Category Archives: Newsflash

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!

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!

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 ( 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!

Crowdfunder Appeal launched

On 6 May we launched our Crowdfunder online fundraising appeal.  We have just a few short weeks to raise the remaining £16,000 in order to apply for a judicial review against the outline planning permission for Vearse Farm.  For this we desperately and urgently need your help. Please find below the Crowdfunder link:

It is vital that we get off to a good start on the Crowdfunder so please pledge what you can and also please send the Crowdfunder link to all your family, friends, colleagues etc so that they can also assist by making pledges.  Messages of support on Crowdfunder would also be great.

The aim of the Crowdfunder is for all concerned people (not just local people) to make pledges towards the remaining £16,000 that we need to raise. These pledges will only be collected if the target is reached.

Our lawyers are currently undertaking all the pre-work in preparation for applying for the judicial review, the deadline for which is on 13 June 2019.  However, we cannot proceed with the application if we have not raised the money we need to pay for it.

People always like to be on a winning team and if it is clear on our Crowdfunder campaign that we are on track to meet our target it can only help to encourage other people to also make pledges. We are doing everything we can to publicise the campaign in local and national media and also approaching sympathetic organisations to see what support they can offer. 

Please keep your eye on the Crowdfunder site to see how we are progressing!

 Thanks so much for your continuing support, donations and pledges. If you prefer to make a direct donation to Advearse instead of making a pledge on Crowdfunder then details for this are on the other side of this sheet.

Why not use Brownfield sites?

The Council’s brownfield site register shows the scale of available brownfield land that could be used to build genuinely affordable houses, but instead is being ignored in favour of greenfield sites eg the massive Vearse Farm urban extension.

Below is the list of sites and the houses that could be built to ensure Bridport’s housing need and not developer greed is met!

Interestingly the Council own the Flood Lane site and have sold it to McCarthy & Stone to build 42 high-quality Retirement Living apartments. Genuinely affordable houses for the young people of Bridport clearly are a low priority to the Council!

Rope Walks car park, Bridport 20
Depot, Church Street 6
St Swithins Road, Bridport 20
Former Proton Garage and Works 10
Bradfords Builders Merchants 34
Coach Station Square, Bridport 50
Flood Lane, Bridport 30
Land off Pymore Road, Bridport 8

Why CPRE support the Advearse Campaign

Our countryside is being destroyed by the scale and type of building development that is taking place.

The government has set a target of building 300,000 houses per year.  The formula it devised to determine housing need across the country, however, has recently been found to include major errors in its statistical projections, which means the government’s figures for housing need are grossly inflated.  Housing need is now being estimated at nearly 50% below the government annual target.

Local authorities have no say in the number of houses they are required to plan to build.  They are bribed or penalised by central government over funding and meeting house-building targets; and they are also blackmailed by developers into granting planning consent to avoid the expense of government-policy-endorsed legal action against them if they try to refuse.  That’s why CPRE are calling the National Planning Policy Framework a speculative developers’ charter.

So rather than delivering what communities want, local government and local democracy effectively does not exist when it comes to planning permission in this country – this is why your voice and all your objections to Vearse Farm have been ignored by the council.

This situation is made worse here in West Dorset because the original, adopted Local Plan had a target of just under 16,000 houses based on the flawed national government formula, but the Local Plan Review has increased this figure to just over 19,000.  So if the government formula is wrong by 50%, then the number of houses planned for West Dorset is grossly excessive by a staggering 78%. 

Not only that, but the national targets are higher in areas such as Dorset where affordability is a problem, but the formula does not take into account the fact that the kind of growth it promotes may be applicable to urban areas and big cities, but is not appropriate for a small market town in a rural area, like Bridport.

Adding insult to injury, the West Dorset Local Plan Review admits that its house-building target is an oversupply that significantly exceeds what is purported to be the ‘objectively assessed need’ – while at the same time stating that ‘the total projected need for affordable housing is not expected to be met in the plan review period’.  This is because the houses planned to be built will in the main be luxury, unaffordable housing designed to make huge profits for developers but nothing to help local Dorset people. 

Now if you’re thinking this isn’t so bad because laws of supply and demand mean an oversupply of houses will bring prices down – think again.  The only people likely to be able to afford these houses are retirees from the big cities or second-home owners.  Such people are able and prepared to pay a premium for the houses, which will, in fact push prices up in the area.  So the 35% of so-called affordable houses pledged but not guaranteed to be built on developments like Vearse Farm, will be available for 80% of a cost vastly inflated by the model itself. 

So the entire planning policy is flawed, and biased completely towards profits for the developers while doing nothing to help house local people and families in need of low-cost and social housing.

West Dorset District Council has also failed to provide any kind of brownfield first policy.  In order to build on AONB land, the council and the developers have to prove that there are exceptional circumstances and that it is in the public interest for the AONB status – which should afford the highest possible protections – to be overruled.  The fact that this development will not help local people get the houses they need and can afford, shows that there are no exceptional circumstances to justify disregarding the law on this and concreting over our countryside.

Part of the reason the CPRE has granted ADVEARSE match-funding of up to £10,000 towards a judicial review against Vearse Farm is that it will be the biggest development ever to have been built on AONB land.  This is therefore a problem much bigger than Bridport alone, because if it is allowed to go ahead without challenge it will set a dangerous precedent allowing planning authorities to build anywhere on green belt and AONB land – and it will effectively destroy the protections of the AONB designation all over the country. 

Should ADVEARSE be successful, however, it will set a helpful legal precedent that can be applied across the whole of the planning process for West Dorset, regardless of existing Local Plan allocations, and one which will help to sustain and support AONB protections elsewhere in the country. 

Please give your support to this campaign, as CPRE has done.

Fundraising Update – 25 April 2019

Thanks to the generosity of the people of Bridport the Judicial Review fundraising to challenge the Vearse Farm Outline Planning Permission reached £8,500. 136 people have donated with an average donation of over £60. We have had 32 donations of over £100 and 69 of over £50. Many local people have also promised to donate.

With the CPRE match funding support the total is doubled to £17,000! The CPRE matched funding is up to a maximum of £10,000 which means to reach the fundraising target of £34,000 we need to collect a further £15,500 in donations.

Once the Council issue the Decision notice we will only have 6 weeks to launch the Judicial Review. After that nothing can be done to prevent this massive urban extension from going ahead. So please donate and encourage your friends and neighbours to support the campaign.

Thank You!

Video of Vearse Farm

We have made a short video setting out the case against the against the unnecessary and massively destructive urbanisation of Bridport resulting from the Vearse Farm planning application.

Please share with friends and family so we can obtain the maximum support and donations to fund the Judicial Review against the planning application.

Save Bridport