Housing plans could be ‘mini Poundbury’

Disappointment but not surprise was the reaction of ADVEARSE members to the updated West Dorset Local Plan. Details of the latest proposals can be found on the Dorset For You website.

The plan, which is due to go out for consultation later this year, has identified three sites for additional housing in Bridport, including a site off Jessop Avenue.

ADVEARSE is urging everyone to respond to the consultation being held between August and October of this year.

On its website, the group states: “One of these is on land adjoining Vearse Farm and if this plan is adopted the numbers of housing on Vearse Farm will increase from 760 to 930. Phrases like ‘mini Poundbury’ spring to mind.

“We warned from the start this was the thin end of the wedge. All our arguments against Vearse Farm – increased threat of flooding, problems of access, danger to pedestrians, pressure on parking in town will be amplified by this proposal.

“One of the most ironic statements in the new document is one that states that by 2036 the district council will have protected the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and floodplain.

“Although the outline planning permission for proposed development at Vearse Farm was approved by the planning committee in November 2017, the S106 funding agreements are not yet in place.

“ADVEARSE believes that there are strong grounds for challenging the decision. We hope that people will now see the potential impact of this massive development and realise it is essential to stop the first phase of Vearse Farm.

“ADVEARSE are preparing the next stage in the campaign and will be looking for community support. We are fighting to preserve the character of our wonderful market town and believe that sites for the necessary affordable housing can be found without the need for a massive development.”