Local plan studies to be published

STUDIES carried out to help formulate a plan governing development in Dorset for decades to come are set to be published.
Research carried out as part of the evidence for the Dorset Council Local Plan will be published on the authority’s website in the next few months, it has confirmed.
The studies, along with the responses from the consultation and other reports, will help shape the plan.
The reports to be published include: Dorset-wide Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Level 1, Gypsy & Traveller Needs Assessment, Viability Assessment to inform affordable housing policy and community infrastructure levy, Retail Needs Assessment, Employment Needs Assessment.
A Local Plan is a legal requirement for all councils who have a planning role. It sets out how planning for areas including housing, industry, renewable power, mineral extraction will be managed to create economic growth while protecting the character of the area.
When Dorset Council was formed in April 2019, it inherited all the adopted planning policies from the former district and borough councils, and the county council.
Over time these need to be reviewed and updated.
The Dorset Council Local Plan is an important part of this review process and consultation on a draft took place in January 2021.
The revised plan will be informed by the evidence we’re about to publish, the results of the consultation and any changes to national policy that occur over the coming months.
It will then undergo an examination in public before the council will be able to adopt it.
A Local Plan, formed using residents’ views, makes sure that the development needs of the area are met in the right locations and to avoid harm to Dorset’s environment. Without the protection of a Local Plan developers are more likely to be successful in an appeal against a decision taken by the council.
Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “The plan is not just about housing, it is about creating communities for people to live, work and enjoy. There will be a mix of types of homes for a wide variety of households who live and work in Dorset generating economic growth and prosperity for the county.
“We have extended the time to complete our Local Plan which means we can consider new legislation (Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill) which is due to become law next year.
“I am also asking the rules on having five years of land supply be relaxed during the plan preparation period.
“This is to protect the county from developers challenging outdated policies so that they can build where there was no plan for housing previously.”

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