Lower Pennington is home to important local infrastructure including the West Solent solar farm, South West Water’s water treatment facility, and a recycling centre. Oakhaven Hospice, which provides important care services to sufferers of life-limiting illnesses, is housed in Lower Pennington at Pennington Chase. Pennington Marshes and the lagoons are a rich ecosystem, and along with the Solent Way provide a natural flood protection barrier. The historic and well known Chequers Inn is in Lower Pennington, and there is a campsite and caravan park nearby right next to the Pennington and Oxey marshes.

As set out in the Future & Planning section, substantial residential development is proposed for the north-west section of the Lower Pennington area.

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Solent Way

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The Solent Way is a 60 mile footpath linking Milford on Sea (to the West of Pennington) with Emsworth Harbour, much of the path following the Hampshire coast line and passing through the New Forest.

The Solent Way runs through Pennington Marshes atop the sea wall. Inshore of the Solent Way are the old saltpans, often used for grazing cattle, through which run numerous paths and some country roads.

Click here for more information about the Solent Way. Go to our Activities page for information about the outdoor pursuits that take place on the Solent Way.

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The Chequers Inn

The Chequers Inn is a picturesque 16th Century pub and restaurant, which is a great place to stop during a circular walk along the sea wall. There’s a warm stove awaiting in winter, and a walled garden in summer. The blackboard a la carte menu changes with the seasons.

During the 16th Century the chequered sign denoted a house where money transactions were carried out – and the local sign is likely to derive from the fact that the Salt Exchequer Offices for the local salterns had their headquarters in the area.

Click here for more information on The Chequers Inn website.

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Pennington and Oxey Marshes

The marshes are an important part of Pennington’s environment and central to its historical salt production economy. Find more information in our pages on Activities, Environment, Gallery and History and Heritage.

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Hurst View campsite

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Solent View Campsite at Solent Reach farm

Click here for more information about Solent View campsite (and other Hurst View leisure facilities).

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West Solent Solar farm

West Solent solar farm is installed on a 12.65 acre near Pennington marshes. The maximum capacity the farm can export to the Grid is 2.0 MW. This is enough to supply about 650 local homes.

The field was previously a gravel pit which was then used for landfill. Only 28% of the area of the field is covered by solar equipment, and only 3% of the field surface is no longer soil. The rest of the field between the solar panels is planted with a mix of wildflowers and grass.

More information can be found on the West Solent Solar Cooperative website.

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Oakhaven Hospice

Oakhaven Hospice Trust provides specialist palliative care and support to patients facing life-limiting illness and their loved ones in both a home and hospice setting.

Oakhaven’s nurses, doctors, counsellors and physiotherapists ease physical symptoms and offer psychological, spiritual and social support. Their care is tailored to suit the needs of each individual and, with a blend of expertise and compassion, the team offers support for people when they most need it.

More information can be found on Oakhaven’s website.

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Pennington Waste Water Treatment Works (Southern Water)

Built in the 1990s and located in the upper west section of Lower Pennington, Southern Water’s Wastewater Treatment Works was designed to treat the wastewater from the surrounding New Forest area. According to a 2012 report, it currently serves a population equivalent of 54,000. The Pennington works discharges into the Solent by way of Pennington outfall. The Environment Agency (EA) has designated the Solent and local watercourses feeding into it, as sensitive waters under the EU’s Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

Pennington Outfall
Pennington Outfall

As a result of the Directive (and the Shellfish Waters Directive), and the previously higher level of nitrates being released into the Solent, the works were upgraded in 2012.

A second activated sludge plant was installed to increase capacity and a new ultra violet disinfection plant was installed, which reduces the level of microorganisms in the water being released back into the Solent.

Another source of information is the 2004 NFDC Coastal Management Plan, found here. The processes detailed there are summarised diagrammatically below:

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