Dorchester residents are being asked to have their say on plans to develop housing on some of the recreation sites and play areas in the town.

Dorchester Town Council is working with Magna Housing to look at the options for building affordable housing for rent and shared ownership for residents.

There are five sites under consideration: Elizabeth Gardens, Poundbury Crescent, Fortress Green, Mellstock Avenue and Sandringham Annex.

Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr Susie Hosford, said: “For some time we have been concerned that the town’s young workers are finding it impossible to find affordable, good quality accommodation in the town, both to buy and to rent.

“This initiative allows us to explore whether it is possible to use some of the land we own in the town to make more affordable homes available to young people, and to demonstrate to other landowners that taking such an approach will have serious benefits for our town."

The idea has been met with objection from residents who live in the surrounding areas to the sites who have raised concerns over the potential loss of play areas and an increase in traffic and parking demand.

Their objection has been supported by town councillor, Gerald Duke.

Cllr Duke said: "All of these areas other then Sandringham Fields have a very strong community and cohesive value that bonds local residents together and I for one am not prepared to see these site confiscated for the use proposed by the Town Council."

He added: "A decision has not yet been made and Magna are asking people to put their names down for housing."

David Aldwinckle, property director for Magna Housing, said is encouraging residents to come and have their say.

He said: "We will have maps of the sites in question so people can talk to us in detail about any concerns they have.

“The homes we hope to build will be more affordable than much of the accommodation in Dorchester.

“We will also have staff on hand to talk about shared ownership in case anyone is interested in buying one of these homes.”

The event has the support of Opening Doors project, which aims to construct 20,000 more homes by 2033.

Cllr Tim Yarker, housing briefholder at West Dorset District Council, said: “More good quality housing for younger, local people and key workers is one of the main aims of our recently launched Opening Doors campaign.

“The construction of housing all tenures, including affordable homes, in the right places and in consultation with local residents means more places to live for those who contribute to our local economy and community. We would encourage everyone to have their say about these new proposals.”

The drop in consultation is being held in upstairs in the Corn Exchange from 2pm till 8pm on Wednesday, February 21. A further event is being held at Magna’s Oak House offices on Friday, February 23 from 10am till 2pm.