WINCHFIELD will follow the example of other villages in drafting a neighbourhood plan – despite fears it could lead to division.

Councillor Andrew Renshaw, chairman of Winchfield Parish Council, said he feared drafting such a plan, where preferred housing sites are identified by residents, will divide the village.

But other members of the council voted in favour of supporting the creation of a neighbourhood plan, at the council’s meeting this month.

As reported in The Gazette, villages like Hook and Odiham are creating their own neighbourhood plans in a bid to influence where new homes are built.

Planning officers and councillors at Hart District Council will have to take them into consideration when considering planning applications.

But Cllr Renshaw said: “It is my own view but at the moment I think it would not work for a rural area – it would take a lot of time and a lot of money.

“I am not sure of the result. I think it would cause division in the village because you would have to say where development would go.”

The meeting heard from Claire Worsley, from the Winchfield Action Group, who said its members could take the lead on creating the neighbourhood plan.

She said: “We already have a core team of people. It would mean we would be able to get a neighbourhood plan fully in place and legally binding before the new local plan would be in force.”

Cllr Ian Gavin-Brown said he disagreed with Cllr Renshaw “very strongly”. He added: “If we do not try and do it, we will regret it.”

His proposal that the parish council support the creation of a neighbourhood plan received four votes in support and one abstention from Cllr Renshaw.