Our guide to developing in North Dorset

Pure Town Planning consultant North DorsetNorth Dorset is an inland and highly rural area of the county. Its main towns are Gillingham (rapidly growing), Blandford Forum (Georgian), Shaftesbury (with a famous cobbled hill) and  Sturminster Newton (barely more than a village).


Latest News from North Dorset

Approved: detached dwelling in Fontmell Magna Conservation Area, Shaftesbury

North Dorset District Council: Neil McKeon of Pure Town Planning has secured planning permission for[...]

North Dorset District Council concede lack of five-year housing land supply

North Dorset District Council: Despite the adoption of their Local Plan Part 1 in January 2016, Nort[...]

Government Inspector gives go ahead for North Dorset new planning policies

North Dorset District Council: The Inspector's report on the examination of the North Dorset Local P[...]

Key points about developing in North Dorset

Development Plan: North Dorset has just adopted the North Dorset Local Plan Part 1 (January 2016).

Pre-application advice: Like most places North Dorset charge for pre-application advice with a scale depending on the size of the proposal from £50-600 inc VAT.  Call us for advice on whether this service is worthwhile in your case.

Affordable Housing: North Dorset has adopted a threshold of 11 or more net units (or 1000 sqm of floor space) below which no affordable housing contribution will be sought – except in the AONB areas where developments of 6-10 units will be required to make a financial contribution. The relevant percentages of affordable housing provision where required are:

  • Gillingham and Sturminster Newton 25% of total units
  • Shaftesbury and Blandford 30%
  • Elsewhere 40%

Section 106 contributions:

It’s complicated and now even more so following the kicking in of regulations to prevent pooling of S106 moneys from 5 or more sites. The Council is looking to introduce the  Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and is presently awaiting the results of an examination into its proposed charging schedule.

Special policy restrictions:

A fair chunk of the district is designated as part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Useful Links

North Dorset (Dorset for You) Planning Homepage

Planning Applications Search

Planning Policy