The government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is used by local government to set policies and development plans. A key theme of NPPF is sustainability, which is mentioned 56 times! The most relevant section of NPPF for the Alderholt proposals is paragraph 72. It says: –
” …large numbers of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided they are ….. supported by the necessary infrastructure and facilities. Working with the support of their communities, and with other authorities if appropriate, [Dorset Council] should identify suitable locations …. where this can help to meet identified needs in a sustainable way.”
However, the development must also ensure the community has sufficient access to services, education and employment opportunities within the development itself, or in larger towns to which there is good access.
We believe the plan is unsustainable for various reasons and have provided a list of points below which you may wish to include in your objection. You can find a list of contacts to send your objections to here.
Education: All children over the age of 9 travel out of Alderholt to school. Catchment upper school QE is already at capacity, and demand for places at QE and Burgate will be further increased by new developments at Wimborne and Fordingbridge. No new school is included in the proposals for Alderholt.
Healthcare: There is no prospect of a new doctors surgery in Alderholt as NHS requires a population of about 20,000 to fund a new surgery.
Public transport: This is extremely limited and unsuitable for commuters (only 3 days per week, starting at 9.35 am). The future of the 97 is in doubt. The X3 service is also under threat due to a significant fall in passengers since the Salisbury poisoning.
Employment: No new employment opportunities are included in the plan and new residents will be forced to drive out of the village to work.
Accessibility: Alderholt is served by rural roads with width and visibility problems. They will need significant improvements to accommodate the increased vehicle movements resulting from the development.
Three of the routes serving Alderholt lead into Hampshire after a mile. Hampshire Highways has no plans to improve them and New Forest District Council’s traffic study identifies that significant road improvements will be required and want Dorset Council to pay for them.
The additional traffic will significantly increase congestion, noise and air pollution, not only in Alderholt but also in Cranborne, Sandleheath, Rockbourne, Harbridge and Fordingbridge. The pressure on services will hit all communities in the area, including Damerham, Whitsbury, Woodgreen, Breamore, and many more.
The plan also fails to meet NPPF and Dorset Council objectives:
Dorset wide policywarns against siting development beyond the Green Belt “where development could result in less sustainable commuting patterns and an increase in congestion”, rather than in the Green Belt, closer to the conurbation. The Council has not considered any development on green belt.
EDDC Policy Objective 3– To adapt to the challenges of Climate Change
“carbon emissions for transport are to be reduced by locating development in accessible locations….by bike, foot and public transport”. Departing from this implies local plan is not going to take climate change seriously over next 15 years.
EDDC Policy Objective 5– To deliver a suitable, affordable and sustainable range of housing to provide for local needs: The proposals do not “maintain the character of local communities” as required in the policy.
EDDC Policy Objective 6– To reduce the need for people to travel and to have more travel choices: The proposals fail to provide housing “mainly in areas either close to facilities or with good transport links” and gives people no choice other than to travel by car.
EDDC Policy Objective 7– To help our communities to thrive and help people support each other: The proposals create a dormitory town not a community by specifically placing new employment away from Alderholt.