A community playing field in Dorchester could be redeveloped for housing.

Magna Housing Association, who own the Elizabeth Place Playing Field, will be consulting members of the public on their views for the future of the site - with one suggestion being to build more social/affordable housing.

But concerns have been raised by a councillor in the town.

Town and district councillor, Gerald Duke, who represents the Dorchester West Ward said: “Comments I have already received from nearby residents are that they would not wish to see the use of this play area changed.

“I tend to agree. Yes of course we need more affordable/social housing. I believe there are other far more suitable sites in town.

“I cannot accept the blunderbuss, chips-with-everything approach that is presently being adopted by the two councils and Magna particularly when this is the only remaining green area in Victoria Park where youngsters can freely play.

“I have looked at the history of the site which was originally conveyed to the old Dorchester Borough Council from the King in 1951. “The title includes the following covenant - ‘not to use or permit to be used any part of the Property...for any purpose other than as open space or amenity land or playing field or playground or play area...for the benefit of occupants of neighbouring dwellings...’.”

Cllr Duke is therefore seeking views from members of the public.

People can either leave their views on the Save Victoria Park Playing Field on Facebook or email cllrg.duke@westdorset-dc.gov.uk

A statement from Dorchester Town Council read: “The evidence we gathered during the summer holiday period suggested that the site is currently underused; the grass area was unused on each of the 20 plus visits we made there and much of the extensive playground equipment was little used; only swings and a climbing frame were being used on the visits we made.

“Magna’s current outline ideas involve reprovision of a smaller play area on part of the site, then the provision of up to 35 units of mixed tenure affordable housing.

“They would also provide a cash sum to enhance play provision off site.”

Cllr Duke is also planning to hold a meeting at the Victoria Public House in Maud Road on Wednesday, January 10 at 7pm and is encouraging everyone to come along.