Christchurch and East Dorset have published their proposed joint Core Strategy for a 12 week period of consultation ending on 25 June 2012.

The Core Strategy is a comprehensive document setting targets for the provision of new housing and employment for a period up to 2028, as well as allocating the sites necessary. In Christchurch the key allocation is the proposed urban extension of 850 homes at Somerford filling in the gap between Sainsburys’ and the railway line including the relocation of the Roe Hill allotments to beyond the railway. The key allocations in East Dorset are the various new “neighbourhoods” around Wimborne the largest being 600 homes to the east and west of Cranborne Road, north of the town. But there are plenty of other sizable allocations for Corfe Mullen, Ferndown and West Parley and Verwood.

Our developer clients will probably be most interested in the proposed affordable housing policy – these two authorities are currently among┬áthe last in the area with the old 15-unit threshold. The proposal is, like Bournemouth, to have no threshold – all new residential dwellings must contribute. For schemes under 5 units it can be by way of financial contribution but for 5 or more it should be on site. The interesting distinction is the proportion of provision – for greenfield sites it is 50% whereas for brownfield it is intended only to be 40%.

Following this consultation the Core Strategy will be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination. It is important to make any comments now.

If you would like us to advise on any aspect of the proposed policies then do not hesitate to call us.