All posts by Phil Summerton

Cllr. David Tett writes in support of ADVEARSE !

“The public examination gets underway on the 25th November.  The Petition of Advearse sets out the concerns and fears of many townspeople and others with regard to the potential development of a vast number of homes at Vearse Farm, concerns and fears which I share.

We are all too aware of the floods in the recent past and, coupled with the pending development of the Waste Transfer station at Broomhills, will only put even more pressure on the inadequate road structure.

Moreover, it is Central Government policy not to build on green land but to concentrate on brown land sites”.

Facebook letter from a prospective new resident !

From Chloe “Branny”Branwhite on Bridport N0tice page
As a young person hoping to move to the area, what worries me about the Vearse Farm development is that it will make Bridport something of a mini-version of where I currently live (east London) and spoil some of the very reasons I’m moving to the town. I don’t claim to be an expert on the situation in Bridport – far from it – but I have been a regular visitor for fifteen years now. I don’t disagree that there is a need for social housing (just as there is in my local area) – certainly if I was moving to Bridport on my own – well, frankly I couldn’t afford to. But need the development be so *big*? Especially when a lot of the houses aren’t even going to be “for the locals” as such. I have read somewhere that they will be for “economic migrants”, which doesn’t sound very local to me. Will there be enough jobs for these people (I am expecting to commute) or the infrastructure to support such a large influx of people? Are there enough school places for their children or places where those same children can go after school? There is currently an average three week wait where I live to see a GP – while I doubt the Medical Centre could get that bad, are the people of Bridport prepared for potentially waiting longer to see a doctor, or a dentist? Instead of a rush hour, are you prepared for a rush two, three or even four hours because of the inevitable increase in traffic? What about those who rely on the bus to get around (such as myself), will there be enough room for them to get on and get to work on time where they do find employment? Yes, the development will probably bring some short-term employment while is being built and yes, local businesses will probably benefit from potentially 1500+ plus regular customers once the houses are occupied. But would it really be worth it to build quite so many, when there is no guarantee that they simply won’t become more holiday and/or retirement properties, with few or none for the local people who really need them? By all means, build some houses (though I hear the proposed site is a floodplain, so its maybe not the greatest place). But eight hundred is, in the opinion of this grockle, far too many.

Signatures hit 1,250+ !

A successful morning in Bucky Doo Square, Bridport was experienced by ADVEARSE members, on Saturday 25th October. The two combined petitions now currently total 1,290 signatures, opposing the housing development at Vearse Farm, West Road, Bridport ! More signatures are still expected to be submitted.

Thank you to all the local residents and visitors to the Town, who kindly signed our petition !

If you have missed today’s opportunity to sign up, please go to our electronic petition on …..

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-vearse-farm

West Dorset District Council – Local Plan – Response to Further Consultation by ADVEARSE

[email protected]

  1. CONSULTATION
    • ADVEARSE is grateful for the opportunity to respond to this further consultation. As we have stated to the Council before the decision to confine comments to changes to the plan is flawed and undemocratic.
    • Over the past year we have attended many meetings and been contacted by many people. Many people in Bridport including Town Councillors who made the point on record at a public meeting believe that the initial consultation was a charade. Bridport feels that it was not fully consulted about the original proposals.
    • We would urge you to accept comments which are wider than those based on the changes. We therefore ask that you confirm that this submission has been accepted.

     

  2. COMMENTS ON THE STRATEGIC HOUSING MARKET REPORT BY PETER BRETT
    • After the dire performance of your previous consultant at the Inspectors initial hearing we are not surprised that you brought in a different set of consultants. They are building on previous work and it is revealing to note that many of these were found to be inadequate. There are so many variables which can change we have little faith in the revised figure of 775.
    • This is a thorough document, with on the surface of it, an impressive set of statistics. It certainly tries to challenge previous assumptions. At the end of the day it is however only producing policy driven evidence. We see no evidence in your revised submission to the Inspector that you have used both the Brett report and the delay in the Inspector’s consideration to revisit the fundamentals of the WDDC policy regarding the construction of this plan.
    • We note that the report states that (within constraints) Local Authorities can now set their own targets. Where is the evidence that you have actually engaged with this opportunity with for example the Bridport Town Council?
    • The fact the report covers the wider area including Weymouth and Portland is encouraging in that the housing demand can be seen in a wider context and spread where it is actually needed.
    • The report does however show a number of factors which would question the numbers proposed for housing. Firstly the impact of migration – By our own experience we know that if you build houses in West Dorset people from outside will buy them. That does not however mean that these were actually needed. It certainly will not fulfil the requirement to meet LOCAL housing need. Secondly – the completion figures are consistently below target. (6.26)

     

  3. Finally the report is focussed on housing, population, creation of households. It cannot be criticised for that since it is a report on Housing Market need. However, these issues need to be fed into all the other factors – employment, environment; transport…WDDC has never adequately addressed these. Other Local Authorities such as the South Hams have chosen to be more robust in taking all these factors into account. As a result the character of the area is being preserved from the ravages of over development.
     
  4. CHAPTER 3 – SUSTAINABLE PATTERN OF DEVELOPMENT ONLY
    • Having listened to the Inspectors criticisms of the Plan we are surprised that the changes you propose are so minimal.
    • In what way is this ‘sustainable pattern of development’?
    • As indicated in the last section we do not see how you can justify the increased figure of 775 other than an attempt to mollify the Inspector.
    • FPC3 – where will these jobs actually come from? If you are accepting a more modest target for job growth who will actually buy the houses? In what way will this distorted housing market create a balanced demographic?
    • FPC5 / FPC6 /FPC7 – Tinkering with the figures is largely irrelevant.
    • Where is the analysis of affordable? The real need for housing exists on the housing lists – affordable housing for local people. Nationally there are many examples where builders are avoiding their obligations to provide affordable housing. Where is there any discussion of this critical issue in your consultations?

     

  5. OVERALL COMMENTS
    • As Peter Brett’s report shows predictions of future growth be it population, housing need and the like are always imprecise and theoretical. Unfortunately they translate into specific proposals. In the case of West Dorset they are used to justify a massive development at Vearse Farm
    • WDDC has failed to take the opportunity of the delay to rethink the flawed Local Plan. For Bridport the plan proposes a development of a massive scale on a site which has many problems not least the impact of flooding and traffic management. Do we really wish to see the creeping suburbanisation of East Dorset here?
    • The Plan remains unsound on many levels. The veneer of statistical objectivity which has been used to tinker with the housing projections leaves the Plan as a whole inadequate for the future of West Dorset. The people have a right to expect more from those charged with taking a long term view.

ADVEARSE Steering Group – Summary of Meeting – 29 May 2014

Key outcomes

  1. New members- We agreed to invite 2 new members to join the group.
  2. We discussed the news that the Highways Agency have expressed increased concern about traffic issues particularly at Miles Cross. We agreed to contact the Agency to get a detailed briefing .
  3. We noted the outcome of the new consultant report on housing need in West Dorset and the fact that WDDC ‘s Local Plan is likely to be re-presented to the Inspector shortly. We agreed to be fully involved in the Inspection hearings.
  4. We agreed that our main focus should be the Neighbourhood Plan . We will aim to be involved in the process and the referendum which is required for its adoption. We considered tactics we might deploy should Vearse Farm be included.
  5. Website – 600 plus hits so far.
  6. Next meeting June 25

Press Release: Website Launched 15 April 2014

PRESS RELEASE FROM ADVEARSE

WEBSITE LAUNCHED – APRIL 2014

ADVEARSE has announced the launch of its website.

http://advearse.org.uk

A spokesperson said ‘we have developed the site in response to the many requests we have received asking us to do so’.

The site gives the background to the establishment of the group to raise public awareness of the massive development proposed in the West Dorset Local Plan for the Vearse Farm area of Bridport. There is the opportunity for people to post comments on the site. The site has been developed by Roger Goudge who commented ‘the site is an early stage in its development and we will expect to build the content over the coming months’.

ADVEARSE is monitoring the growing number of similar protests across the country and believes the website will alert to the many people across the country who enjoy the area round Bridport and who will be shocked at the prospect of such a glaring scar on the entrance to the town.

ADVEARSE can also be contacted via the e-mail address

[email protected]