THE firm behind a 1,000 holiday home development at Crossways has promised that the economic benefits will be felt across the region.
Habitat First Group was granted outline planning permission by West Dorset District Council’s development control committee for its Silverlake development.
The scheme will transform the 560-acre Warmwell Quarry site into a sustainable holiday park with hundreds of lodges and chalets.
There will also be a hotel, country club and spa as well as areas of protected countryside that will be made open to the public.
Habitat First, which also runs an award-winning development in the Cotswolds, says that the scheme will create up to 750 jobs and see £470million invested in the local area over the next 20 to 30 years.
Managing director Will Vicary said: “We have been highly consistent in our vision and our approach of working closely with the local community.
“Silverlake provides a sustainable solution to the future of the quarry and will also supply an economic benefit which will be felt across the local region – from Crossways to Dorchester, from Weymouth to Poundbury and the Heritage Coast.
“Silverlake delivers nature conservation and landscape management at the highest level and firmly ties in with key objectives in the government’s national planning policy framework and West Dorset District Council’s local planning strategy.”
Warmwell Quarry currently has permission to be used for quarrying until 2028 but Habitat First has purchased the site and says that work is due to cease by 2017, allowing work to begin on the Silverlake scheme.
The application received strong support from both the Warmwell Parish Meeting and Crossways Parish Council. Vice chairman of Crossways Parish Council Nigel Bundy spoke in support of the application at the meeting.
He said: “Silverlake is a unique opportunity in West Dorset for an innovative form of development.”
Mr Bundy added: “We see this as a tremendous endorsement in this part of West Dorset.”
Habitat First has also promised to maintain relics on the site that date back to its previous existence as a World War Two airfield and will provide buses to link the development with Moreton train station, Dorchester, Weymouth, Poundbury and the coast as well as creating cycling and footpaths to discourage car use.
It is estimated that 573 construction jobs will be created during the development of the site, 286 of them with local firms.
Another 180 full-time jobs will be created on the site of the completed scheme.
Residents welcome proposal
PLANS for the Silverlake development have been welcomed in Crossways.
Chairman of the parish council Andrew Brewer said he had not met anyone who opposed the Silverlake development.
He added: “We are very pleased that planning permission has been granted as we have been working very closely with the developers who have kept us well-informed on everything that is going on.
“There are many benefits for Crossways including employment opportunities for the many young people who live here and it will also bring more people to the area.
“We need to remember that something much worse could be built there and we are pleased that an eyesore in the area is being turned into something natural and positive.”
Vice chairman Nigel Bundy, pictured, added: “It is a very welcome investment into our area and will be a lasting legacy.”
Another parish councillor, Barry Thomas, said all councillors were in favour of the plans and it would bring many benefits.