Residents of two communities in Dorset will have a greater say on developments in their areas.

Dorset Council has agreed to adopt neighbourhood plans in both Milborne St Andrew and Broadwindsor.

91% of residents, who took part in a referendum on the plan for Milborne St Andrew, voted for Dorset Council to use their neighbourhood plan to help decide planning applications.

Meanwhile, residents of Broadwindsor, Burstock and Seaborough also took part in a referendum, and 75% were favour of adopting their plan.

The neighbourhood plans were prepared by the local communities and set out visions and objectives for how the parishes will develop.

They will be used to guide future development in the parishes and determine planning applications.

The plans deal with the provision of homes. They also seek to protect sensitive areas, including the integrity of European sites as set out by the Habitats Regulations Assessment, by avoiding inappropriate development or over-development, while also providing support for affordable homes, facilities and businesses.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “A lot of hard work and determination has gone into the neighbourhood plans by the residents of Milborne St Andrew and of Broadwindsor, Burstock and Seaborough.

“We are grateful for their enthusiasm for their local areas, putting the needs of those within the community at the forefront of decision making, whilst protecting the beautiful areas in which they live.”

The full plans can be viewed online at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/neighbourhood-plans-in-dorset

A paper copy of the Milborne St Andrew Plan can be read at Nordon Lodge, 58 Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7LN.

The Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan can be read at Dorset Council offices, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester and at Beaminster Town Council offices, Public Hall, 8 Fleet Street, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8 3EF.

A neighbourhood plan gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, and have a say on what new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.