We have completed a draft response on the Dorset Council Local Plan. The full document can be accessed via the link below. We welcome comments on this response and will be submitting the final version to Dorset Council on 12 March. Also please feel free to use or refer to this document in your own response to Dorset Council.
Our main concerns as set out in more detail in our response are summarised below.
|Consultation (Page 3)||The Dorset Council Local Plan is not a fair and proper consultation. Specific housing plans are given but here are no options or alternatives for people to choose between. The consultation period should be significantly extended under delegated powers and the LP amended to provide strategic alternatives for people to select/comment on.|
|Housing (Page 4, 5,19)||The Local Plan should reflect genuine local housing needs and not be driven by unrealistic and unnecessary government set targets that do not reflect the local situation. Dorset Council should make the case for locally appropriate housing numbers below central targets.|
|Climate Change/Environmental Protection (Page 5,7)||The proposed Local Plan is not compatible with Dorset Council’s declared climate emergency, zero carbon commitments and responsibility for protecting the natural environment|
|Green Belt/AONB (Page 6)||There is little credible support and no strategic policies for the protection of AONB (Area of Natural Beauty) land.|
|Flood Risk (Page 17)||There is a lack of focus on reducing flood risk via Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and avoiding building houses in areas that will increasingly as a result of climate change be at risk of flooding.|
|Pollution (Page 14)||Traffic pollution as a result of large scale housing estates is not taken seriously. The Local Plan must accept that where there are legally exceeded levels of NO2 an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area), will be declared (eg East Street, Bridport).|
|Expectations on developers||A thread running through the plan is a soft approach to developer commitments. Requirements on developers should be mandatory and not optional.|
|Economy (Page 21)||This section needs to be completely reassessed as there is no sense that employment will change radically in the next 20 years.|
|Transport (Page 24)||Transport is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in Dorset, but there is no credible plan for improving vehicle, cycling and pedestrian networks to achieve the essential reduction in carbon emissions whilst increasing the housing stock.|