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Press release on proposal to build 550 houses on land between Merley and Wimborne

Cows on Oakley Fields Cows on Oakley Fields

7th May 2022

Apparent misunderstanding concerning a planning application for another 550 dwellings on green fields in Poole

Having assisted the local action group in Poole (and relevant Councillors) Dorset CPRE are very disappointed to learn that the proposal to build 550 houses on land between Merley and Wimborne (to the South of the River Stour) was recently supported by a few Councillors having delegated powers but still accountable to the ultimately responsible Full Council. Their support was given despite the clear statement, at their meeting, that the proposal relates to a mistake in the Poole Local Plan and the fact that some advice was misleading or not available to the meeting.

It was not surprising to learn that the matter has been referred to the Secretary of State, by the action group concerned (Save Land North of Merley), for a review of the issues, a matter we intend to formally endorse. Now it is important to stress that:-

  1. Poole has a failing Local Plan (with a high figure of 1,000 extra houses per year), which has led to development proposals such as this one in North Poole,
  2. Both BCP and Poole Councils have been advised by consultants that there is insufficient growth within their areas to support such a high figure,
  3. Dorset CPRE and others support a lower housing figure and the provision of affordable housing – using urban brownfield sites: agricultural land has better uses than being a means of ensuring urban brownfield land is hoarded,
  4. Local Plan processes are going on “behind closed doors” in both BCP and Dorset Councils,
  5. Residents can benefit from transparent processes and from up-to-date Local Plans based on the latest ONS forecasts. The benefits of sound plans and acceptable implementation of them are obviously at risk, and
  6. Dorset CPRE remains committed to sound planning for the whole of Dorset and welcomes working with concerned people and their communities.


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