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Draft Dorset Council Local Plan

Bridport Town Council Media Statement

23 Feb 2021

Local Plan “must do more to meet Bridport’s needs”

Bridport Town Council finalised its response to the draft Dorset Council Local Plan at a meeting on 22 February, and is calling for major improvements to the document.

The Town Council’s Planning Committee agreed its 28-page response to a consultation on the Plan being carried out by Dorset Council, along with summaries for residents, highlighting its concerns.

The 670-page draft Local Plan aims to guide what can be built, and where, in the Dorset Council area up to 2038, covering issues like housing, employment, the environment, transport and the economy.

The Town Council response welcomes care village proposals for Bridport, and the opening up of the riverside area alongside St Michael’s Trading Estate.  However it also describes the document as “rushed”, and calls for:

  • More attention to community’s needs in policies for Vearse Farm, the town centre, West Bay tourism, affordable housing, and access to, from and around Bridport;
  • Better overall strategies for public transport, parking, culture and the economy;
  • More attention to the climate and ecological crisis, including policies to help residents make their homes energy efficient; and
  • The concept of ‘eco towns’ to be considered for future development of Bridport.

Town Council Leader Cllr Dave Rickard said “A new Local Plan is badly needed as it protects the area from unwanted building and developments, but the draft as it stands isn’t fit for purpose.  I urge residents to join us in highlighting the shortcomings by responding to the consultation in support of our comments.  The final version really must do more to meet Bridport’s needs and to provide coordinated services across Dorset which address the real social needs and the Climate Emergency.”

Alongside its formal response, the Town Council has published summaries of the Local Plan and its views, in text and video form.  Full details can be found at https://www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/the-dorset-council-local-plan-2023-2038/.  Hard copies of the summary and the full response are available to residents by calling 01308 456722.

Planning Committee Chair Cllr Dave Bolwell said “The hard work put in by town councillors should make it easy for people to send in their views on the Local Plan.  Our detailed response, or the summary version can easily be copied or adapted, or people can simply send a comment to Dorset Council saying they support the Town Council’s view.  The more people that do this, the more likely we are to see the plan improved for our area.”

Cllr Sarah Williams, who chaired a working group of councillors to analyse the draft plan said “We spent about 18 hours in total poring over the fine detail and in particular the parts most relevant to Bridport and West Bay.  The result is an in-depth and considered response and I hope residents will use the document to press Dorset Council for a plan that better caters for our environment, economy, housing, transport and community facilities.”

Full details of the Local Plan consultation, which closes on 15 March, can be found on the Dorset Council website at https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/planning-buildings-land/planning-policy/dorset-council-local-plan.aspx.  Residents can send their comments using an online form, by email to planningpolicy@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk, or by post to Planning Policy, Dorset Council, South Walks House, Dorchester DT1 1UZ.

ENDS

Will Austin
Town Clerk, Bridport Town Council
www.bridport-tc.gov.uk
Tel 01308 456722

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