Residents in Corfe Mullen are urgently calling for the Dorset Council Local Plan consultation period to be extended and the plan delayed.
In Corfe Mullen more than 400 new houses are planned on biodiverse green belt. Areas that would be lost include open fields at Pardys Hill, Haywards Lane, and Broadmoor Road.
Resident, Johanna Dollerson, said she believed the Dorset Council Local Plan is “deeply flawed,” adding, “In 2019 a Climate and Ecological Emergency was officially declared by Dorset Council. And the county is recognised as being ‘particularly vulnerable’ to climate change in the local plan.
“Sacrificing green belt to housing development is a double blow for climate and ecology — increasing air pollution from traffic and waste from households, while destroying forever the significant carbon sink currently provided by its healthy soil, trees and grassland. Natural flood prevention systems would also be lost along with the green belt’s healthy natural watercourses.
“Surrounded by ancient trees, hedgerows and streams, the green belt sites earmarked for development are home to rich, diverse and increasingly threatened wildlife. The plan’s language around protection for these significant natural assets is non-committal. Each ‘protection’ is bounded by the caveat ‘should’.”
Johanna says the plan is being rushed. “Without swift intervention from local people, irreplaceable natural assets for mental and physical health will be lost, the hope of a flourishing future for local young people will be smashed, and the heart of local communities will be changed forever.
“The plan will cover the next 17 years of development across Dorset. To rush such significant development, through a short and poorly advertised public consultation, during the third national lockdown, is at best cynical, at worst a manipulation of the universal exhaustion resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic trauma.”
Other areas of countryside earmarked for housing include Dudsbury Golf Course in Ferndown.
The public consultation ends on 15 March 2021 and comments must be made by then. The plan will go through several phases and will include a further chance for feedback on its ‘soundness’. It will also be scrutinised by the planning inspectorate before its adoption.
The plan is available at libraries and online at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/dorset-council-local-plan. There is also a phone line available Monday to Friday 10am-2pm where people can ask questions. Tel: 01305 252500.
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