A SITE next to Cerne Abbas village hall could be developed with five homes.

The applicants say the scheme will be designed to mirror existing homes in the village, maintain trees on the site, and bring a new footpath which will help hall users.

The site is a 1,900 square metres grass and scrub area to the west of the village hall bordered by Duck Street to the west and Kettle Bridge Lane to north. The village hall adjoins the site to the east.

The proposal, from Applecourt Ltd, is for one 4-bed detached house and two pairs of semi-detached houses, three with 3-beds and one with 2-bedrooms. Between the homes there will be space for 11 cars.

An agent for the developers say that the layout has been determined primarily by the need to retain and protect the trees in the northwest corner of the site with the aim of retaining all existing major trees and hedges of note to maintain as much as possible of the natural rural character.

A new footpath will be created within the highway verge northwards from the Springfield junction for around 30m.  On the other side of Duck Street, the footpath will continue along the verge in front of one of the homes before entering the site next to the proposed vehicle access. The footpath will then run along the base of the wooded bank in front of three of the plots where it will emerge onto Kettle Bridge Lane. It will be built to Highway Authority specification and is likely to have a macadam finish to be accessible for all users. Motion-activated porch lighting on the new houses will light the path, but only when the footpath is in use. The agent says the proposed footpath fulfils a community need for a safe and attractive footpath between the village and the hall.

A decision on the application is expected to be made by a Dorset Council planning officer with comments on the scheme open until Christmas Eve.