THE deadline to submit comments on the South Downs National Park Authority’s (SDNPA) first-ever Local Plan is fast approaching, and Liphook residents are concerned about the lack of acknowledgement by the park authority of the parish.

Areas which lie within the national park are Griggs Green, land belonging to the Northcott Trust, Bohunt Park, which is owned by Green Village Investmentsand the Wheatsheaf Enclosure off Portsmouth Road.

Chris Paterson, the SDNPA’s head of communities, stated at the recent design forum for the Bramshott and Liphook Neighbourhood Development Plan that “the boundary would not be moved for the unforeseeable future”.

However, the SDNPA has not included Bramshott and Liphook in its local plan draft proposals.

East Hampshire District Council deputy leader Ferris Cowper said: “I believe expectations are high for the Bramshott and Liphook Neighbourhood Development Plan and the South Downs National Park Local Plan will have to include the provisions of the national park.”

Back in August 2014, three members of the parish council’s development working party, Michael Croucher, Jeanette Kirby and Philip Jordan, met with SDNPA deputy planning officer Keith Reed, who had attended the East Hampshire District Local Interim Planning Statement exhibition, held at the Millennium Centre earlier that year, where he stated that the SDNPA would not allow EHDC to allocate land for housing in the park – except in exceptional circumstances.

Mr Jordan, then a parish councillor, said after the meeting with the SDNPA that “the situation between Liphook and the South Downs National Park was like the Ukraine/Russia border.

“The National Park barely recognises Bramshott and Liphook as being part of it”, he said, and that as far as the SDNPA was concerned: “Liphook was flotsam washed up on the shore of the National Park’s ocean.”

He added there were 180 parishes in the park, which are looked after by the SDNPA, and only a small area of Bramshott and Liphook parish is currently located inside the park.

Mr Jordan tried to challenge the SDNPA on the whole issue, but they would not enter into any discussions.

He felt at the time the joint core strategy between East Hampshire District Council and the SDNPA was not ‘joint’.

South Downs National Park Authority chairman Margaret Paren said the document. ‘looks rather different’ from most other local plans because ‘it must recognise the national importance of the landscapes and our duty to conserve and enhance them’.

She said: “The South Downs Local Plan puts these nationally important landscapes first – they are the reason the South Downs became a national park and they must sit at the heart of every planning decision we make

“But our communities matter too, many of whom have undertaken their own neighbourhood plans.

“Some communities need to be able to grow, but this has to be in a way that respects the local environment and the wider national park.

“The plan also sets out the high standards that all proposed development must meet to protect and value nature, both for its own sake and also for the vital services it gives us such as clean water, food and space to breathe.”

The authority is asking people to make their final comments before Tuesday, November 21, and, while the consultation is mainly looking at the “soundness of the plan”, it will consider all feedback. 

Every comment will also be passed, exactly as submitted, to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate which will respond to them as part of their examination.

Around 112,000 people live in the National Park, and the SDNPA said these communities ‘need access to affordable homes and places to work’.

It added putting the landscapes first” meant making sure ‘we get the right growth in the right places’. See the plan at