Outline application for a mixed use development comprising: up to 500 dwellings, including affordable housing; up to 8 ha of employment land (to include a new hotel, residential care home, car show rooms and other employment land); land for a new primary school; a new local centre; public open spaces, new accesses and roads, and associated infrastructure
The Chairman clarified that the two duplicate applications were due to the cross boundary location of the application site of the former West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council areas.
The Senior Planning Officer presented the outline application for a mixed use development for up to 500 dwellings, up to 8ha employment land, land for a new primary school, a new local centre, public open spaces, new accesses and road and associated infrastructure.
An update sheet had been circulated to the Committee that included alteration of the wording of the recommendation on page 39 so that this was consistent with the wording in the recommendation summary on page 5. There were also amendments to conditions 1, 3, 8, 15, and 16 further to discussions with the applicant.
Dr G Dickinson addressed the Committee on behalf of the West Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) who opposed the application as it was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and contravened the National Planning Policy Framework. The AONB would be vandalised and Dorset's answer to urgent action on climate change should not be to build a car showroom in the AONB. He commented on the need for a hotel when many of the existing hotels were struggling; that only half the number of homes on the council's register were required, mainly for 1 and 2 bed houses and that 35% affordable housing was unlikely to be achieved due to Section 106 viability deals. He considered that there was a huge difference between what was being built and what was needed and that only those homes that were needed to address the housing crisis should be built and be environmentally friendly.
Cllr R Tarr, Dorset Council - Winterborne and Broadmayne Ward, stated that he had only recently been made aware of the application and had not had sufficient time to come to any conclusion after reading the report and associated documents. His ward included 12 parishes and all had been concerned about the relationship between parish councils and the new Dorset Council. He therefore suggested that the application be deferred so that there was further time to consider the documentation.
Cllr G Brant stated that Bincombe Parish Council was grouped with 4 other parishes that operated as Winterborne and Farringdon Council. The Council had been aware of the proposals for the past 4 years with continuing concerns about an application for 500 homes and commercial buildings in the AONB. He had been informed that an application was to be considered by the Dorset Echo giving very little time for consideration. He noted that all of the precept would go to Bincombe Parish Council and a rural district would become urban as a result of this application and more time was needed to work through these implications.
Martyn Chase, the Applicant, addressed the Committee and stated that the report and presentation by the Senior Planning Officer had been very comprehensive. The application had clear regard to the allocation of the site in the Local Plan and the aim would be to create a sensitive development and new community in the Littlemoor extension that respected the natural environment. The application made an important contribution to the area in terms of housing need, providing 35% affordable housing, employment and a number of new facilities at considerable cost that would benefit the community. He hoped that these indirect benefits would make a considerable contribution to the Littlemoor community and the developers were committed to working up a high quality, sensitive development going forward.
Proposed by Cllr Ireland, seconded by Cllr Williams.
Decision: That the application be deferred until the next meeting on 4 July 2019 to allow additional time for consideration of the application by the new unitary Council and for a committee site visit to allow members to view and be aware of the extent of this allocated site.