CIVIC chiefs have backed a campaign to protect the Hampshire countryside from development.

The Partnership of South Hampshire, a joint committee made up of 11 councils in the south Hampshire area, agreed that a green belt must be a key part of their ongoing plans for sustainable development in the county.

Councils include Winchester, Fareham, East Hampshire, Portsmouth, Eastleigh, Gosport, Hampshire, Havant, New Forest, Southampton and Test Valley.

The news comes after 13,500 people signed a petition in support of the green belt led by CPRE Hampshire, a charity which works to protect the Hampshire countryside.

The CPRE has suggested that the greenbelt could be located between Horndean in the east and King’s Somborne near Stockbridge in the west.

A spokesperson from the CPRE said: “The area we have suggested as a possible location for a greenbelt is land we feel meets the requirements of exceptional circumstances as stated in planning legislation as a requirement for the designation of any greenbelt.

“The sites we have suggested represent some of the most vulnerable areas of countryside in south Hampshire.

“This is only a suggested area of search, and ultimately the decision on where to position a greenbelt, if it is adopted, will fall to our council leaders and decision makers.

Dee Haas, CPRE Hampshire chair said: “We are thrilled that so many council leaders have prioritised the health and well-being of local people by choosing to bring us a step closer to a green belt in south Hampshire.

“Not only will this protect our countryside, but by establishing a green belt, the council would be able to concentrate on developing a more strategic, sustainable, forward thinking approach to planning to meet local housing need.”

The charity is now asking those in support of south Hampshire greenbelt to send a Christmas card to their local councillor thanking them for their support and reminding them what an important issue the greenbelt is to local people.

Mrs Haas added: “We are so grateful to everyone who got behind this campaign.”

  • What do you think? Write to