HOUSING targets must be lower in the South Downs National Park in order to protect the landscape, a planning chief has said.
Andrew Shaxson, chairman of the National Park Authority planning committee, said the authority had a legal duty to comply with its role of protecting the beauty of the area.
It comes as residents have questioned why areas outside the National Park, such as Horndean and Clanfield, are taking hundreds of new homes in a new housing plan for East Hampshire.
A total of 1,190 homes are set to be allocated to Horndean over the next 15 years, with 521 for Clanfield, and 242 for Rowlands Castle.
Petersfield, by comparison, could have as few as 617 homes.
Mr Shaxson told a public meeting at Horndean Technology College: ‘The National Park is a different animal to the rest of East Hampshire.
‘We have different constraints.
‘We have to ensure we fulfil our duty which is to take into account the landscape impact of housing. We are not going to provide the level of housing which possibly may have occurred in the areas within park some years ago.’
The housing plan goes out for consultation on Friday.