THE growth northwards of Portsmouth’s urban sprawl looks to have reached its limit.
The South Downs National Park Authority has today published a detailed Local Plan which protects swathes of countryside on the edge of the park.
The plan – if formally approved by the government – should bring an end to the greater Portsmouth conurbation spreading northwards into the downs.
Ever since the 1950s, the urban area has swelled along the A3, with the rapid growth of Waterlooville, Horndean and surrounding villages such as Clanfield and Rowlands Castle.
But the new plan rejects the development of several large green spaces around Horndean, Blendworth and Clanfield.
Community leaders welcomed the plan, arguing that villages south of Butser Hill had already taken their fair share of housing.
We are very pleased they have listenedGuy Shepherd
More than 1,000 new homes have been agreed for Horndean, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle.
The plan earmarks some green space for 700 new homes for Petersfield – which is in the heart of the National Park – but rejects the development of a number of other fields around the town.
Horndean Councillor Guy Shepherd said: ‘We are very pleased the South Downs National Park has taken on board the comments from local members.
‘We have quite enough housing in our community to satisfy our needs. We look forward to seeing some housing in Petersfield.’
The plan is expected to be adopted by 2017.
Trevor Beattie, chief executive of the park authority, said the aim was to protect nature, as well as ensure ‘clean water, food and space to breathe’. He said some houses must be built in the right places.
He added: ‘Our landscapes are the reason the South Downs became a National Park, so they must sit at the heart of every planning decision we make.’
The plan is in its draft stage and public comments are being invited. Visit southdowns.gov.uk/localplanconsultation.