Christchurch Borough Council and East Dorset District Council are working jointly to consider the potential development options around our towns and key settlements to be included within the Core Strategy, our new plan to manage growth and development up until the 2028.

The Core Strategy is one of the most fundamental documents produced as part of the local development framework.  It will set targets for the provision of new housing and employment for a period up to 2028, as well as setting out general policies in relation to provision of facilities, transport, and protection of natural and historic features.

In producing the Core Strategy, we have to consider a number of issues faced by Christchurch and East Dorset, which includes the following:

  • whether there should be new housing and employment land, and if so where and how?
  • how can we improve the provision of open space to encourage residents away from the heathlands and increase access to the countryside?
  • how can we provide for the sporting and recreational needs for the area?
  • how can we make sure that the town centres are best supported?

The 15 week public consultation period for the Core Strategy Options for Consideration ended on 14 January 2011.  The document and further information about the options we consulted on are available below:

Consultation video

As part of the consultation process, the council also produced a series of videos to help stimulate the debate, which can still be viewed.

The videos feature residents of all ages expressing their opinions on the future of East Dorset. Those taking part in the videos include a family, children, housing association and private rented tenants, an owner occupier, a local estate agent and an environmentalist.

Some frequently asked questions

Q. Why do we need a new plan?

A. The current Local Plan runs out next year. We need to make sure that we have up to date policies to help us make decisions about a wide range of issues, such as housing, employment, open space and leisure, the environment, town centres and transport. If we have no plan then we will lose local control and decisions will be made for us through planning appeals using national policies.

Q. For East Dorset, why do all of the housing development options focus on four settlements?

A. Corfe Mullen, Ferndown and West Parley, Verwood and Wimborne are considered to be the locations where important facilities, services and employment are most accessible and readily improved.

Q. How have the housing options been identified?

A. The council has asked consultants to look in detail at the area around the main settlements. Large parts are constrained either by flooding, or nature conservation quality. This leaves very few locations which can be looked at with any detail. These have been assessed in relation to landscape quality, wildlife, transport, archaeology, closeness to services and facilities, drainage, noise and impact on the Green Belt. The options put forward are those that could help to provide benefit to the local community, by supporting facilities and providing affordable homes, while protecting those things that are most important. Some of the options that are being considered have been put forward by landowners.

Q. What is happening in the rural areas?

A. The consultation plan therefore does not put forward options for major development in the rural areas, but seeks to safeguard the environment and protect and improve access to important facilities and services.

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