AN ONLINE petition against a huge 4,000 home development proposed on green field land north of Dorchester has been launched by west Dorset's MP.

MP Chris Loder has launched the online petition which urges residents to voice their opposition to the 'Norchester' North of Dorchester development, which has also been met by fierce opposition from locals and a campaign group, STAND (Save the Area North of Dorchester.)

Mr Loder said: “This proposal will be devastating for the beauty and functionality of our county town. We need to modest development to thrive, but this proposal offers little back to the community.”

Residents have voiced concerns about the impact upon already stretched infrastructure and public services, and have questioned whether the homes will be genuinely affordable for local people.

Concerns have also been raised about the loss of open green space, which was the inspiration for many of Thomas Hardy's works, and has not changed since Roman times.

The Dorchester North extension was put forward as a 'preferred option' for housing in Dorset Council's Local Plan, which was the subject of a consultation earlier this year.

Although the Local Plan consultation has now closed, Mr Loder’s petition gives residents another chance to have their say and enables people to comment on the proposal and select the values that matter most to them, such as protecting the environment, heritage and community.

Mr Loder added: “I would urge everyone who cares about our county town and who feels as passionately about it as I do sign my petition. I want to do all I can to make sure people’s objections are heard.”

It is not the first time the west Dorset MP has been vocal in his opposition to the proposed development.

Back in February Mr Loder spoke at a well-attended public online meeting, where he said Dorset Council would do better to support housing growth in villages and smaller towns which would support local shops, village schools and rural jobs, and allow families to stay local.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: MP Chris Loder spoke out at a public meeting earlier this yearMP Chris Loder spoke out at a public meeting earlier this year

Mr Loder said the area already has too many second and holiday homes, which according to Opening Doors Dorset stands at 600 empty homes in Dorset and 2,600 second homes in West Dorset.

Chris Loder’s ‘Norchester’ petition can be found at