How can you get involved in planning Dorset’s future?

DORSET Council has a legal requirement to produce and adopt a new local plan within the next four to five years.

This will eventually replace the local plans adopted by the separate district and borough councils that existed before Dorset Council was formed in April of this year.

A local plan states how much development is needed in an area to meet the aspirations of the community, and it sets out where it should go. It also identifies areas that are environmentally or historically important and how they should be protected. It typically looks forward over a 15 to 20 year period.

When adopted, the local plan forms part of the statutory development plan for the area. This means that it is the first point of reference when deciding whether to approve or refuse planning applications.

The Local Plans adopted by the previous borough and district councils in the area have been carried forward as policies of the new Dorset Council, and will remain as the statutory development plans for their areas until replaced by the new plan.

Reviews of these plans were underway before the creation of Dorset Council. However, with the exception of the Purbeck Local Plan, these reviews will be stopped in order for planning officers to focus on the Dorset Council Local Plan.

The Purbeck Local Plan is at a more advanced stage than other plan areas and is currently going through examination. Hearings on the examination are taking place in July and August. Find out more about the examination.

Getting involved

One of the first tasks of Dorset Council as the local planning authority, is to adopt a Statement of Community Involvement. This sets out how the local community will be informed and consulted on planning matters.

The council has produced a draft Statement of Community Involvement. Residents and businesses now have a chance to comment on it before it is adopted. The consultation period is open for six weeks, and concludes on Friday, August 2 2019.

In addition, if you would like to be kept informed of progress relating to the local plan, you can ask for your contact details to be added to the council’s mailing list.

To read and comment on the Statement of Community Involvement, sign up to our mailing list , or to find out more visit

Plan needed for communities to flourish

Councillor David Walsh, Dorset Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “Producing a single Dorset Council Local Plan presents a fantastic opportunity.

“A new plan is needed to allow the development necessary for our communities not only to survive but to flourish. It also means we can put in safeguards to protect sensitive areas as we know that people are drawn to Dorset for its unique landscape and heritage.

“Planning involves balancing competing needs and interests, and therefore it is important that we do our best to keep the community informed. We welcome the valuable input that residents and businesses can provide.

“I strongly recommend that if you are interested in the future of Dorset, you should add your name to our mailing list and read through the draft Statement of Community Involvement.”

Local Development Scheme for Dorset agreed

Dorset Council’s Cabinet agreed this week to the Local Development Scheme for Dorset.

Councils are required to publish local development schemes to make sure that local communities are aware of the local plans in place, those in preparation, and the opportunities they will have to be involved.

The Dorset Council Local Development Scheme sets out a programme for preparing the Dorset Council Local Plan. It also includes the programmes for the final stages of the Waste Local Plan, Minerals Sites Plan, and Purbeck Local Plan, currently in preparation.

View the Local Development Scheme for Dorset by clicking here.

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