A ROW has erupted in a sleepy village after a grandiose brick entrance gate was built in the countryside without planning permission.

A tarmac drive complete with lampposts has also been illegally built on the field in Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield.

"It really is an absolute outrage," stormed furious Hart councillor Sean Holden, who lives in the village.

"This has caused uproar in the village.

"The gate is more than 7ft high and a tarmac drive has been laid on to the agricultural land with lampposts all the way along it. There is no planning permission for any of it. The problem is it looks ridiculous because it's been built in the middle of nowhere. It's a real eyesore — an absolute monstrosity.

"It looks like the landowner is starting another gate on the entrance to the land off the A287.

"The entire field has been returfed and laid to grass.

"I understand the landowner keeps race horses and I think he wants to build a livery stables there."

Cllr Holden, who is a member of Hart's development control committee, said the council has served enforcement notices on the landowner.

"Hart Council has a very poor record on enforcement and the one enforcement officer we have is about to retire," he said.

"One officer is not enough to cover the whole district. Development is the number one issue around here and people get enough building here without someone doing whatever they feel like. We have to get tough on people who flout planning rules.

"The council must have a robust enforcement regime because development is such a big issue here."

Hart planning chief Ron Percival said: "I know this has caused quite a furore in the area.

"We have served a number of enforcement notices on the owner of the land.

"These are for the creation of an unauthorised access, the erection of the gate and the driveway, including the lampposts that have been put up.

"We have also sent a further letter about the removal of hedgerows.

"The landowner has three months to comply with the notices.

"He could put in for retrospective planning permission but it would be easier for him to appeal against the notices and have the works decided on at a planning inquiry.

"We'll just have to wait and see how it unfolds."