All posts by Phil Summerton

20 Days left – Fundraising Update!

We now have over 250 people supporting the campaign through either direct donations or Crowdfunding pledges.

With all this great support we have now just over £10,500 left to raise to hit our £34k target to fund the Judicial Review and try to stop the massive and damaging Vearse Farm Bridport Urban extension.

But we have just 20 days left to raise this money – so please keep the donations and pledges coming in. This is a really worthwhile cause to stop the loss of our precious AONB countryside, prevent the spoiling of Bridport and pressure Dorset Council to build genuinely affordable eco-friendly houses for local people using available brownfield sites

PRESS RELEASE – Dorset Council procrastinate over judicial review legal deadline

Dorset Council have asked to defer the deadline to respond to a lawyer’s letter setting out ADVEARSE’s proposed claim for a judicial review against the outline planning permission for the Vearse Farm development.  Officially, a response should be expected within 14 days of receipt of the pre-action protocol letter sent by Leigh Day Solicitors. 

The official decision notice granting outline planning permission to Hallam Land Management was issued on election day, Thursday 2 May.  ADVEARSE has just six weeks from this date (deadline 13 June) to apply for the judicial review.  In accordance with legal requirements, Leigh Day sent the pre-action letter, addressed to the council’s legal department, on 8 May.  Dorset Council says the letter was received on 9 May but that it took a further four days for it to reach the legal department through internal mail.  In their interim reply the council has said it cannot make the deadline of 23 May and has asked for a further extension to 6 June, four weeks after the letter was received.  It says it needs the time to prepare a response, despite reporting in Local Government Lawyer on 21 March 2019 that it was aware of ADVEARSE’s intentions.

ADVEARSE Chairman Barry Bates says ‘The decision notice was issued on the afternoon before a bank holiday weekend and before the new council had a chance to be elected.  Luckily, we and our lawyers have been on standby awaiting the decision notice for almost 18 months since the planning committee made its initial decision to allow the development to go ahead.’ 

While the council’s delays will not affect the time limit for the judicial review application, its failure to meet the 14-day deadline may be taken into account by the court and costs sanctions imposed.  Leigh Day is asking for a compromise deadline of 27 May. 

In the meantime, ADVEARSE has, after initial legal and other costs, just over £12,000 left to raise of its £34,000 target money.  It must raise this money before 13 June or the legal action cannot be actioned and the Vearse Farm development cannot be stopped. 

ADVEARSE Treasurer Phil Summerton says ‘People wouldn’t object if this was a smaller-scale development of genuinely low-cost housing for local people.  But this is set to be a luxury estate for second-home owners and will bring in retirees on a massive scale.  This goes against national protections for AONB land, but local democracy has let us down and now the only recourse appears to be to the law.  This is our very last chance to stop the Vearse Farm development.’

Bridport residents have rallied round contributing direct donations of £10,000 and these have been matched by a donation of £10,000 from Dorset CPRE.  A further £3,560 has been raised through the Bridport-based Crowdfunder website: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb.

Support is now being sought from further afield in recognition that Vearse Farm, the biggest development ever to be allowed on AONB land, will set a dangerous precedent for urban sprawl all over the UK countryside.

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Further information

Information about ADVEARSE can be found at: http://www.advearse.org.uk/about-advearse/

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ADVEARSE/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/advearse

Crowdfunder: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb

Canvassing in Bucky Doo Bridport

We had a great morning canvassing in Bucky Doo Square on Saturday 18th May! Here is a photo of some of the team campaigning against the massive and damaging Vearse Farm urban extension of Bridport.

The most important thing we took away from canvassing people on Saturday was that they were very interested to know that something could be done! Also they were shocked by the fact that it was our LAST AND ONLY CHANCE to try to stop this development. There is a real sense of urgency – particularly as the remaining funds are needed by 10 June or the bulldozers will be in!

Our flawed planning system

One of the most repeated comments we hear in relation to Bridport’s (Vearse Farm) urbanisation is – “How on earth can this happen?”

It is incredibly difficult to understand how Dorset Council could possibly grant planning permission for this massive development on AONB land on the outskirts of Bridport. Also, grant this permission in the face of massive local people, Town Council and Parish Councils opposition.

But then articles like the one linked below demonstrate just how dysfunctional and corrupt the whole planning system is. Best to sit down when you read it as it is guaranteed to make your blood boil.

But there is something increasingly local communities are doing where disastrous planning applications are granted – using Judicial Reviews to challenge and overturn these terrible planning decisions. Please join us in our campaign to stop Bridport’s urbanisation.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/31/britain-land-housing-crisis-developers-not-building-land-banking

Dorset Council Hypocrisy!!

Following on from an earlier post regarding Bridport Town Council declaring a climate emergency we now have Dorset Council doing the same! But in DC’s case this is just rank hypocrisy!

Below is the Bridport News article link:
https://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/17644385.dorset-council-declares-climate-emergency-after-morning-of-protests-outside-south-walks-house/

The article says “DORSET Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’ following a morning of protests.” Also “A photo tweeted by the council showed that 69 Councilors were in favour of the motion, while two Councilors were against and six abstained from the vote.”

Talk about shameless virtue signalling and hypocrisy!

18 months ago West Dorset County Council (DC’s predecessor) Planning Committee passed Vearse Farm planning application in the teeth of massive opposition by 11 votes with one lone councilor objecting. Would DC now pass such a planning application with all the environmental and climate change damage?

Lets help Dorset Council recover their virtue by giving them a chance to halt the Vearse Farm development!

Help us raise the funds for the Judical Review and then DC can do the right thing – not oppose our JR and consign the massive and destructive VF plan in the dustbin. They can then get on with plans that don’t damage the environment and which actually provide genuine affordable housing for local people!

Bucky Doo Canvasing!

Advearse members and supporters will be canvasing for support against the massive Vearse Farm development in Bucky Doo Square, Bridport on Saturday 18 May from 10am to midday.

Please come and join us and help raise appreciation of the huge damage that this development will inflict on Bridport and the wider AONB status. We only have 24 days left to raise the remaining money to launch a Judicial Review against the development. This is Bridport’s last chance! After 10 June nothing will stop the massive 10+ year construction from starting with plans for at least 930 houses.

Here are some of the team at the last Bucky Doo Square session!

Bridport Climate Emergency

Bridport Town Council are considering declaring a climate emergency according to a Bridport News Article. The town council pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.

This is a very laudable aim and as the Town Council say it will require Central Government and County Council support. But when you consider that over 20% of new houses sold on West Dorset are second homes or holiday lets how an earth can the destructive Vearse Farm major urbanisation of Bridport (imposed by Dorset Council and opposed by Bridport town Council) help achieve the town’s carbon neutral goal. After all second and holiday homes have to be heated in Winter even when unoccupied! What is needed is genuinely affordable houses for local people.

We have 24 days left to fund the Judicial Review and try and stop Vearse Farm urbanisation. Please help by going to our Crowdfunder appeal or donating directly (see our donations page). https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb


https://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/17642611.bridport-could-declare-climate-emergency-today/

Comments, comments….

Below are just a sample of the comments left on Crowdfunder by our supporters. Thanks you so much for your pledges and support!

All the comments are heartfelt and explain exactly why the massive Vearse Farm urbanisation will be a disaster for Bridport and the AONB land countrywide!

“Bridport is unique”

“Let’s hope we can stop this monstrous carbuncle of a development”

“Advearse have already pointed out that there are plenty of brownfield sites in the area that could be developed in preference to despoiling this AONB, and this should be taken on board by the planning authorities.”

“Unspoilt beauty. AONB…..what is the point of the status when such a large building plan can go ahead.”

“Too many expensive houses and second homes when we should be building affordable houses. Dorset is under threat from developers.”

“I know more housing is needed, but this development is unacceptable by any standards. At a time when the environment is at the forefront of the news, it is frankly outrageous.”

“We need to protect our countryside from irresponsible planners. Remember Rampisham.”

“This is a prime example of why Dorset needs National Park status!”

“This sort of over development must be stopped!”

“Not NIMBYism, I would support brownfield site development in the area, but this is a truly beautiful area”

Important to respect the quality and character of all of Dorset’s countryside and communities by promoting appropriate development where this is needed, including making use of brownfield land first.

“Affordable housing for local people is essential but this development will not provide that. It has the potential to ruin our beautiful countryside and the charm of the town itself. The roads surrounding Bridport are already full to capacity in the summer months. It does not feel like a positive development for Bridport.”

“It is so important that the AONB should not be breached for the benefit of developers.”

“Support this case to stop massive luxury housing estates on AONB land that rural people can’t afford. We want houses for local need not developer greed.”

“Lets save Bridport and the AONB everywhere!”

We’ll put more comments up soon…..maybe even the ones that say what people really think of our County Council planning department!!

Fundraising Update!

With the response to the Crowdfunder appeal and continuing direct donations received there remains just over £12,300 to raise in the next 4 weeks to fund the Judicial Review.

The JR is the last chance to stop this massive and destructive development ruining Bridport! Also if we are successful it will help to discourage other major developments on AONB land in Dorset and the rest of England.

We continue with the leafleting campaign in Bridport and the local area and are active on social media. We are sending press releases to local and national media. We will also be putting up further posters and arranging a protest march to increase awareness.

As the time left is short we need all the help we can get to raise the remaining money. So please donate (see our donations page) or pledge via Crowdfunder (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb). Encourage your neighbours, friends and family to do the same!

Also if you have any suggestions or ideas on how we can support the fund raising then we would be delighted to hear them!

Thanks for your support!

Bridport News Article

Please find at the bottom of the page a link to the Bridport News article on the Judicial Review fundraising against the Vearse Farm development.

Dorset Council state the final outline planning approval for Vearse Farm has been confirmed following the signing of a Section 106 agreement. Also that the developers have been instructed to submit a phasing plan, to allow the development to proceed on a phased basis. It does not mention that this is a 10 year construction or that Dorset Council want to add another 170 houses to the development!

Interestingly there is no response to local residents plan for a Judicial Review against the development. It seems as far as Dorset Council and the developers are concerned there is no way for this massive and destructive development on AONB land to be stopped.

How fantastic it would be for us to prove them wrong! Please do what you can to support the fundraising campaign either with a direct contribution (see our donations page) or by going on to our Crowdfunder site
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb

https://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/17629609.advearse-determined-to-fight-vearse-farm-development-with-judicial-review/