Call to Action!
The Dorset Local Plan Consultation
Dorset County Council is about to release a consultation on a new Local Plan – an important document that will have an influence over all of us for at least the next fifteen years. Read on to find out why that is and how you can make a difference…
What is a Local Plan?
A local plan is a document prepared by a local planning authority that sets out strategic planning policies. It gives clear guidance on how proposals for development will be considered and is the main basis for making decisions on planning applications. It forms part of the development plan for an area and all planning decisions must be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Local plans provide certainty for local communities and developers about what development will be approved by setting out clear aims and objectives and include policies to guide the overall level of development, where it should go and how it should be designed.
What is the Dorset Local Plan?
Prior to the merger of the district councils into the unitary Dorset Council, each district had its own local plan. The North Dorset local plan is the one that has been used and is still currently being used in the determination of planning applications. However, as the districts no longer exist, Dorset Council must create a single, county wide plan – the Dorset Local Plan.
The process of creating the Dorset Local Plan began a while ago, with the gathering of evidence from a number of stakeholders, which included town and parish councils. This evidence has now been pulled together in a draft for consultation lasting until Monday 15th March 2021. The consultation will be available to view and comment from the 18th January on the Dorset Council website as follows:
Dorset Council Local Plan
On that page, you will also find links to documents that provide information on the stakeholder evidence gathering process.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and government guidance on social distancing, certain approaches to consultation (such as making paper copies of the consultation material at council offices) will not be possible for now, so the only access to the document will be online.
Your Village Needs You….
To voice your views on how our village is treated in the new plan, there are two main avenues. The first is to provide your comments individually via the Dorset Council website through the above link.
However, the Parish Council is also to provide comments on the plan and is inviting you all to make your views known to them. How this will be done is still to be determined and may depend on the nature of the plan itself, which is not known at the time of this notice. However, we know it is a large document, so if enough individuals are interested, setting up certain groups (operating remotely, of course) within the community to provide comments on specific parts of the plan may be the way forward. So, the first step would be for you to flag your interest in being involved by going to the Marnhull Parish Council Website comment form here: Contact Form, in the subject line, write Dorset Local Plan and in the message itself let us know if you have any particular interest or knowledge that may be useful to know if we do set up topic related groups. You can, naturally, also provide any other comments.
The Parish Council is keen to involve our community, so if you are at all concerned with how our village will develop over the next 15 years, now is the time to make your voice heard!