous, drinks delicious, and actually worth the price.

A bit of table theatre soon followed, as the Avocado and Lime sitting in the bowl on our table when we arrived, were transferred to a mobile table that had appeared next to ours. Soon the fresh fruits were opened and added to the bowls of Chopped Tomatoes, Red Onions, Coriander, Jalapeño Peppers and Spices, …and ‘da-da’ …the guacamole was magically created and served in front of our eyes.  We didn’t need any excuse to tuck straight in.

Our next courses were soon ready, and it was already evident that the portions were generous, and we may have ordered too much.  First came the Botanas Platter, a taster dish consisting of Tacos Al Pastor, Chicken Fajita Quesadillas, Chili Con Queso, Stuffed Jalapeños and Grilled Beef, Tiger Prawn & Vegetable Skewers. We also had, Brisket Tacos which were Slow Roasted Beef Brisket with Marinated Onions and Coriander in two Soft Corn Tortillas, and Soft Tacos containing Chicken Fajita with Fresco Cheese, Avocado and Poblano Drizzle in Tortilla.  As if this was not enough already, some idiot had ignored his wife’s advice not to, and had also ordered a portion of Sautéed Prawns.

The feast commenced, and it was soon clear that each and every ingredient was of the freshest quality, and dishes that seemed on the face of it quite simple, had magic touches that made them exquisite.  The combination of fiery dishes and dips were perfectly complimented by more subtle dishes that just exploded with freshness and flavour.  We battled to eat as much as we could.  Neither of us wanted to stop, but the volume of food was testing our wills our wills and expanded stomach linings.

During our meal I for some reason kept looking for bracelets.  On spotting one, I looked sympathetically at the ladies partners, wondering if they had suffered the same birthday present pain I had.

Extremely full, and even more content, our waitress reappeared to offer the sweet menu.  True to form my wife declined.  I however realise that we all have three stomachs, one for standard food and drink, one for curry, and another for puddings & chocolate.  To the uninitiated, this is why we can continue eating even if one of the stomachs is full.  So on this basis, I went on to enjoy a Mexican Chocolate & Pecan Nut Brownie served on a sizzling skillet with Mexican Brandy Butter and Vanilla Ice Cream.  Brownies can often be dry and disappointing, but not this one, it tasted great and looked like an idyllic chocolate island in a molten bubbling sea.

A coffee to finish a perfect meal was followed by the bill, which was pleasantly reasonable, a lot cheaper than buying a bracelet, and an infinitely better experience.

The day was gloriously sunny, so we meandered through Trafalgar Square, with my wife even holding my hand at one point.  Not sure what bought on this unexpected show of affection, but it was probably because she was nervous of the crowds.

Our day got even better at the theatre. ‘One Man, Two Governors’ is without doubt one of the funniest shows we have seen on a West End stage.  I won’t spoil the story line, but don’t be put off by someone telling you it simply a farce.  This is not anything like the Brian Rix type of entertainment you may remember.  This show is clever, very, very funny, and even includes some great foot tapping music and some hilarious audience participation.  If your bladder can take it, I highly recommend you go and see this one.

In spite of my trauma of a final visit to Links of London, this has been one fantastic day, ……..and for once I am in my wife’s good books.


Cantina Laredo
10 Upper St Martins Lane, London, WC2H 9FB

If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.

Discover Milford on foot

Have you ever been on the 'Discover Milford on Sea Walking Tour'?

We tried it, and even having been in the village for several years, we found out some interesting local facts.

The walk is just a casual stroll around the village, where you discover interesting information about our village history & fascinating local stories.

There is no need to book, you just meet the tour guide on the Village Green, and the tour ends at All Saints' Church, with a cup of tea!

Everyone is made welcome, whether a local or holidaymaker, and the tour costs only £1 for adults with children free.

Each tour takes place on the First Wednesday of June, July & August at 10.30am from the village green.

Certainly worth making time for a wander.

Muffins Galore goes vegetarian

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Muffins Galore at Braxton Gardens has just been approved by The Vegetarian Society for the contents of their menus.  Non-vegetarians are of course still welcome!

Sarah and Si Relph became the new owners of Braxton Gardens in Milford on Sea just over a year ago, and have now restored neglected gardens to one of tranquillity and beauty.  The Tea Shop, ‘Muffins Galore’ has been a charming addition, and has received plaudits from many who have visited.  The home-made muffins, cream teas, scones and light lunches are all made by Sarah, while Si tends the gardens, vegetable corner and the herbs for sale.

So, vegetarian or not, sounds like everyone should make at least one visit this summer.

Braxton Gardens are open Tuesday to Sunday all year round.

Braxton Gardens, Lymore Lane, Milford-on-Sea, SO41 0TX

HMS Pinafore Triumph

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Milford on Sea was treated last Saturday and Sunday to great performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at the Village Community Centre.  Professional singers, former D’Oyly Carte opera company members, led the cast supported by Milford’s Festival Chorus to present a lively, accomplished and highly entertaining production which was very much appreciated by an extremely enthusiastic audience.

Local opera singer Colin Judson, whose wife Pippa played Cousin Hebe, brought together the team of artists who travelled from London, Brighton and further afield to produce what is hoped to be the first of future most entertaining and impressive shows.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Round the Island Breakfast

Another spectacular weekend awaits the lucky people in Milford on Sea.

This Saturday morning the vast array of yachts taking part in the Round the Island Race will be passing The Needles, providing one of the most spectacular sailing sight you can see. The race starts from Cowes, and yachts will be crossing the start line between 7am to 8.40am.  The tides and seamanship will determine when they reach The Needles.

A significant crowd is expected to enjoy the great views you can get from Hurst Spit or Milford on Sea Beach.

As things start early, The Marine will be opening from 7am and serving their new breakfast and Café menu in both their first floor restaurant, and on the roof terrace.  A full takeaway menu will also be available.  If there is a better place to watch the race, I have yet to discover where it is.

Sitting on The Marine roof terrace with 360 degree views, sausage & bacon, and perhaps a Bucks Fizz or two is my kind of heaven.  I wonder if I can wake my wife from her totally unneccessary beauty sleep to get us there early enough!

We hear booking is recommended to guarantee a table for this very special event; so if you fancy ensuring you don't miss the best views, please call: 01590 644369 or e-mail:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Verveine up for 4 awards

It is incredible how a small fish restaurant in Milford on Sea can win so many accolades.

Well, thinking about it perhaps it is not, particularly when you know how passionate the owners, Stacey & David, are about every tiny detail.  Giving every single guest a great dining experience is certainly top of their agenda, and they let every fresh ingredient speak for itself.

Last year Verveine featured highly in the ‘Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards’, winning both ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Chef of the Year’.   The competition was extremely tough and they came out on top against some very high quality establishments across Hampshire.

Verveine were delighted to recently hear that this year they have made it to a shortlist of three, in no less than four Hampshire Life Food & Drink Award categories!

Once again they are competing for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Chef of the Year’, in addition to this they are shortlisted in ‘Best Hampshire Menu’ and the ‘Customer Service Award’.

The judging now starts in earnest, with the results being revealed at a spectacular gala dinner during August.

It goes without saying that we look forward to the Verveine team bringing home as many awards as they can carry!

*If you would like to see more about the Hampshire Food & Drink Awards please click here.

Hordle Cliff Steps Shut

Hordle Cliffs: Old Path & New Steps
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We have heard from a reader who describes herself as ‘A thoroughly grumpy Milford resident.’  This is far from their personality by nature, but the ‘grumpy feelings’ have been stirred due to frustration at the slow progress of works at Horde Cliff.

Regular beach and cliff top walkers may have spotted that the access to the beach huts at Hordle Cliffs has been closed since Easter, and there is clearly several more weeks of the “beach access project” work ahead.  Progress appears painfully slow, and apparently there was one spell of almost two weeks when no progress was made at all.

It seems that the site of the new wooden steps is actually where the cliff erosion is at its worst, yet nothing appears to have been done to reinforce the bank which is now in a much worse condition after the workmen have walked all over it.

The work is also making access tricky for older beach hut owners, as the alternative steps are sometimes just too far away.

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Furthermore, there is a notice on the next set of steps down to the beach (next to the cafe), saying that “Work will start here in July”.

Our ‘grumpy resident’ has written to the Coastal Management Department at New Forest County Council, raising the following points:

‘Why have you chosen to ruin the “summer season” with totally unnecessary construction work, mud, mess and reduced accessibility to the beach at Hordle Cliff?’

‘Why are the council not taking the opportunity to create a winding path that could be used by wheelchairs and buggies?’

‘Do you realise that Milford relies on visitors and tourists to keep local shops and cafes in business?’


The council seem to do a great job maintaining the ever-disappearing shingle on Milford on Sea beach each year, and it is good to see investment continue on our seafront and geologically challenging cliffs. 
However, the timing and progress on the project seem to have created some issues, and it will be interesting to hear the District Council’s take on the matter.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Alf cops it!

A friend, Alf, who is now retired gave me this little piece of advice for husbands, if you don’t fancy a nasty end I suggest you do not to follow it!

"Now David, it is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger.  When you notice this, try not to yell at them.  Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.

Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife.  When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Janice to get a full-time job, along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed.  Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age.  I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets home from work.

Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner.  I don't yell at her.  Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table.  I generally have lunch in the village, so eating out again is not reasonable.  I'm ready for some home-cooked grub when I hit that door.  

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating.  But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner.  I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves.  I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think, for example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour.  But, as you know, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement.  I tell her to stretch it out over two, or even three days.  That way, she won't have to rush so much.  I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean).  I like to think tact is one of my strong points.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods.  She had to take a break when she was only half-finished mowing the garden.  I try not to make a scene.  I'm a fair man.  I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while.  And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me, too.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support my wife.  I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy.  Many men will find it difficult.  Some will find it impossible! 

Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they grow older.  However, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your slowly aging wife because of my advice, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile.  After all, we are put on this earth to help each other."


Alf, died suddenly on the 22nd of June of a perforated rectum.  The police report says he was found with a Calloway extra-long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf club jammed up his rear end, with barely 5 inches of grip showing, and a sledge hammer laying nearby.  His wife was arrested and charged with murder.  The all-woman jury took only 10 minutes to find her Not Guilty, accepting her defence that Alf, somehow without looking, accidentally sat down on his golf club.

Festival Programme Now on Sale

The 2012 Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival programme went on sale in local shops on Saturday 23rd June.
The programme contains a wealth of information about the Festival weekend and most importantly raises some of the money that the organising team need to continue to provide a free event.
To ensure that everyone buys one, the price has been maintained at £2.50.
The big news is that the Internationally regarded “Counterfeit Beatles” will headline Saturday Night. The guys are a very special Beatles Tribute band that provide a fantastic set, playing all the classic Beatles hits that everyone knows and loves. The free festival once again brings together the best local talent with some from further afield to provide a unique experience for locals and visitors alike.  The event is free to attend and there will be events taking place on the main stage, in the licensed marquee and at various places around the village.
The annual Arts and Music Festival has been running successfully for 11 years and celebrates and promotes the high quality and sheer number of talented local people involved in music and the arts.  As a registered charity the festivals raison d’etre is to promote art and culture in the local area, and to give an outlet for performers of all kinds to promote their art and to develop cultural understanding for all.  Any excess profit from the festival is donated to support local charities within and outside the arts.
The festival will something for all ages and tastes from Thursdays Folk and acoustic evening to the classical finale on Sunday afternoon.  Everyone is welcome so bring your family and enjoy all that is on offer this year.
The Music Festival is also fortunate to be supported by local sponsors, who of course would love you to support them – that way everyone in the village wins!
Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival: From Thursday July 12th to Sunday 15th 2012.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Festival after help on day

The Milford on Sea Arts and Music Festival is taking place a few weeks’ time. (Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th of July 2012)

Once again expectations are high for a wonderful weekend of music and family fun, and it is likely that many musicians are practising fervently as we speak.

The Festival Team are fortunate to have received offers of help from many people, but they still need a few more for some specific jobs on the day.  Joining in is a great way to meet new people, and to be become involved in the heart of a very special village event.

The team are looking for:

1. Stewards (To walk around the green or assist a committee member on the help Desk)
  • Two Hours on Thursday or Friday evenings anytime between 5:30pm and 11:30pm
  • Two Hours on Thursday or Friday evenings anytime between 10:30am and 8:30pm
2. Refreshment Stall Helpers
  • Anytime on Saturday or Sunday to help serving Tea, Coffee and Cakes. (Ed's Note: I might help out with the cakes, yummmmm.....)
3. Bar Team
  • Anytime over the four days to help serving behind the bar.

If you fancy taking on any of the roles above, and doing your bit to support this wonderful event which raises a lot of money each year for local charities, please contact Steve Carter on:

If working behind the bar is your fancy, and you are over 18 of course, (Which most of us in Milford are!) please contact Sean Reeves on:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Marine has New Website

With so many thing now happening at The Marine, they have launched a brand new website.

Not only can you keep up to date with the new summer menus on offer during the day & evenings in the café bar, or the highly acclaimed first floor restaurant, there is also regularly updated information on forthcoming events and dining offers.

The Marine is becoming well known for a great night out, holding events like live music nights, local talent nights, quiz’s and more.  In the past weeks local bands, Dog Ruff and Dorsal Fin have performed at The Marine, and their lively brands of music has always proved entertainment for all.

If you would like to be kept informed about all that is happening, you can receive a monthly newsletter simply by hitting the ‘Keep in touch’ link on the website. 

We have heard The Marine will soon be launching a '£7. 50 All Day Breakfast', a 'Main Course for £10', plus live big screen showings of the remaining Euro championship matches, Wimbledon and the Olympics. 

This all sounds worth keeping an eye out for.  It is also appears they are proving very popular for private functions, from weddings and family gatherings to childrens birthday parties.

The spectacularly located art-deco style venue on Milford on Sea seafront has something for everyone, so why not take a look at the new website and plan your next visit.

Beacon at Hurst Castle

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Hurst Castle was chosen to be one of the 2012 official sites countrywide to host a Beacon to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and they were given a precise time of 10.26pm to light the Beacon.

The Beacon was arranged and constructed by ‘The Friends of Hurst Castle’ who are a volunteer support organisation to the Castle and have, over the years, arranged for many of the various exhibits in the castle to be opened up for visitors.

Members of the Friends’ arrived well before the Beacon lighting up time and held a celebratory BBQ in the Castle complete with community singing in the Garrison Theatre led by Milford resident Adrian Dence, who at the age of 13 was the Deputy Head Chorister at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and sang at the Queen’s Coronation. Adrian was ably assisted by Penny Tyas and Nicky Hok.

At about 10pm the Friends emerged from the Castle to be joined by many who had walked along the Spit for the occasion and swelled the gathering to around 200 to watch Sean and Mary Crane, the managers of Hurst Castle, the Ferries and the Lighthouse, light the Beacon promptly at 10.26pm.

The Beacon and the fire underneath very quickly started burning, such that it was easily sighted from Highcliffe, some 6 miles away.

For more details of the Friends of Hurst Castle, please see: or call 01590 674921

Gardens Beat Weather

The organisers of the Milford on Sea Open Gardens Weekend wanted to say a big thank you to all the supporters of the event over the weekend of 9th & 10th June 2012.

The weather could not have been more unkind, with constant rain across the village, especially on the Sunday.

Thankfully gardeners and garden lovers are a hardy bunch and many came out despite of the conditions.

The Milford on Sea Gardeners Club raised £3596 from the two days to add to the £1095 profit from the Plant Fair in May.

The combined total will be distributed to the Club's 3 designated charities: Lymington & District MS Society, Minstead Training Project & Barry Phillips' Youth Trust.

At the same time the Club was able to raise its profile and swell its membership numbers - all good for gardening & wildlife in Milford on Sea and beyond!

For more information please contact: Jenny 01590 644489

Friendly Litter Pickers

As well as organising events and activities to support Hurst Castle, the Friends of Hurst Castle are also happy to get their hands dirty.

Back in March an enthusiastic team collected litter along Hurst Spit, resulting 43 bags of litter.

Great to know that people are willing to keep everything looking great for others.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Housing Objection Continues

The issue of the proposed green belt new housing development near Milford on Sea Primary School has developed into a clear disagreement between the Milford on Sea Parish Council and New Forest District Council.

The Parish Council have made their position clear at a recent meeting and in the letter below.  The committee have advised that they would welcome anyone who share their concerns or objections to contacts members of the New Forest District Council before their planned meeting this coming Monday evening.  (To be held at Appletree Court on Monday 18th June 2012)

Should you wish to register you own objection in support of the Parish Council’s plea, their is a list of NFDC contact e-mails at the foot of this article. 

The Parish Council are happy for you to use any of the content from their letter below should you wish.

To all NFDC Councillors

(For the Council meeting to be held at Appletree Court on Monday 18th June 2012)

Core Strategy Policy – MoS1

The Parish Council asks the District Council to reduce the provision on this site to up to 10 dwellings. Reinstate the full earlier proposal for public open space and continue to work with the Parish Council to identify other sites to provide at least a further 20 units in small clusters, including the option of the Parish Council preparing a neighbourhood plan for that purpose.
Keith Metcalf  -  Parish Clerk - Milford on Sea Parish Council

For information, the following communication was sent to members of the Cabinet and explains in detail our earlier request:

I am writing on behalf of Milford on Sea Parish Council.

The Plan is flawed for the following reasons:

1 The District Council is about to renege on the District Local Plan Policy MS-2 Adopted in 1999, which allocated 2 hectares of land at School Lane to be laid out as public open space (F20/2). The Plan stated "there is currently a shortfall of nearly 6 hectares in the playing field provision and even with the allocation at School Lane, there will still remain a deficit of nearly 4 hectares of formal open space“

2 The Village Design Statement adopted by the District Council in 2002 restated that position.

3.The 2004 Public Inquiry into the District Plan stated; “The site (at School Lane) is allocated as formal open space. The local planning authority has argued that there is a shortage of playing field provision in the settlement. I have seen no evidence to contradict that view.”  That Inquiry also rejected a bid for residential development, setting out a number of reasons and concluding “Its development would therefore harm the Green Belt”

4. The District Council’s 2007 PPG17 assessment of open space concluded Milford on Sea “has a low level of outdoor sports provision compared to the District, and the playing pitch study supports bringing forward the 1.92 hectares site at School Lane allocated in the local Plan”. The assessment also supported the need for a multi-use games area as a priority particularly for youth activities, a small indoor sports facility, and allotments.

5. The current draft Sites Plan proposed building up to 30 homes on the School Lane site and the provision of an additional 2 hectares of formal public open space on land to the east of the School. This to include public playing fields, play space for the residential development on the School Lane site, and space for the provision of 5 full size allotments. The Parish Council has consistently pressed for at least 30 affordable homes in Milford on Sea but for these to be provided instead in small clusters including up to 10 at the School Lane site, and we supported the provision of at least 2 hectares of additional formal open space.

6. Councillors are now being asked to reject the District’s own proposal. The Cabinet and Council now face the following last minute revised proposal, “ that further consideration be given to reduce the number of dwellings to up to 20 units and that there should be a commensurate reduction in public open space”. The Chief Planning Officer has stated that the intention is to remove from the proposed Sites Plan all of the 2 hectares of public open space that had been proposed to the east of the School, and explained that the housing development will take up about half of the School Lane site, leaving just half for the public, contradicting the District Council’s long standing position on the need for additional formal public open space.

7. So the District intend to act contrary both to the earlier Public Inquiry and to the District Council’s own consultation proposal.  This has rendered the consultation meaningless.  No residents are aware of these proposed changes.  Neither they nor the Parish Council are apparently allowed to make further representations.

8. We urge the District Council to allow for views to be expressed on the latest proposal before decisions are taken.

Cllr. R Bishop

Vice-Chair Milford on Sea Parish Council


If you do chose the send an e-mail to NFDC, the Parish Council have provide a list of relevant e-mails below.

To use, simply copy the list, and then paste it into the 'To' field on your e-mail. 

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