Findings published from consultation on new homes for Purbeck

A report has been produced which summarises the responses to the 2018 New Homes for Purbeck consultation.

Through the consultation, which took place between January and March, Purbeck District Council asked how it can best meet the housing needs of current and future generations in Purbeck.

As well as questions about sites to accommodate 1,700 new homes over the next 15 years to 2033, there were questions about second homes and affordable homes.

Almost 7,000 households in Purbeck and neighbouring Crossways completed a paper consultation questionnaire.

Over 1,000 residents participated in a telephone survey which replicated the questions in the paper questionnaire.

Over 550 people attended consultation events around the District, where they asked questions and found out more about the options in the consultation.

The feedback given by residents and organisations through the consultation will be used to help the Council prepare its new draft Local Plan for Purbeck. The plan will provide a range of policies which will be used to determine planning applications.

The key findings from the consultation were:

  • There was majority support for a policy limiting new second homes in some parts of the District.
  • Respondents gave strong support for housing principles to be included in the Local Plan. These particularly related to community and transport infrastructure and supporting the environment, habitats and local heritage of Purbeck.
  • Although there was majority support for a small sites policy, there were some concerns about 30 homes being too many on an individual site.
  • The majority of those taking part supported the draft affordable homes policy stipulating that 10% of new homes built should be for the cheapest type of affordable rented housing. There were some requests to investigate affordable homes for purchase.
  • The proposed site for a small allocation of homes at Sandford was not supported by local residents, whilst stakeholders raised concerns about the environment and loss of recreational areas.
  • Proposals for use of employment land and green belt land at Wareham are likely to require further consultation by the local Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Group.
  • The preferred option, or least disliked option, for where homes should be built in the District was Option A which would spread development across the District.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council, said:  “Firstly, thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation. The number of responses is tremendous and we are grateful so many people gave their views.

“The responses highlighted the need for more work on specific items, such as small sites, employment land, restricting second homes and enabling more affordable homes and we have already started work with town and parish councils to move this forward.

“This will help us draft the policies which will go into the Local Plan.”

The draft Local Plan will be presented to Purbeck District Councillors in the autumn of 2018 and then published for comments on its soundness.

It will be passed to the Secretary of State in early 2019 for examination by an independent planning inspector before it can be adopted.

Councillor Suttle continued: “It is essential the District has an up-to-date local plan, as it provides clarity to communities and developers about where homes should and should not be built. This means development is planned, rather than being the result of speculative planning applications, enabling the beauty and diversity of Purbeck to be protected, whilst providing for future needs of our communities”

The Council commissioned Public Perspectives, an independent research and consultation organisation, to support the design and delivery of the consultation and produce an independent report of the consultation results.

The report’s findings have been presented to district and town and parish councillors and a copy is available on the Council’s website at www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/purbeck-local-plan-review