CPRE the Countryside Charity Hampshire, is not against development that enhances a thriving, living countryside. We support projects that offer benefits to communities such as genuinely affordable housing solutions. According to Planning Guidance, new developments should be located so as to "protect and enhance valued and high quality landscapes”. In these "valued" landscapes development should be restricted, as the social and economic benefit of development would be significantly outweighed by the environmental harm. A "valued" landscape must be of a quality beyond "ordinary" countryside.

CPRE Hampshire has responded to the public consultation on Large Development Sites by East Hampshire District Council. After a visit to all the sites by a team of the East Hampshire Planning Group volunteers, CPRE Hampshire has assessed the proposed large development sites at Chalton Park Farm Alton, Neatham Down Alton, South of Winchester Road Four Marks, and a large part of Northbrook Park Bentley, as being within tracts of countryside which are "valued" landscapes, and so should not be developed.

However, CPRE Hampshire has supported the development of the site at Whitehill Bordon as one that would be largely brownfield and would take advantage of the employment opportunities, a new town centre and other facilities already built or planned within the new settlement which is replacing the Bordon Garrison.

If another large development site is required from the remaining 5 sites, then CPRE Hampshire recommends it should be allocated as a Reserve Site, to be developed only if shown to be required.

Christopher Napier of CPRE Hampshire said "The four sites in open countryside bordering the A31 at Alton, Four Marks and Northbrook, are within landscapes of high quality which, as "valued landscapes", we consider should be excluded from further consideration as sites for large development".

Notes to Editor

The Hampshire branch of CPRE, the Countryside Charity, we are an organisation which works locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our work in the county spans wide-ranging countryside and rural issues – from landscapes, hedgerows and dark skies, to housing and planning, farming and food, transport, water, energy and waste and the rural economy.

Nationally, we don’t own land or represent any special interests. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain and inspire future generations.