At last! Working together West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have produced a draft Joint Local Plan and have published it for “pre-submission” consultation. Whilst the document will function as the Core Strategy under the new Local Development Framework rules it will also do everything the old Local Plans did, setting out a long term planning strategy for the area (up to the year 2031) and includes detailed policies and site proposals for housing, employment, leisure and infrastructure.

This is a real old-style local plan with hundreds of policies. Just a couple of points to note:

Affordable housing – removal of any threshold so each new dwelling (except for the subdivision of an existing one) will contribute and there is a presumption that where the requirement (25% Portland and 35% elsewhere) is one or more affordable dwellings it will be provided on site (i.e. on sites of 4 or more Portland and 3 or more elsewhere).

New housing is dotted around in various urban extensions including Littlemoor (400 houses) and Chickerell (850 houses), Vearse Farm, Bridport (760 houses) and all around Crossways (1,200-1,500 houses).

All comments must be received by 27th July. Further details and the draft Local Plan can be found here.

Following this round of consultation the Local Plan will be submitted for examination by Planning Inspector – the next step towards eventual adoption currently anticipated to be, wait for it, autumn 2013. Does having two Councils to agree and vote on everything slow the process down?

Anyway if you want to discuss – give us a call.