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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan 2011 - 2033

A public referendum on the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan is due to take place on Thursday 6 May 2021. Further details regarding the referendum are set out below.

The Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to Dorset Council for examination in January 2019.  At the examination, an independent examiner reviewed the plan and made recommendations in accordance with the 2011 Localism Act and related regulations.  In particular, the examiner considered whether the plan meets certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and identifies an appropriate area for a referendum.

The basic conditions, which are set out in the legislation, are intended to ensure that neighbourhood plans are compatible with their wider context.  The plan must:

  • have regard to national planning policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
  • contribute to achieving sustainable development;
  • be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area and;
  • be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements

If the neighbourhood plan is supported by a local referendum, it will become part of the development plan and its policies will be used to make decisions on relevant planning applications in the neighbourhood plan area alongside other appropriate policies within the remainder of the development plan.


Dorset Council has agreed with the findings of the Examiner’s Report and has agreed that a referendum should take place on Thursday 6 May 2021. Documents relating to the referendum are listed below: 

The information being made available is:

* An errata note has been published regarding the referendum version of the plan

Decision to proceed to referendum

Following the successful examination of the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan and the consultation on a draft Decision Statement, Dorset Council has agreed that the plan, as amended, can proceed to referendum. The council released a Decision Statement on 22 March 2021 to this effect.

Consultation on Draft Decision Statement 

The council has consulted on a draft Decision Statement relating to whether the plan should proceed to referendum. The consultation was from Friday 8 May 2020 to Friday 26 June 2020. The responses received to the consultation are available to view below. The council has fully considered all of the responses received, including the legal advice submitted by Pimperne Parish Council, prior to issuing its final Decision Statement. 

Responses received to the Draft Decision Statement

Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan Draft Decision Statement Responses
 Document Reference Response
 BLAN01 (1)  Barry Watson 
 BLAN03 (1)  Cranborne Chase AONB
 BLAN04 (1)  Davis Family
 BLAN07 (1)  Dorset CPRE
 BLAN08 (1)  Hallam Land Management
 BLAN13 (1)  Pimperne Parish Council
 BLAN16 (1)  Wyatt Homes
 BLAN17  Coats Family
 BLAN18  David Lewis
 BLAN19  James Harrison
 BLAN20  Nick Armitage
 BLAN21  Sally Lester-Shaw

Examiner's Report

Mr Terry Kemmann-Lane JP DipTP FRTPI MCMI issued his report  on the submitted Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan on 28 January 2020. He concludes that provided the recommended modification is made, the plan would meet the basic conditions. He, therefore, recommends that the plan, as modified, should proceed to referendum. Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr David Walsh, will decide, in due course, whether the plan should proceed to referendum. As detailed above a consultation is taking place in respect of a draft Decision Statement.


An independent examiner (Mr Terry Kemmann-LaneJP DipTP FRTP) is currently examining the plan. The examiner issued a question to Dorset Council and the Steering Group, Blandford Forum Town Council as part of the examination. Dorset Council and Blandford Forum Town Council sent a response to the examiner on 18 June 2019.

A non-statutory exploratory meeting relating to the plan took place on Thursday 22 August 2019 at 10am. The meeting took place at Blandford Parish Centre, The Plocks, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7DW. Full details are set out in the Notice of Exploratory Meeting, the Agenda of the Exploratory Meeting and the Meeting Notes of the Exploratory Meeting.

Dave Chetwyn of Urban Vision Enterprise CIC (A Locality appointed Planner supporting the neighbourhood plan) has sent a letter to the examiner following the Exploratory Meeting.

A hearing relating to the plan took place on the 12 November 2019. The hearing started at 9am and took place at The Badger's Sett, Sealy Suite, The Crown Hotel, West Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7AJ. Further important information regarding the hearing was set out in the Notice of Public Hearing. The agenda for the hearing was published. It included an itinerary for the site visit and other important information. In response to requests from the Examiner, set out in his agenda, Dorset Council and Blandford Forum Town Council (the Qualifying Body) produced statements in advance of the hearing.

A note of the matters discussed at the hearing has been approved by the Examiner. The Examiner has approved it as a broad indication of the discussion at the hearing and is of the view that it should be read as no more than a precis for that purpose. Further to the note, a response has been sent to the Examiner regarding matters raised at the hearing.

Habitats Regulation Assessment

Dorset Council, the competent authority responsible for undertaking a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) of the neighbourhood plan, has produced a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA). This is largely based on the information provided in the HRA Report, produced by AECOM, which was submitted with the plan. The HRA concludes that the neighbourhood plan will not adversely affect the integrity of a European site.

Consultation on the Submitted Plan

As the local planning authority, the District Council was required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination takes place. People were given from Friday 15 February to Friday 29 March 2019 to make comments on the plan and its associated documents. An independent examiner (Mr Terry Kemmann-Lane JP DipTP FRTPI) has been appointed and the representations received will be passed on to him for consideration as part of the examination process.

Representations received to the submission draft Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan

Blandford + Representations table
 Document ReferenceResponse 
 BLAN01 Barry Watson
 BLAN02 Clemdell Limited
 BLAN03 Cranborne Chase AONB
 BLAN04 Davis Family
 BLAN05 Dorset AONB
 BLAN06 Dorset County Council
 BLAN07 Dorset CPRE
 BLAN08 Hallam Land Management
 BLAN09 Historic England
 BLAN10 James Atkins
 BLAN11 Natural England
 BLAN12 North Dorset District Council
 BLAN13 Pimperne Parish Council
 BLAN14 Simon Sherbrooke
 BLAN15 Wates Developments Limited
 BLAN16 Wyatt Homes
Please find below links to the submission documents, including the submission version of the neighbourhood plan and supporting evidence.

Submission Documents

Associated Documents (including Evidence Base documents)

Supporting Documents to Submitted Plan

Documents Relating to Version 1 of the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan

 National and Local Planning Documents

A hard copy of the plan is available to view at Blandford Forum Town Council's offices, Church Lane, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7AD (9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday), the District Council Offices, Nordon Lodge, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7LL (8.45am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am to 4.00pm on Friday) and the Council Offices, South Walks House, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ (8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday).

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