The Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House, has hit out at a planning consultant’s ‘lobbying’ against a South Hampshire Green Belt.
Yesterday Eastleigh News reported remarks made by Robin Shepherd of Southampton-based planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore who said that proposals presented by the Hampshire Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) would “pull up the drawbridge” on any development around Hampshire’s core cities and hamper future economic growth.
This morning Councillor House – a member of the PUSH Committee – declared himself strongly in favour of CPRE’s proposals and accused Hampshire County Council of ‘blocking’ previous initiatives to establish one:
“Eastleigh Borough Council has backed a South Hampshire Green Belt for years. The Green Belt was a key part of proposals from South Hampshire Councils for joint working that were blocked by Hampshire County Council”, said Cllr House.
“It is hardly surprising that developers’ lobbyist Robin Shepherd has spoken out against a Green Belt. He has form at planning appeals supporting hostile planning applications in Eastleigh that would remove countryside gaps between local towns and villages. I welcome CPRE’s support for a Green Belt. It would be good for the County Council to join Hampshire’s Districts backing protection for key countryside gaps and wildlife corridors.”