Romsey Extra Parish and Romsey Town Councils have submitted applications for the designation of a neighbourhood area to cover their respective parishes. The area would be the basis for a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) which would be a mini version of Test Valley Borough Council Local Plan covering transport, employment, leisure and shopping as well as housing. Under the government’s new planning laws, TVBC would have to take it into account when writing their borough-wide plan.

The neighbourhood plan would not disagree with TVBC’s estimates for the number of new homes needed but is likely to call for them to be dispersed in contrast to the current proposal to concentrate development on two sites – Whitenap (1,300) and Hoe Lane (300).

TVBC will launch a public consultation on the neighbourhood areas today (Friday). Individuals and organisations will have until 4.30pm on June 13 to submit feedback on whether the boundaries for the designated areas are appropriate.

A spokesman for the Romsey Councils said last month when the proposals were announced: “This is an ideal opportunity to enable local people to have an influence over the future housing in Romsey.

“We could be making our own decisions about housing and we will be ensuring that Romsey residents’ concerns with the Revised Local Plan are acted upon, this is great news for the town.”