Councillors have thrown out a retrospective planning application for security gates, complete with walls and pillars and a security camera in Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield.

Hart's development control committee has also refused permission for a new tarmac drive, lampposts and alter-ations to the access.

Cllr Sean Holden told colleagues he was speaking from written notes because of legal threats from the applicant's solicitors to him, along with Cllrs Roger Jones and Stephen Gorys.

He had to consider very carefully whether or not to speak or vote at the meeting because the applicant's lawyers had warned him not to.

Cllr Holden said he had also been threatened with action for libel because of a newspaper story reporting his complaint that the gates were built without planning permission.

"My complaint reported in the paper was not about the planning merits, but about the fact that their being no permission for this eyesore as I called it," said Cllr Holden.

He said there were no merits of the application.

"The applicant describes these things as security gates, which itself is nonsense," said Cllr Holden. "Since when has a field required security gates?

"Or will the next thing we see down there be the uprooting of another few hundred yards of hedge and the erection of a 7ft high wall around the field?"

Cllr Holden said the applicant had argued there are many other gates of similar style down Chalky Lane.

"That is not a bit of exaggeration, not even a huge distortion — it is absolutley untrue," he said.

"Driving from Dogmersfield towards the A287 there are no other entrances of any kind for half a mile until these gates are reached.

"In the three tenths of a mile to the A287 there is one other entrance which bears no resemblance to these.

"That means that in a distance of eight tenths of a mile on that side of the road these are one of only two entrances."

Cllr Holden, who lives in Dogmersfield, said the lamp-posts would be a nuisance and were unsuitable in the area.

He also hit out at the tarmac road built across the field which featured "ludicrous Narnia-style lampposts".

"I see the style of architecture in this context as arrogant, pompous and intrusive," fumed Cllr Holden.

"It is a slap in the face to the Dogmersfield community which cares deeply about the appearance of the village."

Hart Council planning chief Ron Percival recommended that development control councillors throw out the retrospective applications.

He said the entrance gates and walls have a harmful impact on the area because of their remote location, size and prominent roadside position.

"These features are intrusive and out of character in this rural setting and it is considered they bring about a significant change in the character of this part of Chalky Lane," his report states.

Mr Percival said the applicant maintained the entrance gates and walls are needed to create an improved access to the farm, but he did not think the deficiencies justified the opening up of a new access point.

He also described the lampposts as alien to the open countryside.

The applicant was unavailable for comment, but could appeal against the decision and have the issue decided by a government planning inspector.