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We have objected to an application from Mr Christopher Ball to build three houses and an access road on Odiham Common in Hampshire.

The land, at Potbridge, is registered common land. Any development on common land requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in addition to any planning permission.

The affected land (Google Street View)

Because the development is not providing public benefit, the developer would need to apply to the environment secretary for consent to deregister the common which was affected by the development and to offer suitable land in exchange to be registered as common.

We care deeply for Odiham Common, having been involved in the development of the common’s management plan more than ten years ago. We are astounded that the applicant appears not to recognise that this is historic common land, with its own laws, and that he would require additional consent before being able to build here. We believe that it would not be possible to offer an equivalent area of common land, without huge loss of public benefit.

People have the right to walk and ride over the whole of Odiham Common, it is immensely important to them.

It is totally inappropriate to build houses on registered common land and we trust the council will refuse consent.

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