Please find below questions we have received relating to the Community infrastructure section of the Dorset Council Local Plan options consultation, along with answers given. Please use the following links to scroll to the relevant topic.

Retail and town Centres

Question

How is the likely long-term impact of Covid 19 on work and shopping patterns been integrated into the Local Plan?

Answer

Paragraph 5.5.2 of the Dorset Council Local Plan discusses the impact of COVID-19 on town centres. The supporting text notes that the decline of the high street was occurring before even the pandemic had started. A combination of factors are suggested to be the cause including the growth of internet shopping, uncertainly surrounding Brexit and even further back, the 2008 global financial crisis. There is certainly a need for town centres to diversify further and boost footfall and visitor numbers as retail spend decreases. National policy however still requires a town centre first approach to retail and other town centre uses.

More recently the government have introduced significant changes to the way that different building and land uses are managed (the use class order) aimed at “creating vibrant, mixed use town centres by allowing businesses greater freedom to change to a broader range of compatible uses which communities expect to find on modern high streets”. The impacts of these changes, coupled with the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 over the longer term are not yet fully understood. We are currently evaluating the implications of these factors and refreshing the evidence of town centre need to reflect the major changes to shopping patterns and the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 and the results of this will be published and used to inform the local plan as it progresses towards adoption.  

Open space and recreation

Question

What is the standard for open space and recreation facilities in the plan, and where can I find assessments of the existing provision?

Answer

The Draft Local Plan contains policies relating to green infrastructure (Policy ENV8), open space and recreation space (Policy COM4) in which standards for the amount of accessible recreation space are set out. You will find these policies within the Environment and Community Infrastructure topic sections of the Draft Plan. For example the supporting text of Policy COM4 outlines a standard of 1.2 playing pitches per 1000 population.

Evidence that assesses existing levels of recreation space is available in the form of the Playing Pitch Strategies.

Education and training

Question

Land is allocated for employment, yet training will be vital in the future. Why has land for training not been quantified?

Answer

Good education and training facilities are key to making sure that our workforce has appropriate skills. We work with education providers, the LEP and our Economic Development Team to identify a strategy and sufficient land to enable them to implement their plans. Where new homes are built, any additional demand for education and training will usually be catered for through the expansion of existing provision. Where specific requirements for expanded provision have been identified as a result of demand generated by planned development, these are set out in the site-specific policies in the plan. Where an existing training facility has a known development requirement, such as at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester, the Local Plan has included a specific policy in response. Elsewhere, rather than make allocations of land, the plan has taken a more flexible approach with Policy COM2 “New or improved local community buildings and structures” and Policy COM6 “The provision of education and training facilities” supporting to the provision of new, replacement and expanded facilities subject to a number of criteria.

Utilities

Question

How does Dorset Council propose to ensure full fibre broadband is installed in all new premises?

Answer

Policy COM12 of the draft local plan sets out that FTTP (fibre to the premises) broadband access should be provided on major developments (10+ dwellings or sites of greater than 0.5 hectares), and on smaller developments where practicable. Whilst 97.3% of the county can now get access to superfast broadband, the infrastructure for full fibre broadband access is still not available in many areas and therefore a requirement for full fibre broadband on all new premises would likely have an impact on the viability of smaller schemes.

Ultra low emissions vehicles

Question

It was mentioned that 2/3rds of new cars have to be ultra-low emissions by 2030. I thought the government's 10 Point Plan said petrol & diesel cars were all going to be phased out by 2030. Have I got that wrong?

Answer

In 2017 the UK government announced a ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040. You are correct in that this date has now been brought forwards to 2030 from the goal of 2040 at the time at which this part of the plan was written. This will be updated for the next stage of the consultation although this doesn’t have any knock on implications for any of the plan content. The plan seeks to have electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed into all new developments as standard.

Question

The Plan mentions reducing the need to travel but where in the Plan are electric cars discussed?

Answer

A discussion around the infrastructure expectations for electric and other low emission vehicles can be found in section 6, paras 6.7 -6.11, as well as a draft policy COM9 Provision of infrastructure for electric and other low emission vehicles.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Question

What can town and parish councils spend their proportion of CIL on?

Answer

Almost £600,000 has been transferred to town and parishes across the Dorset Council area. This money must be used by town and parish councils to support the development of their area. Neighbourhood CIL can fund the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure needed to support development. This is a broad definition and allows greater flexibility to the way Dorset Council can spend CIL, for example, towns and parishes can invest in the provision of affordable housing, or alternatively use funding to develop neighbourhood plans whereas the council cannot. Further information about the neighbourhood proportion of CIL can be found on the Dorset Council website. 

Share this page