AN application for 14 social need houses at Maiden Newton has attracted more than a dozen objections from neighbours.

Magna Housing want to build the homes off Cattistock Road, north of Webbers Piece in an overgrown field.

But letters of objection say the site is unsuitable and express worries about the loss of wildlife, including the protected Dormouse.

Immediate neighbours to the site, Simon and Lynne Maddock, say in their objection to Dorset Council: “The site is unsuitable for development due to its elevated position above the adjoining properties in both Cattistock Road and Webbers Piece and consequential visual impact, loss of privacy and residential amenity to the adjoining residents.”

They also say the over-grown field has become a haven for wildlife, including dormice, adders and slow worms.

Concerns for the wildlife are also reflected in an objection from Dorset Wildlife Trust which points out that the dormouse is a European Protected Species. It also asks for a bat survey to be carried out before a decision on the application is made.

Neighbours claim the site will not be accessible to anyone in a wheelchair, without the use of a car.

Several residents claim that there has been no consultation from Magna: “There has been absolutely no engagement with us at any time. We are shocked and enraged that they claim such consultation has taken place. There should also have been full consultation with the Parish Council prior to the application,” said Mr and Mrs Maddock.

“This ill-conceived plan, if agreed, would be detrimental to both the local residents and wildlife. It should be rejected,” they say.

Other neighbours make similar points in their objections with one claiming that ground works could cause landslip. There are also worries about the loss of privacy for bungalow residents in Webbers Piece where a new access road is planned.

Some of the objection letters claim that photomontages of the site are misleading and say the application forms fail to mention that there are dormice on the land.

Many letter writers do recognise the need for affordable housing in the area – one of the main reasons the parish council says it supports the scheme.

In its letter to Dorset Council the parish council says it supports the development for 12 houses and 2 bungalows specially designed for wheelchair users.

“We urgently need more homes to let, provided by a housing association, which will allow young families to stay in the village and ask for a 50:50 ratio between 2 bed and 3 bed properties be considered,” said a letter from the parish clerk.

The letter also points out that the transport section of the application has missed the fact that the bus services, except for the school routes to Beaminster, were all withdrawn in July 2017 when Dorset County Council subsidies were withdrawn.

The parish council says acknowledges resident concerned about wildlife but says it has noted that the recommendations made in the ecology survey recommends a 5m wide wildlife corridor to the site perimeter.

A decision is expected to be made by a Dorset Council planning officer under delegated powers, rather than go before councillors.

The deadline for public comments expired on October 8.


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