Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Theresa May MP in Dorset

Theresa May MP, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons was in Dorset today. She joined us at a demonstration in Lytchett Minster against the RSS proposals.

Theresa spoke to a gathering of some 80 people in New Lane and confirmed that a future Conservative Government would overturn the Regional Spatial Strategy and place responsibility for deciding where, how many, what type and for whom new housing should be built in the hands of local councils.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Traffic concerns in Sandford

Increased development in Purbeck can only increase traffic on the A351 running through Sandford.

In addition to the proposed developments, a planning application by SITA to increase the size of their quarrying, landfill and recycling facility at Binegar will add further heavy goods traffic on to the road. “The A351 simply can’t take any more traffic,” says Jane Thomas.

The Conservative spokesman for Sandford continues, “I live by the A351 and know the problems caused by the congestion already. I will be pushing for the Sandford by pass to be put back on the agenda.”

Lytchett Minster most under threat

Lytchett Minster will shoulder the greatest burden of development under the Government Inspectors’ plans.

With 2,750 extra homes planned around Lytchett Minster the infrastructure overload is of greatest concern.

Town and Purbeck Councillor for Lytchett Minster and Upton West, Paul Johns says: “Our area is under the greatest threat from these plans. Traffic problems at peak periods are all ready chaotic at Upton Cross and on the Blandford, Dorchester & Poole Roads. “

Other infrastructure concerns are around health, education and leisure. Spokesman for Lytchett Minster and Upton East, Simon Williams asks, “where will the extra people go to access doctors and dentists, and where are their children going to go to school? If the development were to go ahead additional funding for local services would be vital.”

Councillor Paul Johns is urging people to ensure their voices are heard over the proposals.

“When the formal consultation process starts in June and July we will be helping people to write in with their comments. In the meantime we would urge local people to become involved in the local Action Groups being set up to oppose the developments and to sign our petition calling for local people to decide on the size and site of the new housing,” says Paul.

Roy calls for affordable homes for local people

Chairman of Purbeck District Council, Roy Anderson, is most concerned about the provision of affordable housing for local people.

“These development plans make no provision for ensuring that local people are given preferential consideration when they are built,” says Roy.

The Government inspectors are recommending that 2,400 homes should be built throughout Purbeck in addition to the proposed development between Lytchett Minster and Lytchett Matravers.

“If the profile of buyers for these homes remains similar to those for the new developments in many locations around Purbeck, up to 60% of the purchasers could be people from outside the area looking for a second, holiday, home,” says Roy.

“The Government must ensure that local people are able to decide where these developments are placed, what kind of housing they provide and, most importantly, that incentives can be offered to ensure that they are available to local people.”

What is the Regional Spatial Strategy?

We're banging on about it, but what is it?

The Regional Spatial Strategy (or RSS) is the process through which local authorities have to meet Government housing targets.

Organised regionally, the initial proposals were given to and debated by local councils. Their responses were then collated by Government appointed inspectors who made proposals to the Secretary of State.

This is the point the process has now reached. The proposals made by the inspectors have completely ignored the representations made by Purbeck District Council.

The Secretary of State will consider the proposals and publish a final plan for consultation in June, before making her final, binding decision.