Land for a controversial development of more than 750 homes on the edge of the town has gone up for sale.

Savills Estate Agents has listed the Vearse Farm land for sale, with offers open for parts of or the whole 42.8 hectares site.

It has outline planning permission for up to 760 homes, a school, a 60-bed care home, employment space, a small local centre and associated playing fields, as well as other public open space and allotments.

Campaigners challenged the outline planning permission, officially granted in May 2019, with a judicial review. The main focus was on the fact that all of the development area of Vearse Farm, outside Bridport, lies within the AONB.

A hearing took place earlier this year but campaigners lost the judicial review.

A spokesman for ADVEARSE said: “The overwhelming opposition to the development, backed by the Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) continues.

“Jeremy Pope, heritage interest representative on the AONB wrote to local MP Chris Loder to sat that ‘the decision to grant planning for the Vearse Farm project is completely at odds with the whole protection which AON status is meant to confer… and will dramatically and adversely affect Bridport itself’. While acknowledging ‘the need to increase housing capacity in the county’, he said. ‘to be honest I am more than a little sceptical that the promised affordable housing content will ever be fulfilled if past experience is anything to go by’ and went on to ask the MP if there was anything that could be done to see if the scheme could ‘at least be moderated or scrapped’.”

ADVEARSE has now moved on to focusing on ensuring planning obligations, such as 35 per cent affordable housing and improvements to the A35 Miles Cross junction are honoured. The campaign group say it will also be ‘closely examining aspects of the development that do not appear to meet legal requirements, including pedestrian safety’.

ADVEARSE chairman Barry Bates said: “We will fight any attempt to back track on developer and council commitments and, with our wide-spread support, will not hesitate from taking legal action where appropriate.

“While the impact of this development will undoubtedly change Bridport beyond recognition, we hope now to be able to work closely with the town council and relevant community groups to maximise the benefits to residents and to try to minimise as far as possible the harm the development is able to inflict on the culture and heritage of our town and countryside.”

Hallam Land Management was contacted for a comment.