One of the first priorities of the Southampton Common Forum has been to draw up a new Strategic Plan for The Common to replace the existing and outdated management plan which dates from the 1990s and was centred on ecological considerations, rather to the neglect of human users.
In 2017-2018, and in partnership with Southampton City Council, the SCF management Committee undertook the bottom up writing of a new draft Strategic Plan to define how The Common should be managed into the future. This drew heavily on the results of our extensive 2017 Common User Survey, which attracted some 2,200 responses from across the City and beyond.
An “early view” draft of the new Strategic Plan was made available for public comment in March 2018 (view the feedback from that exercise).
The final draft, published in April 2018 incorporates public feedback from the “early view” consultation and will be the subject to a formal consultation by Council in mid 2018.
The final adopted Strategic Plan will be supported by a number of detailed management plans covering different areas of The Common’s function. The initial proposed list contains the following 6 sub plans:
Community Engagement Plan
Recreation & Education Plan
Landscape & Heritage Plan
Sustainable Resourcing Plan
In addition, we have identified 5 “hot topics” arising from this plan. These are:
Rejuvenation of The Hawthorns as a visitor hub/focal point
Provision of toilet facilities
Making people feel safer on The Common (day and night)
Green travel (including cycling and walking)
Managing the landscape so that it supports a wider range of uses and habitats
SCF will be working with Council during 2018 to explore these “hot topics” and develop the detail plans. We are seeking volunteers with specific interest and expertise in any of these areas to assist us. Please contact us if you are interested in helping with this very important project.