A DISCUSSION on controversial moves to redesignate the boundary of Liphook’s Neighbourhoold Plan to exclude the South Downs National Park – where sensitve sites for future housing developments lay – was scrapped at the 11th hour by parish councillors, on Monday.
Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council’s planning committee meeting was due to discuss the proposal until Barbara Easton, who chaired the meeting on behalf of Don Jerrard, who did not join the meeting until later – announced the item would not be discussed that night.
The item read - “to receive an update on the status of the Neighbourhood Development Plan and to consider applying to re-designate the NDP boundary to exclude the South Downs National Park areas”.
Mrs Easton, who was elected vice-chairman of planning, announced the withdrawal at the start of the meeting and refused to allow any discussions on the item while she was chairing the meeting.
It prompted two public statements made by Emma Winfield, chairman of the NDP, as well as parish council chairman Jane Ives.
Mrs Winfield said: “As chair of the Neighbourhood Development Plan, I have not, nor have the newly formed steering group, been consulted on this agenda item. I was unaware of the item until I received the agenda five days ago, she added.
“I have no intention, as NDP chair, to re-designate the area as detailed in this agenda item.”
Mrs Ives said: “The agenda item in front of us states this committee should consider applying to re-designate the NDP boundary to exclude the SDNP areas.
“I would like to make it quite clear that at no point was I, as chair of the council, consulted on this agenda item. I have spoken to councillor Jerrard at length on this subject and I understand he is withdrawing this item.
“Councillor Winfield is progressing really well with the NDP and she has the full backing of myself as chair and the council as a whole.
“I do not believe there is any reason why this matter should be considered by the planning committee or indeed by the full council as it would only serve to disrupt the NDP.”
Liphook comes under two planning authorities since the national park boundary includes privately owned land areas at Griggs Green as well as Bohunt Park, while East Hampshire District Council is the leading authority for most of the parish.
The neighbourhood plan is required to cover the entire parish – including the SDNP areas as well as the outlying hamlets of Bramshott, Conford and Passfield.