Hampshire group says new planning laws threaten green land

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ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners say countryside land could be threatened by proposed changes to the planning system.

Members of the Hampshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England have accused the government of making economic growth a priority over environmental protection. They say the proposed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) would remove protection of the countryside.

The chairwoman of the CPRE South Hampshire group, Caroline Dibden, said: ‘In south Hampshire all our remaining areas of countryside and gaps are under significant threat of development.

‘West of Waterlooville is already under construction, plans for the Strategic Development Area (SDA) at Fareham have recently been accepted and the Eastleigh SDA seems to be raising its head again.

‘The draft NPPF means other sites being promoted by developers will be subject to application and test at appeal.

‘If they are deemed “sustainable”, and many of them could well be, then the inspectorate will have no choice but to grant permission, irrespective of local wishes.’

A public consultation on the changes ends on October 17.