Bridport Town Council is to meet with the organisers of the petition against the temporary planning application for occasional car parking in Asker Meadows and the temporary location of a class room. It is also to discuss the application with the Planners to see whether changes to the application can be made to take account of some of the concerns raised regarding the car parking. Councillor Sarah Williams Leader of the Town Council stated in response to the petition:
“The Town Council agreed to submit this application for the temporary use on the showfield only, in view of the calls for possible overflow town centre parking on busy days during the summer. The application was submitted to get the views of the public and the relevant statutory agencies.
The Town Council has worked hard over the past few years to establish Asker Meadows as an important green space and nature reserve, opening it up to the public with new paths and cycleways. It is recognised that this is a very popular space and that people have concerns about how it is used. I must stress though that the Town Council has no intention to turn Asker Meadows into an “urban car park”. We are putting in a temporary request to use a very small part of the showfield for extra parking for a small number of days a year when Bridport is overloaded. There will be no hard engineering, no concrete, tarmac or parking meters. The surfacing will not be changed in anyway and the field will not be used if the weather is poor. The sensitive areas of the site – the ‘river corridor’ and the ‘wildlife corridor’ – will not be harmed. We estimate that the amount of space taken up with cars would only be about 6% of the whole site, for around 9hrs on a small number of days during the summer. Any income received from the parking could be used to assist conservation work over the whole of Asker Meadows.
In terms of the temporary classroom, this is intended to be a space to teach students conservation skills such as dry-stone walling and hedge laying and greatly help with the conservation work on the site. It can also be used for other groups to run work days and awareness raising courses and enhance the educational value of the meadows.
We will be meeting with the organisers of the petition and will ensure that everyone is kept fully informed of progress. We will review all the comments and feedback received before deciding on the best way to proceed. We continue to welcome people’s views andplease contact the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org, 01308 456722 or write to the Town Council at Mountfield, Bridport DT6 3JP. People can also make comments directly to West Dorset District Council on the application. The closing date for comments is 26 May.”