BRIDPORT is a lovely town. Everyone says so. It’s welcoming, and full of quirkiness and creativity.

Look at the twice-weekly market, one of the best in the entire south west of England and always so full of bustle and interest.

Look at the Clocktower Estate, a collection of shabby old buildings transformed by resourceful entrepreneurs into a haven for lovers of all things vintage. Look at our food fair and literary festival.

Look at how artists, writers and musicians are drawn by Bridport’s distinctive character and colourful history. Now look at the presentation produced about the development of Vearse Farm (or Foundry Lea as they hope we will call it), which will increase the population of Bridport by 20 per cent or more.

What will this huge urbanisation project do to our town? Hidden among the flimflam about bat-boxes and bicycle lanes are pictures of the houses they intend to build: bog standard homes, built to a template identical to those you will find in the faceless suburbs of towns and cities across the UK.

In a bid to win our approval, the developer put out a feedback form asking people whether they want ‘traditional’ houses that complement ‘existing residential styles’.

Of course people will answer yes. But what do they mean by ‘traditional?’ Cob-walled Dorset longhouses? Thatched roofs? Dressed stone doorways? No. They mean cheap imitations dressed up with a few design features. They mean buildings so bland they cannot possibly clash with anything.

Bridport deserves better. Go to the RIBA website and see what other towns and cities are getting. Do council planners have the courage, commitment and attention to detail needed to deliver a development that we can be proud of?

Let’s hope so, because the alternative is to see our lovely town submerged beneath a tide of dreary mediocrity.