A SENIOR New Forest councillor has vowed to clear her name after being accused of attempting to influence the outcome of a planning application.

Tory Maureen Holding has agreed to appear before fellow members of the district council to answer allegations that her "intervention" resulted in officers changing a recommendation to councillors.

Cllr Holding, who represents Brockenhurst, is a member of the planning committee and the council's ruling Cabinet.

The row relates to a site at Wide Lane Close, Brockenhurst, where plans to build two homes were approved by the authority in 2001.

In October, 2002 the applicant asked for permission to delete a pedestrian access from the scheme.

His application went before a meeting of the planning committee on December 11 last year, when officers said the alteration should be approved. However, the proposal was deferred and re-submitted to the committee in March 2003, this time with a recommendation that it be refused.

By then the applicant had lodged an appeal against the council's non-determination of the application, which was ultimately approved by the government's planning inspectorate.

However, the applicant's agent, Alan Girling, of Church Lane, Boldre, has accused Cllr Holding of breaching the council's code of conduct.

His complaint will be considered by the standards panel on Friday.

A 74-page report to the panel says: "The allegations focus on Cllr Holding's comments at the meeting in December, her later involvement in discussions with a worker on site and her subsequent contact with planning officers."

The report includes a submission from Cllr Holding in which she says she discusses all applications with the officers involved.

Cllr Holding told the Daily Echo: "The allegations are unfounded. I've done nothing wrong, just said what I thought to be the right thing."

The report also includes a submission from Chris Elliott, head of the council's development control department.

"I believe the complaint against her is unfounded," he added.