We are grateful that the latest proposals for surface water management at Foundry Lea have been opened for public consultation. The changes are of themselves minor and as such hard to object to. However, the Flood Risk Engineer report is most concerning.

The report sets out conditions which should be met before any development takes place. The most significant clause reads ‘No development shall take place until details of the maintenance and management of both surface water, sustainable drainage scheme and any receiving system have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority’.

This week we have had disruptive floods in West Dorset. These confirm the fears of the impact of climate change. Whilst these were not confined to Vearse Farm they do highlight the concerns that have been expressed since 2012 about the threat downstream from run off from this massive site. Taylor Wimpey cited this as one reason why they considered the site inappropriate for large scale development.

As yet Wessex Water have failed to respond to our repeated requests for details on how it will manage the extra demand created by sewage and run off. Given the discharges into the sea seen this summer at West Bay, this is extremely concerning. It is not clear that the plans reflect the updated flood risk projections of the Environment Agency which featured in the Bridport News earlier this year. Local residents are unlikely to be reassured by the rebuttals from LRM Planning who are after all engaged by the developers. An independent review the Environment Agency is required.

We, therefore, have asked that the Dorset Council Planning Committee accept the recommendation to include the conditions in any approval notice and to ensure that the condition is met in full before development commences.

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