CAMPAIGNERS opposed to a 700-home development near Bridport are to hold a public meeting to update residents on a potential challenge to the decision to grant it planning permission.

Advearse is fundraising to meet the cost of a judicial review into West Dorset District Council’s decision to grant outline planning permission for the Vearse Farm development.

The money campaigners raise will be doubled thanks to a match-funding grant from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Dorset.

Advearse says its lawyers believe the planning consent can be challenged because, they allege, it contravenes national rules about building on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and should be given ‘the highest possible protection’ from development.

A review will cost around £34,000, and Advearse has £19,000 left to raise.

Campaigner David Tett, a former town and district councillor, says he opposes the development on planning grounds.

Mr Tett said: "In the first instance, the site is in an AONB, and when the Local Plan was publicly examined by the duly-appointed Government inspector, it was stated that only on 'exceptional circumstances' should Vearse Farm be included."

He added: "Much interest has been shown in this case, which could conceivably affect other developments on lands in AONBs.

"I do encourage one with an interest in the future of Bridport to get along to the meeting and lend support to Advearse in its campaign."

An outline planning application to build 760 homes, a care home and a school at Vearse Farm, which lies within Symondsbury parish to the west of Bridport, was given the green light by West Dorset District Council's planning committee in November 2017.

The site was identified in a review of the Local Plan as having the capacity to deliver a further 170 homes.

Advearse's public meeting will take place on Wednesday (24) at the WI Hall on North Street, Bridport, at 7pm.

All are welcome to attend.