Campaigners will make a STAND when they 'march for Dorch'.

A protest walk is being held in Dorchester this Bank Holiday Monday to oppose plans for 3,500 homes on farmland north of the county town.

The 'People's Walk for the Countryside' is being organised by the Save the Area North of Dorchester (STAND) group.

The group claims the huge housing scheme would 'change the county town forever', taking out a huge swathe of countryside, and is not justified.

More than 2,000 signatures have been added to an online petition against the plans. Campaigners believe the issue will be in the minds of residents when they choose who to vote for in the upcoming elections.

The scheme was chosen by members of the former district council as the preferred option to housing growth in the revised Local Plan. It was formally opposed by Dorchester Town Council.

The walk, with different route options, is due to start at 11am from North Square on Monday, April 22.

A longer route of 2.5 miles goes to Blue Bridge and up to near Higher Burton Farm and back past Lower Burton.

Or there's a shorter route of less than a mile to Blue Bridge and Frome Whitfield and back.

The scheme is being put forward by developers headed by Persimmon Homes and Grainger PLC which have staged a public exhibition on the proposals.

At the time the scheme was selected for inclusion as a preferred option in the Local Plan the district council argued that it would provide much of the additional housing the Government says the area needs in a location which would offer ready links to the county town and be able to provide 35 per cent ‘affordable’ housing as well as family homes which should be less expensive than others in Dorchester.

The plan proposals includes sites for a new school, supermarket and a medical practise with cycle and walking routes into Dorchester.

It is said the development would have 'detailed master planning, setting out an identity for the area which would be in keeping with Dorchester’s heritage'. A large area of the site is also earmarked as green space.

Further information about STAND can be found at