Local people asking to speak against the Foundry Lea (Vearse Farm) reserved matters planning application on 4 August are being told that there is a limit of 3 people permitted to speak. A number of us have been told that the limit has been reached and so we are being silenced. The papers for the meeting are on the council website and the brief summary of objections made do not do justice to the large number of detailed objections made. We believe that the best way for the councillors on the planning committee to understand the depth of local concerns is to hear them first hand.

Please help with getting the council to change their mind by emailling the chair of the planning committee David Shortell ([email protected]) and the Chief Executive ([email protected]) to complain about this arbitrary rule and lack of local democracy. Please ask anyone else you know who may also be concerned to do the same.

Below is our email to Mr Shortell asking for his help in righting this injustice.

Dear Sir,

Ref: Committee Meeting 04 August 2022

I am writing to ask you to exercise the Chair’s discretion and allow all that wish to speak on the agenda item relating to Vearse Farm to do so.

I have been sent the guidelines which restrict speaker numbers to 3 in favour and 3 against the proposal. Whilst the restriction might be reasonable for a small development, I would argue that for an application of this size and of such public interest all who wish to should speak.

ADVEARSE has tracked responses to the revised plans and anticipates that numbers will be lower than those who spoke at the OPP stage. It may well be that numbers are manageable and even, if the meeting was as a result to last the full day, then it would surely be worthwhile in terms of local democracy. We have had criticisms about the consultation processes stretching back to the WDDC Local Plan. I can give you details of these if you wish.

I appreciate that Barratt and Vistry should be consulted before you agree to the request but they like Dorset Council have little to lose and much to gain by allowing full open discussion of the proposal.

It would be helpful to have a speedy response because some potential speakers may have been deterred by the limit on speakers and there is little time left to prepare and submit a request.

With best wishes

Barry Bates

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