WELL done to Cllrs David Rickard and Sarah Williams, along with Bob Gillis and lay participants Sarah Horniman and Andy Leppard, who spoke up for the interests of Bridport at the planning inspector’s recent hearings.
The intelligent, well-rounded approach to house building and development they advocated, most importantly informed by the Neighbourhood Plan, was in agreeable contrast to that preferred by the district council and developers.
Their rush to build as many houses on one site, as quickly as possible (several hundred in the next five years) based on the sketchy Local Plan, was more about fulfilling a quota imposed from above than working with the local community to provide much needed homes.
Houses for local young people and incomers must be built and the group Future Bridport has everything to gain from working with the town council and getting involved in formulating a good Neighbouhood Plan.
The rapid development planned by West Dorset District Council with many of the negative consequences for the community either ill-considered or ignored, problems that will have to be dealt with later – which will be too late in some cases – is not the way to go.
The speed and scale of this type of development divides the community and polarises opinion.
A more considered, sequenced way of addressing the need for house building should bring people together and deliver an outcome that pleases most.