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    6 November 2007
    Council welcomes re-opening South Downs Public Inquiry

    East Hampshire District Council welcomes the re-opening of the inquiry into the proposed South Downs National Park. The Council has always been a supporter of the Park and is concerned about the Inspector’s recent proposal to narrow the proposed boundaries to exclude important areas such as the Western Weald.

    Councillor Elizabeth Cartwright, portfolio holder for housing, said:

    “The reopening of the Inquiry is really good news for the people of East Hampshire. There is a real need to question why the Inspector has thought it necessary to remove such an important part of the natural landscape of the South Downs from the proposed National Park. We are also very worried about the possible exclusion of Petersfield and the A3 corridor from the Park as it appears to destroy the park's integrity. Petersfield has always been seen as the northern entrance to the National Park and to exclude it would leave a great gap that will expose it to greater development pressure. We will be putting our views to the inquiry in February and urge others to do the same so that local views are heard loud and clear."

    The Council is now preparing to put its case to the Inquiry in February. All other interested groups and Parish Councils are urged to make sure that they too prepare their cases and arrange to appear at the Inquiry and register the strength of local opinion.