ON NOVEMBER 3, West Dorset District Council and the Bridport councillors sitting on the Development Control Committee will be called upon to make a monumental decision and decide whether or not to approve a planning application for the development of 760 new homes at Vearse Farm. 

The future destiny of Bridport is in their hands.

I hope common sense will prevail and members will hold their nerve and refuse the application and not succumb to officer and other outside influence.

Vearse Farm is situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty whereby the building of some 760 houses will greatly impact upon, and change, the character of the area.

You will probably recall that in his examination of the Local Plan, Mr Paul Crysell, the Government-appointed inspector, said that only upon exceptional circumstances should Vearse Farm be included. There are none and, therefore, if nothing more, the planning application fails and must be refused.

Moreover, as well as other valid and legal grounds for refusal, supported by case law, the district council’s own Conservation Officer is unable to support the application: but by far and away the most important aspect is that of access. 

The two entrances are planned to come in off the A3162, entirely unsuitable for such a vast increase in vehicle numbers. 

Look at what is happening now with the town centre gridlocked and congested with limited car parking facilities.

Many Bridport residents will be able to look back to the 1980s when the A35 bypass was installed, the object being to take the traffic out of the town centre. 

If this proposal is approved it will do the very thing that in the 1980s it set out to prevent!

If the Bridport councillors vote to approve this planning application, they will not only have their consciences to live with but their position as councillors to reflect upon with elections in 2019 or before.

I would, therefore, advise that they think long and hard and consider the effect their actions will be on the residents of Bridport as a whole, and please vote to refuse the Hallam planning application.

De Legh Grove
West Allington