Test Valley Borough Council’s new draft Local Plan was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday and will now go before the full council on Friday (February 22) and then go out to public consultation.

Lib Dem borough councillor, Mark Cooper, who spoke at the cabinet in order to represent his constituent’s views, said: “The new plan is virtually the same as the old plan, except Whitenap’s allocation is now 1,300, rather than 1,500, in order to better protect woodland. It seems that protecting woodland is more important than protecting people.

“Yet out of 980 responses on the old strategy, 700 were objecting to the Whitenap allocation. Every single submission has been ignored. How can people have faith in the planning system if their considered concerns are totally ignored?”

Mr Cooper claimed the plan was flawed, as all the southern Test Valley housing allocation was to land controlled by one landowner – Timothy Knatchbull.

“The planning inspectorate may well find the plan unsound on this ground alone,” he said.

“Rather than spend money fiddling with this defective plan, we should tear the whole thing up and start again using sound geographical principles.”