The public can view plans to set aside land for around 1,000 new homes on the edge of Dorchester at drop-in sessions over the next few weeks.
West Dorset District Council is inviting comments from residents as part of a consultation over the local plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.
The drop in sessions will also include sites at Crossways, Sherborne and Beaminster and will be held at:
South Walks House (New Council Offices), Dorchester: Wednesday 27 February 1-7pm
Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne: Thursday 28 February 1-7pm
Beaminster Town Hall, Beaminster: Tuesday 5 March 1-7pm
Crossways Village Hall, Crossways: Wednesday 6 March 1-7pm
A six-week public consultation began at the end of January and will finish on 14 March 2013.
The Local Plan sets out a long term planning strategy to meet future housing, employment and leisure needs in the area.
It covers important issues like where housing could be built, how the economy can be boosted and what infrastructure like schools and play areas may be needed.
It also looks at how climate change can be tackled, the environment protected and how future developments can be made more sustainable.
West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have a duty to plan for the right amount of development over the coming years.
The councils have worked out how much additional housing is required in the area from projected population figures based on findings from the 2011 Census. This means any land allocated for development that is removed or reduced from the Local Plan would need to be replaced.
Public consultation on the joint West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan was held in June and July 2012.
The council considered residents’ feedback from last summer’s consultation, including strong local concerns regarding the development proposals at Barton Farm in Sherborne, Hollymoor Lane in Beaminster and at Crossways. The council could reduce the development allocations in these areas if the alternative site at Dorchester were included in the plan.
This is why the district council is now looking at a site to the south east of the county town.
The plans for the site to the south east of Dorchester could include affordable housing, as well as local community facilities, offices and industrial units providing more employment for West Dorset as well as improved road access.
Cllr Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “We would urge local people to get involved and have their say on the Local Plan as it will help us to identify the most appropriate sites to support the future housing and development need of West Dorset.
“It is very important we gather the views of local people about how they want to see the future growth and development of their area.
“The consultation events will offer a perfect opportunity for the public to actively share their views and participate in discussions and we really would like to see people come along and take part.”
Residents can also comment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: 01305 252386 or post to: West Dorset District Council, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UZ.
Further details can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/newlocalplan/west/weymouth
After the public consultation the proposed changes to the plan would then be presented to councillors at Policy Scrutiny Committee, Executive Committee and Full Council before being submitted over the summer to the planning inspector for independent examination.
The Local Plan could be adopted as soon as February 2014.
For more information, please contact:
West Dorset District Council
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