Dorset County Council moves planning meeting after public pressure (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Dorset County Council moves planning meeting after public pressure
has bowed to public pressure after being accused of trying to sneak the Broomhills waste transfer plans through without proper consultation.
Instead of discussing the waste site on December 20 in Bothenhampton village hall the councillors will do so on January 17 – but in County Hall in Dorchester.
West Dorset District Council chairman Gillian Summers wrote to the county council to register her ‘disgust’ at the way the waste transfer station plans had been processed.
She said: “Not only has it been almost impossible for anyone but the most adept to access the information they need via the Dorset For You website, but the final straw was the decision to hold a planning meeting on December 20 in the Bothenhampton town hall.”
She said the date was too close to Christmas and even she only received official notification of this meeting four days before the meeting.
She said: “That is not acceptable.”
She added the choice of Bothenhampton as a venue was totally unsuitable – it being a tiny village with no parking anywhere near to the hall, single line traffic and not enough capacity in the hall for a full public meeting.
She said: “Without doubt this action by the Dorset County Council will be seen by the general public as a way of sliding this application through without proper public participation.”
Her objections were echoed by Bridport town councillors at their last planning meeting when councillors complained about the timing of the pre-Christmas meeting.
They made a formal request to have it in Bridport in January.
Coun Ros Kayes said: “At the moment they are still proposing to have the meeting in County Hall but we are all in agreement that we want it to be in Bridport.
“This has been a real example of councillors wor-king together putting a lot of pressure on.
“I am really pleased that democracy has won out but it is not good enough if it is not in Bridport. It must be accessible to people.”
The report going to January’s meeting recommends the plans go through, but does outline a precis of at least 26 objections, not including those from Bridport Town Council and Symondsbury Parish Council.
After a six-month survey Highways Agency officials concluded that although the Crown and East Street roundabouts were congested at peak times, the impact of the additional trips forecast was not likely to be severe and the traffic lights would not materially delay traffic on the trunk road.
The agency said there should be a 50mph speed limit from the Crown roundabout to the Miles Cross junction.
It is a condition welcomed by MP Oliver Letwin.
He said he and others had been working for a long time to improve safety on the A35 from Chideock to Bridport.
He said: “Gradually, we have been making some progress towards reducing and aligning the speed limits, to avoid what is at present a very bizarre sequence of increases and decreases which must leave many motorists very perplexed.”