CALLS to reconsider planning consent for five bungalows in Grayshott on land approved for allotments have been rebuffed by East Hampshire District Council.
Grayshott Society and West Of Grayshott Conservation Group wrote an open letter of complaint to EHDC – and followed that up with a public objection by society representative Phil Bates at December’s cabinet meeting, after the decision on October 24 to approve the scheme at Applegarth Vale.
There were 45 objections to the scheme.
Mr Bates said: “The feeling is councillors at the planning meeting were not fully informed about the fact this application appears to provide financial opportunities for EHDC.
“This is clearly a complex area and those of us who are angry about EHDC’s progressive sacrifice of green space in and around the Grayshott-Headley Down Local Gap are all laypersons when it comes to planning rules.
“However, we are increasingly suspicious of this decision and feel it needs to be fully transparent to the public and open to scrutiny.”
Responding, an EHDC spokesperson said: “ This is an excellent development that will provide the community with much-needed affordable homes.
“Councillors on the planning committee voted nine in favour the scheme, with one against and one abstention.
“EHDC will contribute towards the homes, as is normal with this type of development.
“The council has retained the right to reclaim that same contribution should the properties be sold in the future.
“This money can then be ploughed back into more affordable housing schemes or other public services.
“It is unlikely to provide a profit and should not be viewed as an investment.
“This contribution is not a ‘planning matter’, which means members of the planning committee cannot take it into account when deciding whether to give permission.”