A SHOCK twist has come amid plans to build 700 homes on farmland off the A3(M).
The government has written to East Hampshire District Council and said it cannot give formal planning permission to the plans without ‘specific authorisation’ from the Secretary of State.
The letter, received on Monday, comes before tomorrow’s planning meeting where councillors will take a vote on the plans.
Former Horndean parish councillor Michael Homewood wrote to the government, pleading with them to call in the matter as he believes the development will affect not just East Hampshire, but also neighbouring authorities.
Will Parsons, a spokesman for East Hampshire District Council, said: ‘The council can hold a meeting to consider the application.
‘It can vote on whether to grant planning permission but it would not be able to issue a formal planning consent until authorised to do so by the Secretary of State.’
The council is also able to consider the merits of the scheme and has the power to refuse the plans. The meeting takes place at Horndean Technology College from 6pm.