A neighbourhood plan that has taken more than 30 drafts to produce now includes land outside of the parish, and West Sussex.
Rogate Parish Council’s chairman has defended the decision to include land in the parish of Liss in the housing plan, which has taken more than four years to draft, as only the house gardens are over the border.
Chairman Steve Williamson said the parish council would have to look at how to take on board the comments by South Downs National Park Authority, which raised concerns the four homes in Rake would overlap into Hampshire, but congratulated the parish on ‘a huge amount of work’.
He said: “It’s awkward. We’ve spoken to Liss parish council and they’ve been quite relaxed about it. The actual buildings, if they go ahead, would be within our parish, it’s only the gardens that would overlap.
“It’s something that South Downs (National Park Authority) are concerned about. I’m not sure why, because after all they’re still the planning authority, it doesn’t matter which parish it’s in, it’s not as if it’s a boundary between planning authorities.
“We’ll have a look and maybe we can reconfigure it.
“They’re not too happy about the site overall, which is a shame because there’s quite a strong feeling that Rake village ought to be having some of the housing, it shouldn’t be all in Rogate village.”
He said the parish council’s aim was to drive the plan ahead ‘as quickly as possible’, but ignoring the SDNPA’s comments could make it more difficult to defend the plan to a planning inspector later on in the process.
Speaking at the SDNPA planning committee, chairman Alun Alesbury said the overlap was an ‘interesting’ situation, but a detail that ‘can be sorted out’.
Four homes are planned for the Rake site on land north of the B2070 and west of the Flying Bull pub in Liss.
Eleven homes are proposed for the Renault Garage and bungalow in Rogate, south of the A272.
The SDNPA commitee, last Thursday, noted the Rogate site might not be available for development and asked for clear evidence the area needs 15 homes rather than 11.
If the garage site is not available, the SDNPA will recommend it is replaced with a site that already has planning permission.
Introducing the plan, planning officer Amy Tyler-Jones offered her congratulations to the parish on finally getting the plan to pre-submission stage.
She said: “It’s been a huge amount of work. They’ve got through over 30 drafts of planning, and they’ve always actively taken on our comments.
“They’ve produced a concise and locally distinctive neighbourhood plan.”