Bridport News Article 14 March 2019

CAMPAIGNERS are set to challenge a decision to approve planning permission for more than 700 homes near Bridport.

Residents have donated more than £5,000 towards the cost of a judicial review into West Dorset District Council’s decision to grant outline planning permission for the Vearse Farm development.

This amount will be doubled thanks to a match-funding grant from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Dorset.

Chairman of campaign group Advearse, Barry Bates, said: “We are overwhelmed and humbled by Bridport’s generosity. We’re frequently given cheques for £100 and more and most donations are over £50.”

Advearse says its lawyers believe the planning consent can be challenged because, they allege, it contravenes national rules about building on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and should be given ‘the highest possible protection’ from development.

A review will cost around £34,000 and, thanks to donations and match-funding, Advearse has £19,000 left to raise.

Mr Bates added: “The response to our leaflet drop has given us a renewed sense of responsibility. Bridport has shown that it is clearly united against this development which, despite its gross scale, will not deliver truly-affordable homes for local people and we will do our utmost to represent them.”

Advearse says it continues to receive a steady stream of donations and will launch an online appeal through the Bridport-based Crowdfunder website once a final decision notice has been issued by the council – but this will only give them a few weeks to make up any funding shortfall in order to make review application.

The group says it will continue to raise awareness of what it says are the ‘negative ramifications’ of the development and will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at 7pm at the WI Hall on North Street, Bridport.

Members will update residents on the current situation concerning the application for the development. All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact [email protected]

The Bridport and Lyme Regis News has contacted West Dorset District Council to request a comment.

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