A question and answer session is to take place on 16 March on the partial review of the Purbeck Local Plan. This will be held at The Purbeck School.
Purbeck District Council is currently undertaking further work on the partial review, following a consultation which took place in summer 2016. The consultation sought views on options to deliver around 3,080 extra homes in the district over the next 16 years to 2033, on top of 2,520 homes already identified in the Purbeck Local Plan Part 1.
3,300 responses to the consultation highlighted a number of concerns. Issues raised included significant objection to the overall number of new homes proposed; the location of new housing sites; the need for more affordable homes for local people; and concerns about flooding and loss of Green Belt and AONB land. The Council has recently published a full consultation report which includes a summary of the responses and explains how the Council will be seeking to address the concerns.
As a result of the responses, the Council has made a commitment to undertake a series of additional studies, including relooking at housing numbers; environmental constraints; flooding; AONB; Green Belt; and impacts on the transport network; as well as the effect of second homes. The Council is also relooking at boundaries and smaller developments and will update information in light of new economic data, including the implications of leaving the European Union.
The Council is offering an opportunity for interested parties to ask questions about the Local Plan review at a special session to take place at the Purbeck School, Wareham from 5.00pm until 6.30pm on Thursday 16 March.
Councillor Peter Wharf, Chairman of the Purbeck Partial Review Advisory Group, is encouraging anyone interested in the Local Plan review to attend the question and answer session.
Councillor Wharf said: “People made their views quite clear to us during the consultation and, as promised, we are working with parish councils, individuals and residents’ groups to develop a revised plan based on solid evidence. This session forms part of our review process and it will enable people get down to areas of considerable detail by putting their questions to us.”
Councillor Wharf reiterated his comments made in late 2016: “A lot of people are clearly passionate about the district and I am pleased we are working together on this review. However, we must remember that doing this additional work delays the whole process, and we could be left without an approved up-to-date Local Plan by the end of this year, by which time the government Inspector said we should have completed this work.
“This would mean that the district would be more vulnerable to development ‘by appeal’ as the council would have less grounds to object to development.”
This means a planning inspector could overrule the council’s decision to turn down a planning application and grant planning permission somewhere that the Council would not want so many houses to be built and which may not provide the necessary infrastructure.
Councillor Wharf continued: “However, as I said before, this is a risk we must take, and it is important we do it correctly.”
Anyone wishing to ask a question about the local plan review and the additional work which the Council is currently undertaking is encouraged to attend the question and answer session.
The Council would be grateful to receive written questions in advance so that responses can be prepared. Questions can be submitted by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. However this does not prevent anyone else from asking questions on the night.
Also at the meeting on the 16th, there will be an opportunity for attendees to receive an update report on the Local Plan review. This will be presented to the Council’s Partial Review Advisory Group, which is meeting at 7.00pm, following the question and answer session.
There will then be further opportunities for comments on the plan throughout the year.