G Mead C

Great Mead is an area of open space located between The Meadows and Shagg’s Meadow in the centre of the village.

The area is open with seats, waste bins and trees and is used by dog walkers as well as families.

There is a fence and gate at the end where the space joins Gosport Lane.  The other end is open.

History of Great Mead

Originally the land was open fields that stretched between Gosport Lane to the East and Shrubb’s Hill Road to the West. There was a nursery situated at the Southern end backing onto Stydd House and its grounds, Bowerholm and what is now known as The Orchards. The Northern boundary was separated from Shagg’s Meadow by a park fence and ditch (the ditch that is there today).

The ground was offered to the then Rural District Council for housing (probably shortly after WW2) but was deemed unsuitable because of the wet nature of the ground.

Around the late 1970s early 1980s the land was acquired by Taylor Woodrow with a view for housing development and plans were submitted for a development encompassing the nursery right up to the boundary with the rear gardens of Shagg’s Meadow. The residents of Shagg’s Meadow were not happy with this.

At this time Dearing Close did not exist, with the site being occupied by a single dwelling called Rillmead. There was also a single dwelling which sat between Shrubb’s Hill Gardens and Shagg’s Meadow which had access to both.

The plan consisted of identical housing units arranged in a square grid and this was refused.

Several further plans were submitted until the current arrangement consisting of different design houses using different materials laid out in curving roads and closes was approved. The scheme was developed 1982-1985. This plan also pulled the development away from the boundary with Shagg’s Meadow, creating a section of land now referred to as Great Mead. This land was still owned by the developer.

A road reservation order was placed on the land to enable the provision of a possible link road between Gosport Lane and Shrubb’s Hill Road but also had the effect of stopping any future development of that land.

Over time, there have been suggestions of development and measures such as tree preservation orders (since removed) and attempts to claim right of way due to pedestrian access have all played a part. There was a scheme to make a joint cycle / foot path joining Gosport Lane and Shrubb’s Hill Road which would have been 3metres wide, tarmac and with lighting. This did not happen.

In 2004 the site of the former Hants & Dorset Bus companies’ garage  was acquired by the developer that owned Great Mead and was eventually developed into Great Mead Park. Part of the planning conditions allowed for a small section of the land outside of the garage site to be developed in return for the remainder of the land being turned over to the Local Authority as designated Open Space.

The County Council turned it over to the District Council who then turned it over to Lyndhurst Parish Council who are now the registered owner. There was also a developers’ contribution given to the Parish Council to contribute towards future tree maintenance.

Great Mead today, stands as the only officially designated area of public open space in the Parish and is used and appreciated as a valuable asset for leisure, recreation, access and as a pleasant green lung in the centre of the Village.

History of Great Mead provided by George Bisson

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