AGREEING to the terms of development on a village conservation area will help “safeguard” the land, according to a parish council.

Odiham Parish Council (OPC) has come underfire from residents after it backed plans to develop agricultural land in the village, known as the Deer Park.

The unrest has led to residents calling for a vote of no confidence in the parish council.

However, chairman of the parish council, Councillor Jon Hale said members have to fully represent the community which lives in the village, which includes some who support the plans.

Cllr Hale said: “For the strong majority of councillors who supported it, including myself, this application can help meet the clearly defined goals, objectives and aims written into our recently approved Neighbourhood Plan.

“By developing the Deer Park it actually safeguards the land within the Neighbourhood Plan and can make the land vastly more accessible, provide a safe and enjoyable cycle way between Odiham and North Warnborough and improve key footpaths for all residents, including those with limited mobility.”

Cllr Hale told The Gazette that he understands why many residents have objected to the proposed plans and he added that “they are in their right to do so.”

However, he stressed the parish council’s comments are only in an advisory role as they are not the planning authority, which is Hart District Council.

As previously reported in The Gazette, more than 150 residents polled in favour of calling a vote of no confidence against members of the parish council.

Cllr Hale added: “OPC was asked by Hart District Council to consider the public benefit of a divisive proposal to restore the Deer Park in Odiham. Ultimately the parish council has no powers to approve these plans, only comment on them.

“Those on the council who supported the application do so representing the views of the many people who have told us they would like to see it happen.

“That aside, on a divisive issue such as this, strong and differing views are absolutely to be accepted - and despite the cost of calling this advisory poll, estimated at almost £2k, those who have called it are absolutely entitled to do so."

For more information on the plans and comment, go to and search for 17/03029/FUL.