As will be well known, as a Conservative councillor I do not always agree with Liberal Democrats but I do share the concerns expressed in the letters of both Cllrs Alan and Celia Dowden about the proposals in the current planning consultation by the Government.

On this issue they are absolutely right.

Since my time as a Test Valley councillor and now as a county councillor, so also for well over 30 years, like Alan, I too have worked hard to protect the quality of the environment of this area and I hope we can stand together on this.

Currently as Chairman of South East England Councils following a survey of our member councils, I have already authorised a submission by SEEC criticising proposals which could lead to gross over development across the south of England.

I know the leader of Hampshire County Council is also raising concerns on behalf of the county council.

"Planning" is difficult.

On the one hand young people need accommodation and have the right to decent and affordable homes but on the other hand we need to protect the quality of the environment and avoid excess and poor quality development.

I am personally very sympathetic to the CPRE in Hampshire who are campaigning for more statutory greenbelt locally to stop the whole of south Hampshire becoming one continuous urban sprawl.

Surprisingly Hampshire has very little statutory greenbelt and none at all around Southampton or Portsmouth.

As this is a "consultation" I do not see this as a matter for party political difference but rather an issue of where we can believe local democracy being better than central dictat.

I hope across Hampshire and the south east we will stand united on this and tell the Government they must trust local communities more, to determine local planning policies through democratically elected local councils rather than use mutant algorithms drawn up by unaccountable consultants.

I would urge your readers to respond to the planning consultation whitepaper, available on the 'Gov.UK / consultations ' website before the end of October, so the Government learn just how widespread are the objections .

I have certainly told my MP what I think of these proposals

Roy Perry

Hampshire County Councillor