A DELAY in a proposed local plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland is likely to stall moves to develop a potential park and ride facility on the edge of Dorchester.

A site to the south west of the Stadium roundabout has been earmarked by the Duchy of Cornwall for a park and ride facility for 500 cars as well as a trunk road service area.

Earlier this month the Duchy’s Dorchester estate director Simon Conibear told business leaders he was keen to see the plans move forward and hopeful something could be achieved on the 11-acre site in two to three years.

However, he added that, while the Duchy had made the land available, it would not be responsible for developing the facility but would work with West Dorset District Council and the Highways Agency to support them in bringing it forward.

A spokesman for West Dorset District Council said that the new park and ride facility for Dorchester was included in the draft local plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

However, the plan had currently been put on hold for six months while more work is done to address concerns raised by government inspector Paul Crysell.

The council spokesman said that because the park and ride facility was linked to the local plan it was unlikely to move forward until the local plan is in a position to go ahead.

Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones, pictured left, said the site allocated by the Duchy appeared to be the most appropriate location for a park and ride facility for the county town as many of those working in the town and using long stay car parks came from Weymouth.

She added that the town needed to find a new park and ride facility, particularly if the second phase of the Charles Street scheme goes ahead and more town centre parking is temporarily lost as development work takes place.

Councillor Jones said: “If we are going to have a park and ride it’s the ideal site for it as most people come in from the Weymouth end.

“We do need something for long stay parking.”