by | May 10, 2021 | Community News

The news from Dorset Council that they now have a 5 year land supply means that the grounds on which the Gladman appeal was granted for Ringwood Road are no longer relevant and that under section A1 of the existing local plan there can be no further development outside the existing village envelope. A4A checked this with Hilary Jordan (Service Manager for Spatial Planning, Economic Growth and Infrastructure, Dorset Council) and this was her reply: –

“Having a five year land supply means that we are in a better position to resist developments that are contrary to the adopted local plan.  It is assessed every year however so the position could still change next year.  And we still need to provide for enough development in the new local plan to make sure that we continue to have a five year land supply in future years. So yes, it is good news for you in terms of the pressure from speculative developments, but we still need to plan for development for the longer term in order to stay in that position!”

On another front A4A is concerned that the allowing of a SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) at Highwood breaches anti-discrimination law as it allows no access for wheel chairs and mobility scooters – thus discriminating against a wide range of people with mobility issues. The response to this from Naomi Shinkins (planning Officer, Dorset Council) was: –

“It is acknowledged that the proposed does not provide parking on site and that the associated development is approx. 1km from the SANG site.  However, it is not anticipated that the SANG would attract visitors from a large catchment area and would mainly be for local use. The SANG is well related to the existing rights of way network and its location is intended to facilitate a circular walk from the village to this publicly accessible area, rather than encouraging car journeys.

Notwithstanding this, based on the guidelines, 2-3 car parking spaces are required for the 2.45 hectare site. Dorset Council Highways have been consulted and the nature of proposed car parking identified has been brought to their attention. The Highways team have advised that:

“It is standard procedure to check and validate all statements made by applicants to ensure that they are correct and appropriate to support development proposals. Whilst the statements made by the applicant concerning the availability of “formal” parking facilities in the vicinity of the site were questionable, the view taken by the case engineer was that sufficient on-street opportunities exist in the locality to cater for the likely use of the facility. Dorset Council Highways has raised no objections to this application and Natural England are satisfied that adequate vehicle parking and general access arrangements would be provided”.

At the time of writing we are awaiting a reply from Dorset Council regarding our point that allowing a SANG in this location breaks the Country’s anti-discrimination laws as it relates to failure to provide adequate disabled access.

Dorset Council will be putting responses to the recent local plan consultation onto their website from June, hopefully enabling A4A to identify and respond to developer submissions. Action4Alderholt needs volunteers if we are to prevent excessive development around our village; if you can help please get in touch via