Residents are being asked to vote on the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan later this month, which aims to give them greater say on the future of the use of land and buildings in their area.

It has been developed with input from more than 100 people and covers the communities of Allington, Bothenhampton and Walditch, Bradpole, Symondsbury, Bridport and West Bay.

Ahead of the referendum on February 27, we’ve compiled a handy guide with some of the main points outlined in the plan.

The plan aims to provide an improved supply of homes for local people, better public facilities, employment opportunities and a reduced carbon footprint.

The neighbourhood plan objectives are to limit carbon emissions, protect the area’s heritage, features, character and environmental assets, as well as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to maximise the provision of genuinely affordable housing, to promote sustainable tourism, to safeguard the bus station as a transport hub, to protect car parking, businesses and community facilities, as well as move towards a town centre less dependent on private vehicle movements.

Climate change

The plan sets out that developers should seek to minimise the carbon footprint and are encouraged to submit a statement outlining anticipated carbon emissions. New developments should aim to meet a high level of energy efficiency and secure at least 10 per cent of its total unregulated energy from renewable or low carbon sources.

Access and movement

Proposals for new developments should provide for pedestrian movement as a priority, making connections to footpaths and cycle paths, enable safe and convenient access and make provisions of improvements to public transport.

They should also enable access to public transport and easy connections to social and retail facilities in the plan area.

Proposals for the redevelopment of Bridport bus station should retain and enhance its primary use as a transport hub.

Economy and employment

The plan highlights the Old Laundry and East Road trading estates as important employment sites and will generally support retail uses at these premises but other uses that do not provide on-going local employment opportunities will not be supported.

The plan supports developments that provide working spaces which encourage homeworking, small businesses and start-up businesses, as well as those that provide tourist related accommodation and facilities.


The subdivision of sites to avoid the provision of affordable housing will not be supported and the affordable housing mix should be guided by the latest Bridport area housing needs assessment.

Affordable housing and open market housing should be evenly distributed across sites and if the development is phased, then the approved proportion of open market to affordable homes should apply for each phase.

Where a proposal involves the provision of public amenities, such as schools or healthcare, the amenities will be commissioned in step with the demand created by the overall development.

Major housing applications will contain a mix of housing types and sizes to meet need and developments for retirement homes must demonstrate a need and be located near shopping and social facilities.

Community facilities

Existing community buildings and facilities will be protected and enhanced, unless no longer needed, and if not needed, alternative use to meet local needs should be explored.

Proposals for new infrastructure will be supported if they meet the needs of the community and allotment sites in the plan area will be protected from development, with additional provision provided where suitable sites can be found if the demand is there.


Bridport and the surrounding parishes have a rich heritage recognised in more than 500 listed buildings and seven conservation areas which will be safeguarded.

This includes shopfronts, which should relate to existing buildings and street scene, and where possible, the original shopfront should be retained.


The plan supports proposals that preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Dorset AONB and retain wildlife corridors and important habitats.

Inappropriate development on local green spaces will only be permitted in very special circumstances. These include, Allington Hill, Asker Meadows, Borough Gardens, community orchard, Coneygar Hill, Cooper’s Wood and field, Court Orchard play area, Flaxhayes play area, Happy Island, Jellyfields Nature Reserve, Jubilee Green, New Zealand site, Pageants Field, Peter Foote play area, Railway Gardens, Riverside Gardens, Skilling play area, The Gore, Walditch village green, Wanderwell Nature Reserve, Wellfields Drive green area.

New housing developments should include outdoor space, both private and community gardens, and make provision for green infrastructure.

Centre of Bridport

Development in the centre of Bridport should improve it for pedestrians, give greater priority to bicycles and pedestrians by reducing the impact of traffic movement, enhance the character and appearance of the town centre, provide an improved setting for open-air markets and similar events and not cause deterioration in air quality.

The redevelopment of Rope Walks car park and the bus station car park will only be supported if a broadly equivalent amount of car parking is provided within the town centre or reasonable walking distance, has detailed regard to the Bridport Conservation Area Appraisal and local plan policies and demonstrates how planning issues identified have been addressed.

Redevelopment proposals that encourage small, local or independent traders will be supported.

Provision of new commercial space for small and start-up businesses - particularly in the creative industries - at St Michael’s Trading Estate will be supported.

Design for living

A housing development will be required to respect and work with the existing pedestrian and cycle access, existing features that are locally important and neighbouring land uses.

Proposed new residential developments should incorporate access suitable for all abilities and a plan for public transport access, access for all to facilities and a design that aims to keep traffic below 20mph.

Developments of new buildings or change of use should contribute to a mix of uses - homes, open spaces, local services, community facilities and employment workspace - and not adversely affect local character.

Developments should make efficient use of land and development of brownfield sites will be supported and residential development above commercial ground floors will be supported.

Applicants are encouraged to design buildings that last and reduce construction costs, speed up construction and minimise energy consumption and carbon emissions during the building’s lifetime.

Projects and actions

Projects and actions to deliver neighbourhood plan objectives and policies have been outlined, which included the plan giving support to those that provide new or upgraded community facilities, those that are ‘climate smart’ initiatives and proposals for additional allotments.

The plan also wants to monitor the level of second and holiday homes, carry out research on the housing needs for residents and older people, prepare and maintain a brownfield site register, commission regular ‘town centre health checks’ to record changing patterns of retail and seek developer contributions towards footpaths and cycle paths amongst others.

For more information and to see the neighbourhood plan, visit, or paper copies are available from South Walks House in Dorchester, Bridport Town Council offices at Mountfield and Bridport Library.