The first meeting of the LMNP2 working group was held on October 20th 2021.

In commencing the group, the key objectives were discussed and summarised as follows:

  • Counter the current erosion of the green belt, including agricultural conversions
  • Require that any development meets the CCE sustainable criteria and delivers net zero houses.
  • Develop sustainable pedestrian friendly links within the village; safe walking routes, particularly to school.
  • Improve green amenity spaces and recreation facilities around the village.
  • Redress the imbalance of housing and employment opportunities.
  • Specify standards of local identity design guidelines to emphasise community objectives

During the meeting a number of topics were discussed as reported below.

Position and reaction of local MP:

One of the issues raised on October 1st was to understand the position and reaction of our local MP to the current local plans. Copies of his letters to Dorset Council (Jan & Mar 2021) were distributed to participants.

Purbeck Local Plan (PLP):

It was noted that the PLP had been held back, partly through the illness and retirement of the examiner and partly because of issues regarding Morden Park Holiday village and the associated strategic SANG. It is understood that the original request was for both the holiday park and SANG to lose their green belt status, which was deemed unnecessary. DC Planning have advised that the plan will be amended and there will be a new consultation on this specific change. The appointment of a new examiner is expected to take place 2022 Q1, therefore PLP adoption is likely to be in 2023 Q2, perhaps Q3.

Following discussion, the WG agreed that they wanted to encourage as many LM residents as possible to send letters to the area Planning Committee and councillors who represent the ‘Purbeck’ area. Residents should construct their own letters but would be sent a summary of the main points together with a list of councillors. It was noted that in the past, bulk copies of the same letter have been disregarded by the receiving council.

Wareham Road Planning Application

The Wareham Rd application was discussed and it was noted that this cannot be approved before the PLP is formally adopted. The current planning application was initiated by the developer to allow them to address DC Planning concerns in preparation for the PLP adoption. Reiterating points made at the Village Meeting of October 1st, it was noted that the developer has also informed the Parish Council Chairman that they intend to submit further applications for 55 houses around Blaneys Corner and Flowers Drove. It was agreed to that we need to encourage as many people as possible to respond on an ongoing basis to the planning application. While the application may have closed for comments, additional information and reports are being added to the application and in the PC’s opinion, this allows for additional feedback.

The PC itself wrote a lengthy objection on the green belt issue and stated that it reserved the right for further comments as and when additional information was presented. Response was received from Wyatt Homes and can be read here (as a PDF).

Planning consultants

The issue of using a planning consultant to address key points was discussed. Attendees referenced the previous use of a consultant to advise them on strategy at the PLP Hearings in 2019 and recommended their services. Another attendee advised that they were in contact with a traffic consultant who could potentially provide services.

Next steps:

  • PC to issue councillor contact list and summary of main points to consider
  • PC to review membership of CPRE
  • PC to review engagement of consultants in a targeted manner
  • PC to request for repeat traffic survey
  • Review with DAPTC for cross–Dorset response
  • Clarify DC process for planning application delegation or committee review

Dorset Local Plan

Prospective timetable as shown on the DC website: Jan 2022 Consultation; May 2022 Publication; Oct 2022 Submission; Q2 2023 Examination; Q4 2023 Adoption)

Next Steps

  • Request impact of Covid-19 and Brexit uncertainties
  • Review green belt very exceptional circumstances
  • Review sustainability – no jobs in LM
  • Review forecast traffic issue
NP2 working group October 21 update
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