Council and Duchy to talk over plans for park and ride and service area near roundabout by Dorchester's football stadium (From Dorset Echo)
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Council and Duchy to talk over plans for park and ride and service area near roundabout by Dorchester's football stadium
COUNCILLORS are to explore the possibility of a new park and ride facility and service area on the edge of Dorchester.
West Dorset District Council has been approached by the Duchy of Cornwall with a view to potentially developing land to the south east of the football stadium roundabout.
The scheme would include a 500-space park and ride facility as well as a trunk road service area including a petrol station, restaurant, farm shop and hotel.
Members of the council’s executive committee agreed to talk to the Duchy after discussing the proposal.
Director for environment Dr David Evans told councillors that the authority had long ago recognised the need for an additional park and ride facility on the edge of the county town.
However, plans for a previous site near Monkey’s Jump roundabout were abandoned after residents objected and the Duchy of Cornwall – which also owned that site – indicated it could not support the move.
Dr Evans said: “It isn’t an easy problem to solve finding a site for a park and ride round Dorchester. There are so many constraints round the town both with land ownership and the environment.
“Whatever site is chosen it will be some sort of a compromise.”
He added: “This is just an opportunity to enter into a dialogue so it doesn’t commit the council to anything.”
Council leader Robert Gould stressed that the proposals were at a preliminary stage but described the Duchy’s proposal as a ‘positive’ and ‘exciting’ opportunity.
He said: “It’s a very positive approach by the Duchy. I think it’s a very exciting package that we have got here and we welcome this opportunity.”
The council’s executive champion for planning Sarah East stressed the need to consult with the community as the proposals develop.
She added: “This is obviously a much greater intrusion into the area of outstanding natural beauty than just a simple park and ride site.”
Members agreed that discussions would also be subject to feedback on its Local Plan, on which the council was currently consulting.