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What is NMRA all about ?

Aims & Objectives          The Last Decade          History of NEMRA


   Now in 2020 - Our Aims and Objectives

We will continue in 2020 to work towards the same principles that have successfully guided the Association over the last 110 years :-

  • To use our best endeavours within the constraints of existing legislation to protect the character of the town and the quality of its environment.
  • To seek to ensure, with members' support, that any new development is compatible with that objective.
  • To encourage the maintenance and improvement of local amenities.
  • To promote care in the community and awareness of the needs of others.
  • To provide a forum where members can express their views and concerns publicly.

Amongst the many issues recently under consideration, and in progress :-

  • Sponsored the Wild Flower Meadow on the Lymington Road at it's junction with Station Road.
  • Donated the Two "Gold Benches" on the Recreation Ground in honour of New Milton's Two Paralympic Gold Medallists - Alice Tai and Mikey Jones.
  • NMRA have sponsored the two Signature Flower Beds which are part of the Revised War Memorial area.
  • NMRA are the main Sponsor of Planters on both Platforms at New Milton Station.
  • NMRA are the Sponsor of the Christmas Lighting on the large tree outside of Boots.
  • The Resident's Representatives on the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party.
  • Cleaning up of the Station Road Bridge and Station Area.
  • Regular contact with Hampshire Constabulary highlighting problem areas in the Town.
  • Regular contact with New Milton Town Council on issues relating to living, working, and playing in New Milton.

Whilst the Association does not "takes sides" in planning Applications we have given guidance to countless members who have wished to make applications or to contest them.

We have recently submitted our Archives and copies of Focus going back to almost Day One to the Hampshire Council Council Archives - as part of a record of our Town's history.

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In the Last Decade

Most of the time, the Association works silently in the background for the benefits of all of the residents in the town

  • One of the more public issues over the last 15 years or so, which the Association became closely involved in, was the issue of increased Gravel Extraction from Ashley Manor Farm on the A337. The Assocation and in particular its then Chairman - John Trott, was closely involved in the original public enquiry back in 1995 and again in 1998 during the second major enquiry. Subsequently and in some following years there were further negotiations and enquiries and we finally won our case to stop this over-development.
  • In the past we made donations and replaced trees in different parts of the area, where they had either died or been damaged.
  • The Association was involved in discussions and planning of some of the Cycle Ways in New Milton
  • We were instrumental in getting a much needed Bus Shelter in Gore Road - although this took some three years to get installed !.
  • After some two years of discussions, the Town Council agreed with us to locate a seat outside of Bradbeers for the convenience of bus passengers.
  • During the last 10 years, the Association has donated 5 Benches, at the Recreation Ground; Brooke Avenue/Fernhill Lane; Outside the Town Hall; Caird Avenue and most recently at the Ballard Water Meadow. This latter bench is dedicated to our last Chairman for his years of tireless service to the Association.
  • The Association has been closely involved in the consultations about the Navitus Bay Wind Farm and has lodged strong objections alongside other local organisations to the proposals which have been put forward.

NMRA regularly supports local causes including the Poppy Appeal and donations towards the Christmas Lights in the town each year. In the recent past we have also donated £1,000 to provide equipment for our local ambulance and donations were given to all three of our Local Surgeries.

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Highlights of the History from Focus

  • The Association in its original form was established as long ago as 1905 - and therefore is over 110 years old.
  • The first ever issue of Focus was published in January 1963 by the then Ratepayers' Association and it has now reached Issue 624.
  • Back in 1964, the then Editor of Focus encouraged an exchange of views on serious subjects affecting the people of our area (e.g. over intensive development, cliff erosion and car parking charges). Not surprisingly, some of these subjects continue to be concerns for the Association.
  • In the Summer of 1964 Focus demonstrated its ability to draw attention to topics of significance - which were considered by the Association's Committee
    • Bournemouth Council's suggestion to take over New Milton and Barton-on-Sea as well as Christchurch and Highcliffe.
    • Hampshire & Dorset Bus Company - suggestions to align timetables with train arrivals at New Milton Station.
  • Throughout 1965, the possible takeover by Bournemouth was a matter of debate and the Association was closely involved - the matter being finally resolved by default in early 1966 when the Local Government Commission decided there would be no boundary changes until local government reform had been considered.
  • In the period between 1966 and 1974, complicated by slow progress towards local government reorganisation shows, in retrospect, the rapid but sometimes uncertain transition of New Milton from a tranquil small town to a significant commercial and residential centre.
  • In this period, the Association was closely involved in various issues relating to the development of the area and also in radical road schemes which were considered by many to be wholly unacceptable for our area, including a Bypass and several one way systems.
  • In 1974 our area became part of the newly formed New Forest District Council and new relationships with a whole new body had to be established by the Association.
  • By 1966 party politics had begun to influence local government and the Association was obliged to stress that it was (and still is) totally non-political.
  • In 1969 the Association established a fund to stabilise Barton Cliffs with trees and shrubs, but as the ground was found to be unsuitable, a mass of trees were planted all over New Milton.
  • In the early 70's when the Cinema on the corner of Waverley Road was closed, plans for a supermarket were approved. With the involvement of the Association amongst others, retirement flats replaced the supermarket proposal.
  • In the mid 70's and early 80's there was significant upheavals in local government organisation, with the Neighbourhood Council (9 of the 16 seats were held by the Association Representatives) evolving ultimately into the New Milton Town Council in 1979.
  • Amongst the notable successes during this period were :-
    • the footbridge added to the railway bridge in Station Road.
    • a number of developments were successfully resisted (10 Storey Flats in Barton)
    • the Station Road Traffic lights
    • the retention of NFDC offices in New Milton
    • the development of Fawcetts Field to housing and commercial use was strongly resisted.
    • the success in lowering the impact of sand and gravel extraction in the New Milton area.
  • The Association operated a Charities Fund from 1975 - 1981 which raised in excess of £11,000 which was donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Memorial Centre and Cheshire Homes and to other local organisations.
  • In 1978 the Association created an allotments section and a year later the Allotments Association became fully independent.
  • in 1966 - the list of Focus Distributors showed a total of 50. There are now well over 130 !.