Vearse Farm letter in “Bridport News”……….

“I read with amazement the article in the Bridport News (on page 6; December 1st 2016), related to quotes of Cllr. Ronald Coatsworth on local housing. I presumed that he had been misquoted by citing such sites as Happy Island Way, Bridport as being “sacrosanct” as a potential site for housing ! Why did he deem Happy Island Way to be “a special case” when he did not refer to larger, potential development(s) at Vearse Farm (760 dwellings, and many other emerging sites in Greater Bridport area currently under review) being sacrosanct ? Why was he so discriminatory ?

He has since written to this newspaper on January 26th (Postbag; page 12) reiterating this opinion on not building in Gore and Watford Lanes , Happy Island Way and Home Farm (290, 230 and 140, dwellings respectively).

I do agree that we do NOT require any more open-market houses (if this is his rationale?), however the requirements are, that low-cost houses to allow young and destitute residents in our locale, to purchase or rent at affordable rates.

For Cllr. Coatsworth, who is in an influential position serving on both District and County Councils, not to be championing this cause that I and many others support I feel is a disgrace, and should be loudly encouraged by him, not discouraged.

I might add that Vearse Farm and any other potential sites in our locale, are not a low-cost housing panacea. Current legislation does not support the planner having to build any low-cost housing on emerging sites. The planners are aware of the loophole in the Growth and Infrastructure Act, 2013, which allows them to renege at any period into the build. This was tangibly demonstrated in Seaton in early 2014, whereby 40% deemed as affordables were contracted, but none were built.

Richard Freer


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