The new Campaign Alliance, consisting of 38 Dorset-based organisations – representing over 20,000 local people – led by Dorset Climate Action Network (Dorset CAN) believes the draft local plan is damaging and they will press Dorset Council to radically re-think.
Under the existing draft Local Plan, Dorset Council proposes to build over 39,000 new dwellings – plus roads, car parks and services – and encroach on Dorset’s Green Belt, famous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – AONB – and other locally valued greenfield land.
In an open letter delivered to the leader of Dorset Council, Cllr Spencer Flower, the Campaign Alliance states that the draft Local Plan would:
- Do great harm to Dorset, through adverse impact on its natural environment, landscape and historical character
- Fall short of meeting the needs of Dorset’s population for the right houses in the right place at the right price
- Fail to face up to the global challenges of climate change and reversing the loss of wildlife.
The Campaign Alliance notes that many respondents opposed the Local Plan and states that 91 per cent of those represented in the public consultation rejected the development strategy at the heart of the Plan.
The Alliance suggests ways to transform the Local Plan into a visionary programme that enriches the county and serves the people of Dorset – especially the young and those most in need.
Michael Dower, of Dorset CAN, said: “We sincerely hope to persuade Dorset Council to deliver an optimistic and forward-looking Local Plan that values our landscape, supports environmental regeneration, provides affordable housing for local families, reduces our carbon footprint and encourages a thriving green economy in Dorset.
“We believe this can be done within the existing regulations and without wholesale destruction of our green spaces. We hope to work with Dorset Council to achieve this.”
The Dorset Council Local Plan consultation period has now ended and the council is reading the comments received and considering what changes they may need to make. When the further changes to the plan have been made, they will be published for comment. This is due to take place later this year after which submission and examination will take place in spring 2023. Adoption of the plan is expected during the winter of 2023.
In the open letter to Cllr Spencer Flower, campaigners state that the council has until April 2024 before the new Local Plan nees to be adopted and that the council can “prevent uncontrolled development by ensuring a five-year housing supply separately from the new Local Plan.”
Once approved, Dorset Council says it is intended that the Local Plan will replace all existing local plans in the Dorset Council area upon adoption. For more information on the Local Plan visit: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/documents/35024/282495/Dorset+Council+LDS+September+2021.pdf/ead65274-6e84-0e4c-c934-790ed2108014
You can find the new campaign group, Dorset Can, here: Instagram: @dorset_can (@dorset_can), Snapchat – @dorset_can (@dorset_can) , Twitter – @Dorset_CAN (@Dorset_CAN), Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/147832150657785 – or search for Dorset CAN (Climate Action Network), Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/DorsetCAN – or search for @DorsetCAN
To view the open letter to Dorset Council, go to: https://www.dorsetcan.org/ddbpr
Organisations and individuals can join the Dorset Deserves Better campaign at: https://bit.ly/DorsetDB
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