People have until 22 January to make comments on an application to relocate Wimborne Market to a new site at the Wimborne Showground at Lake Gates.
The previous site off Station Terrace is to become a McCarthy Stone retirement development.
Landowners Ensors Ltd are proposing the construction of a showground and events facility with new visitor open space, four open barns, an activity route and amenities, a parking area and new vehicle access points.
The site, which is in the green belt in the parish of Pamphill, is currently used for car boot sales and other events.
A spokesman from Ensors said: “We hope to create a rustic looking country market with all wooden open fronted buildings erected on stone staddle stones similar to old style farmers’ grain stores and implement sheds.
“We intend to promote more outside exercise and recreation by linking the existing foot and cycle paths from Merley and Corfe Mullen back to the Wimborne town centre without having to cross the Wimborne Bypass and dangerous Lake Gates Roundabout.”
The proposed new site is contentious.
Historic England has objected saying the land is within an area of high archaeological importance. In a letter to Dorset Council it said a Roman Army marching camp, Roman roads and a civilian settlement were on the site.
It went on to say that work in 1972-3 suggested there had been four successive forts or camps on the land ranging in date from 44-65 AD. Further excavations took place in 1978, 1979 and 1980 and a well was found which contained early Roman material.
Wimborne Civic Society is also against the application arguing that staging events so close to the A31 is a severe distraction to drivers at the roundabout.
The society said moving the market out of the town would lead to more car use.
Cllr Robin Cook, member for Stour and Allen Vale ward said that as there is a wide public interest in the application and because of the archaeological interest in the site, it should be considered by the Eastern Area Planning Committee.
Colehill parish councillor KD Johnson said he had been a supporter of Wimborne Market for over 30 years and he considered the site was unsuitable for a multitude of reasons including its proximity to a scheduled ancient monument and the fact that the site is only accessible from the town by crossing the narrow and hazardous Julian’s Bridge.
He also said that as the site is outside the town boundary it could not be considered to be a Wimborne Market.
The application number is 3/21/1030/FUL
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