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Purbeck Local Plan Review

We are reviewing the Purbeck Local Plan which is used to determine planning applications.

The review is a requirement of an independent planning inspector who examined the Local Plan prior to its adoption by the Council in 2012. The review considers issues such as: locations for new housing, new shopping and employment space and how we can enable growth whilst continuing to protect the natural environment.

The Council has carried out several pieces of work as part of the review, including two previous consultations in 2015 and 2016. Following the 2016 consultation, we have been updating a range of evidence documents, including looking again at Purbeck's overall housing numbers and the potential options for where new homes could go.

Once these studies are completed, we plan to run a further consultation, giving everyone an opportunity to comment on the new evidence and any new options for housing.

In the meantime, we have received a number of questions about when the studies will be available to view. All the studies will be published at the start of the consultation, and people will be able to comment on them as part of the consultation. This is likely to be later this year, and we will update this website with more details once the dates of the consultation have been confirmed.

You can read more about the work the Council has already undertaken by following these links:

Partial Review: Issues and Options Consultation reports - June 2015

Partial Review options consultation

Public question and answer session

Planning Advisory Service review

Local Forums

Help shape Purbeck for future generations - Get involved

Letter to Secretary of State

Following the Council meeting in December 2016, the leader of the Council has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to provide an update on the review of the Local Plan (pdf, 290kb) (opens in a new window). The Council received a response from the Secretary of State (pdf, 274kb) (opens in a new window) on 25 January 2017.

Specifications for additional studies

As you can see in the letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local government, we have committed to commissioning additional studies (relating to environmental and infrastructure capacity and transport modelling) to inform the next steps for the Local Plan Review. You can access the specifications for these studies in the table below. However, please note that the final scope for each study may change. In the case of the transport modelling, the Council is currently reviewing its approach to this work following discussions with Dorset County Council and Highways England. Please contact the Purbeck planning policy team if you have any questions about these studies.

Specification for Environmental and Infrastructure Capacity (pdf, 213kb) (opens in a new window)January 2017
Specification for transport modelling for Bere Regis (pdf, 2Mb) (opens in a new window)January 2017

Eastern Dorset Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

We have commissioned a review of the Eastern Dorset SHMA. The Eastern Dorset SHMA is an assessment of housing need and demand which has been prepared following national guidance and which looks at many different factors, including household projections, economic data, affordable housing need and the general housing market. The officers have prepared a brief summary of the previous SHMA findings for the Purbeck district (pdf, 261kb) (opens in a new window). You can also access the full version of the Eastern Dorset SHMA.

Second homes advice

A number of people raised concerns about the level of second homes in Purbeck during the recent Partial Review Issues and options consultation. Officers therefore requested advice on this matter from the Planning Advisory Service, and presented this advice to the August 2015 Partial Review Advisory Group meeting. The advice highlights that there are considerable difficulties in controlling second homes through planning policy, and officers therefore recommended that this matter should not be considered further though the Partial Review.

Members of the Advisory Group acknowledged that the level of second homes was a problem in some communities, but agreed with the officer recommendation that it would not be appropriate to include a policy to restrict second homes as part of the Partial Review. Planning Advisory Service advice on second homes (pdf, 166kb) (opens in a new window).

Monitoring heathland

At the August PRAG meeting Durwyn Liley of Footprint Ecology gave a presentation on the past of current monitoring of Dorset Heaths (pdf, 2Mb) (opens in a new window). In summary:

  • habitat regulations give very strict protection
  • as the competent authority, we need to have certainty that impacts are resolved
  • there is flexibility in how impacts are resolved - solutions must be carefully tailored to local circumstance
  • monitoring is essential to provide early warning and be integrated with mitigation

Monitoring results are being fed to Natural England and planners, and inform the Habitat Regulations Assessment work. Results suggest:

  • housing levels have increased since 2007 but with some tail off in recent years
  • bird numbers have fluctuated but mostly stayed stable (exception Dartford warblers)
  • fire incidence has dropped
  • visitor numbers seem to be increasing significantly on the greenspace sites that are monitored but not significantly so for heaths

Future monitoring needs to cover new green spaces provided as mitigation, such as Holme Lane, to provide early warning of any problems and ensure its working as intended. See monitoring the Dorset heaths for more information.

We hold regular meetings to inform on the review of the local plan

Local Plan Review Advisory Group (Formerly known as PRAG)

Joint Working Group for Crossways and Moreton

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