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Dorset local plan ‘paused’ over increased housing provision row

Published: Thursday, 17th November 2016

Purbeck District Council has put it's local plan review on hold whilst it evaluates concern over the implications of including an extra 3,080 new homes in the district...

Purbeck District Council has decided to “pause” progress on its current partial review of its local plan while it assesses widespread local concern over the implications of an increase in housing provision.

The planning inspector who examined the Dorset council’s local plan only agreed to its approval in 2012 on condition there was an early review of development after concluding the council was not meeting the area’s housing need.

Over the summer the planning authority consulted on options to deliver around 3,080 extra homes in the district over the next 17 years on top of the 2,520 homes already identified in the Purbeck Local Plan Part one.

That exercise triggered a significant level of objection to the overall number of new homes proposed and the location of new housing sites. The consultation highlighted the need for more affordable homes for local people and generated concerns about flooding, loss of Green Belt land and the prospect of new homes on land in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Councillor Peter Wharf, who is leading the partial review group, said: “Pausing the process does not come without risk.  By doing this additional work, we could be left without an approved up-to-date local plan.

“The district would be more vulnerable to development ‘by appeal’ as the council would have less ground to object to development.”

Councillor Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council, explained the planning authority would also consider commissioning an independent review of the Partial Review process in order to ensure that any revised proposals were the most appropriate approach for the district. 

Read the news story.

Roger Milne