The future management of Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve & Haven House set to be considered

Proposals for the future management of Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and Haven House will be considered by Hampshire County Council on Monday 31 July. This follows a six-month moratorium on the sale of Haven House at the National Nature Reserve following its designation as an Asset of Community Value

Jul 21 2023

In December 2022, the County Council’s Executive Member for Countryside and Regulatory Services, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer approved a plan to sell Haven House – and close a loss-making café – to raise vital funds for the National Nature Reserve, a site of international importance for wildlife. This will help to ensure the County Council is able to deliver an identified investment plan to continue to meet its legal obligations in managing the Reserve to Natural England management standards. The sale of Haven House was paused to allow a third party to develop a viable alternative that would meet the investment needs of the wider site.  
 
In June 2023, the County Council received two separate submissions - one bid from Titchfield Haven Community Hub Limited solely for Haven House; and a second proposal from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust that refers only to the National Nature Reserve.  
 
Titchfield Haven Community Hub’s bid asks for the transfer of Haven House from the County Council at no cost to operate a community-led enterprise, including a café.  
 
The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust proposal does not request an immediate transfer of the National Nature Reserve, and instead presents a strategic vision for a longer-term approach for the management of both Titchfield Haven and the wider lower Meon Valley which would include the transfer of additional County Council-owned land to the Trust at no cost. The Trust requests a formal 3-year partnership agreement with the County Council to develop this vision and to assess its feasibility.    
 
Following a detailed assessment of both bids by a panel of County Council officers, the recommendation in the report is to not proceed with these proposals. Hampshire County Council is committed to meeting its obligations in managing Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and taking forward plans that will enable investment in the National Nature Reserve ensuring its long-term sustainability.
  
A report outlining the assessment of these bids and the reasons why the recommendation is not to proceed with the bids will be presented for scrutiny at a Universal Services Select Committee at 10am on Monday 31 July – view the agenda and report. A final decision will then be made by Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the Executive Member for Countryside and Regulatory Services at a public online Decision Day meeting on Monday 31 July - view the agenda and report.