THE Askerswell Neighbourhood Plan has been formally adopted by West Dorset District Council.

It will guide future developments in the area and become part of the new Local Plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

A draft of the plan was first submitted in February 2018 with a consultation in March and April and was approved by residents in a referendum in November at which 63 per cent of eligible residents voted with 82.5 per cent in favour.

It has been drawn up by local people, and agreed by the Neighbourhood Forum, who felt confident that the plan reflected the hopes and views of the local community.

Local councillor Mark Roberts told the district council meeting in Dorchester on Thursday that the engagement with residents had, at times, proved challenging in such a small community when the guidelines required a certain number of people at meetings.

He commended the plan to council colleagues saying that it was the culmination of five years of hard work by the village, which only has a population of around 140.

“It has produced a splendid plan which won overwhelming support at the referendum," he said.

The council's housing briefholder Cllr Tim Yarker added his congratulations to residents and said their work should help ensure that homes could be offered to young families who would bring their vitality to the community.

Details of the plan and the referendum can be viewed online at

n Neighbourhood plans were introduced by the Localism Act 2011. They aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built. They can also pinpoint where green spaces should be protected.