PLANS for New Forest District Council to share more services with the National Park Authority have been supported.

An item was taken to the council's cabinet meeting last week to discuss the latest measures which include one single managed planning service between both authorities.

This would be managed by one head of service working with both organisations.

In a letter sent to the NPA's chief executive Alison Barnes, Bob Jackson, chief executive of NFDC said: "The district council is facing significant financial challenges like all other local authorities as central government funding is reduced.

"We have experienced difficulties in recruiting planning officers.

"Local housing costs make recruitment more difficult at a time when there is greater national demand for planning officers given the government's housing delivery requirement of 300,000 homes per annum."

In detailing the proposal for planning, he added: "Both organisations would still be responsible for discharging their statutory responsibilities as they do now."

Staff would work from their current sites. It is estimated the plan could save up to £40,000 a year for each organisation.

Services which are already shared by the organisations include ICT, human resources, ranger services and tree services.