Bridport Town Council has published its work so far on the planning application for the Foundry Lea housing development and is encouraging the local community to get involved.
The application, which deals with the housing and highways aspects of the development, was submitted by the developers in December 2021, and the deadline for comments is 10 January 2022. Town councillors want local people and groups to be able to understand the application and respond, and have published their initial thoughts on the application in the form of a summary video and draft planning comments.
Council Leader Cllr Dave Rickard said “So far we’ve identified some good things in the application, like the affordable housing, provision for cycling, solar panels, electric vehicle charging, and some welcome attention to how the development will look. But we’re very concerned that the development doesn’t do enough to meet our future environmental needs. We’ve all heard in recent times about the dangers of climate change and the need to reduce our carbon emissions, and big developments like this are one opportunity to start making a meaningful difference. Our hope is that with a strong community response we can achieve some improvements.”
The Town Council set up a working group last year to engage with the developers, along with key stakeholders including Symondsbury Parish Council, in whose area the site lies. And recently, councillors have engaged with other agencies such as Dorset Council and Wessex Water to press for assurances on the infrastructure surrounding the development – like highways, cycle paths, drainage and sewerage. Cllr Rickard said “The outline permission granted in 2019 means that the development will now go ahead, so regardless of people’s views we now need to focus on getting the best possible development for Bridport. We want Foundry Lea to be an exemplar in design and environmental standards, and a good ‘fit’ with the town.”
In addition to the housing, the full mixed use development will include an employment site, school, care home, playing fields, and a local centre. Further planning applications covering these aspects are expected to follow in due course.
Town Clerk Will Austin said “This is the first of what we expect to be a series of applications for the full development, and we are keen that people have the information they need to ensure they can give their views. We hope our work so far will help.”
The Town Council’s draft comments and summary video can be found at https://www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/foundry-lea-reserved-matters-application/.