New Dorset, New Plan The new Dorset Council was elected on 2nd May and the Cabinet member for planning is David Walsh . It will help if people email firstname.lastname@example.org to record their objections to 1000-2500 extra houses in our village. Please include the key planning argument that Alderholt is too remote from employment and services to be a sustainable location for large scale development and copy email@example.com in if you can. It should help that Dorset Council resolved to declare a “climate emergency” at their first meeting; we’re told they will produce a new local plan rather than just continuing with East Dorset’s proposals.
There is a Conservative majority within the Council but a large opposition (Liberal Democrat, Green, Labour and Independents) should mean more challenge to flawed policies. Alderholt and Cranborne Ward has elected Dave Tooke as our Councillor; Dave is a founder member of A4A and a Liberal Democrat.
How many houses? There has been confusion about numbers. East Dorset’s plan talks about “in excess of 1000 dwellings” being built in the village. When we looked at all the green field sites put forward it was clear there is space for up to 2400 houses; after our “freedom of information” request the planners admitted this is true. Since the plan was published more sites have been put forward, so there could even be more than 2500.
New Parish Council Alderholt PC has also changed with 6 out of 9 members now being strong A4A supporters. We will be meeting our planning consultant and Dorset Council’s planning officers on 6th June. We are all determined that the PC will oppose inappropriate development with more urgency and resolve.
Alternative local plans The “alternative plan” produced by A4A members demonstrates that East Dorset could meet its housing targets better by using sustainable locations instead of Alderholt. We’re told Dorset Council will also be looking at options for a “Garden Town” close to rail links where new residents could access work and services by public transport, walking or cycling, but that is a longer term option which would need government funding.
Help needed with assembling evidence Do you have skills in librarianship or research (or are willing to learn)? We have a mounting body of evidence to support our case and need someone to keep all the information in order and help organise further research. Please let us know if you’re interested.