The group opposed to the proposed 3,500 housing development north of Dorchester have welcomed last week’s statement in the House of Commons by Chris Loder, the Member of Parliament for West Dorset. Addressing the house he expressed his opposition to the development and called upon the government to instead encourage growth in the rural economy,

A STAND spokesman commented “The message from our local MP was loud and clear, reflecting the views of the majority of people in Dorchester and the surrounding area. Such a development would push the town’s already creaking infrastructure beyond all reasonable limits whilst ignoring the support required to maintain our villages, the heart of the rural landscape”.

In his speech to the house Mr Loder condemned the development of 3,500 houses as, proposed in a revised local plan. The MP, who believes the development would irrevocably change the character of the town and impact on the local environment, said: “Rural economies are not well served by building enormous new housing developments, like the one planned for the outskirts of Dorchester. These developments quash the economic potential of building modest numbers of new houses in our villages. Because that is what will ensure the future of our local schools, our village shops and pubs, our garages, and our parish churches.”

As if to underline campaigners’ views, a leading study has recently revealed that an area of green space equivalent to the size of Cornwall has been lost to development over the last 25 years. The STAND spokesman concluded “This is further evidence of the threat that the whole county faces from development on an ‘industrial’ scale. The impending public consultation period on the revised Local Plan will give residents the opportunity to comment on the Dorchester North development.