Response to consultation on Large Development Sites by East Hampshire District Council

CPRE the Countryside Charity Hampshire, is not against development that enhances a thriving, living countryside. We support projects that offer benefits to communities such as genuinely affordable housing solutions.

According to Planning Guidance, new developments should be located so as to “protect and enhance valued and high quality landscapes”. In these “valued” landscapes development should be restricted, as the social and economic benefit of development would be significantly outweighed by the environmental harm. A “valued” landscape must be of a quality beyond “ordinary” countryside.

CPRE Hampshire has responded to the public consultation on Large Development Sites by East Hampshire District Council. After a visit to all the sites by a team of the East Hampshire Planning Group volunteers, CPRE Hampshire has assessed the proposed large development sites at Chalton Park Farm Alton, Neatham Down Alton, South of Winchester Road Four Marks, and a large part of Northbrook Park Bentley, as being within tracts of countryside which are “valued” landscapes, and so should not be developed.

However, CPRE Hampshire has supported the development of the site at Whitehill Bordon as one that would be largely brownfield and would take advantage of the employment opportunities, a new town centre and other facilities already built or planned within the new settlement which is replacing the Bordon Garrison.

If another large development site is required from the remaining 5 sites, then CPRE Hampshire recommends it should be allocated as a Reserve Site, to be developed only if shown to be required.

Christopher Napier of CPRE Hampshire said “The four sites in open countryside bordering the A31 at Alton, Four Marks and Northbrook, are within landscapes of high quality which, as “valued landscapes”, we consider should be excluded from further consideration as sites for large development”.