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Council must listen to communities on new Local Plan

6th March 2024

Dorset CPRE and Dorset Deserves Better joint press release after Dorset Council delay publication of their Local Plan by another year

Press release

Two of Dorset's major campaign groups have joined forces to request an urgent meeting with Dorset Council after the council yesterday (5 March) delayed publication of their Local Plan by another year.

They have also asked Dorset Council for a public commitment that the new draft Local Plan will reflect the priorities clearly called for by communities in response to the Council’s first draft Plan. It is now three years since the public consultation where the draft Local Plan was heavily criticised for not addressing local issues and concerns.

In an open letter to Leader of Dorset Council Cllr Spencer Flower, Dorset CPRE and the Dorset Deserves Better (DDB) campaign say that Dorset Council must now listen to communities’ views. The Council failed to revise the draft Plan to reflect the feedback from communities in 2021. The fresh start gives them the chance to do better at the second attempt.

Neil Matthews, Chair of Dorset CPRE said that “The Local Plan is an essential blueprint for the development of Dorset and yet Dorset Council seem to be continually dragging their feet”. He continued “The initial draft Local Plan was very disappointing with excessive market housing mostly on greenfield sites, far too little to address the needs of local people for social and low-cost housing and nothing to address the climate and ecological challenges that we face.”

Giles Watts of the Dorset Deserves Better Campaign added that “following the consultation, the council accepted that the Local Plan did not reflect the views or priorities of local communities. Our letter reminds Dorset Council of the concerns and priorities expressed by Dorset residents in the 2021 consultation. In our joint letter, we set out the key priorities which we hope Dorset Council will take forward in preparing the new Local Plan.”

 

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