Local Plan under the spotlight

Plans for massive development above the water meadows North of Dorchester will come under the spotlight again this month at a public meeting in Dorchester Town Hall on Saturday March 25th at 2.30pm.

Speakers will include Wessex Water on the threat to the town’s water supply and Dr Quintin Bradley from Leeds Planning School.

Nearly two years after the public consultation on the Dorset Local Plan the Council has published summaries of the 6,000 comments received in 2020 but nothing in the way of analysis or responses from the Council.  

Unlike previous local plans Dorset has still not said if there will be further consultation with the community before it goes to an inquiry, next year.

STAND spokesman Nigel Kay said: “We wish we could tell you that Dorset Council has responded positively to people’s objections and the issues that matter to the community. Sadly, that is not the case.  Councillor David Walsh recently told the media the proposal is already part of an adopted local plan and was part of the future of Dorset. Councillor Walsh, who oversees planning, later retracted the statement acknowledging that it was not true. He said it was a “simple mistake”

“County council elections take place in May 2024, but the council will not publish its revised Local Plan until after that date. We think people should be given the fullest possible information about DOR 13 before they cast their vote in these elections.”

He said: “It is time that we took seriously the opposition to more urban sprawl in the Dorset countryside. This is not a selfish Nimby protest. It was protest movements like STAND that first created our planning system to prevent land speculation and to stop development that only benefits shareholders and foists all the costs onto the local community.”

Nigel Kay added: “If you are concerned about this massive development and the impact it will have on our county town and the villages of Stinsford and Charminster, we urge you to come along. You will be most welcome.”

Key speakers at the 2.30pm meeting on March 25th include Wessex Water who have said the development will damage Dorchester’s water supply, and leading academic Dr Bradley whose new book. Property Planning and Protest features STAND’s campaign in Dorchester.