A ‘MASTERPLAN’ for future housing on the western edge of Sherborne is being prepared which could guide development over the next 20 years.

Proposals for the area are being put forward by Sherborne Castle Estates which talks of a scheme which is: ‘sensitively planned and high quality, sustainable and connected to the town centre with footpaths and cycleways.’

An estate spokesperson has declined to comment on how many homes the proposal might have saying that the proposals are still in their infancy.

A news statement says that the proposals will be “for exemplar, organic growth to the west of Sherborne in response to Dorset Council’s recently launched Local Plan consultation which identifies three areas of potential development to the north-west and western edges of the town.”

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It says that the concept is for a sustainable development which will be connected to the town centre with footpaths and cycleways with the design and delivery of the scheme controlled by the Estate to ensure the very highest standards are met. Access to the development will be off the A30.

The illustrative plans show land for a potential school and for business use as well as housing and sites for recreation and leisure.

“The Estate believes that an innovative approach to development would guide plans for the organic growth of the town for the next 20 years to create new neighbourhoods inspired by the historic and cultural heritage of the community,” said the press statement.

Nigel Jones, the Estate’s development consultant, said: “At this stage, we are suggesting a masterplan for development which is first and foremost, a ‘place’, not merely more housing bolted on to the side of the town.

“We have appointed a team of specialists to help us produce a masterplan for an exemplar scheme which will see new homes alongside green open spaces, connected to the town centre with footpaths and cycleways. 

"Right from the start we’ll also be considering what additional infrastructure would be needed, such as educational and medical facilities, employment and retail space, as well as any necessary highways improvements.”

Mr Jones added: “The masterplan also gives us the chance to deliver a new western gateway for the town, potentially reducing a substantial section of the A30 dual carriageway to a single tree-lined street, allowing people to access the community and its facilities through a series of routes designed for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We have had some very preliminary discussions with some of the key stakeholders in Sherborne, and we will be expanding on these in the near future.”

The public are being encourage to comment on the proposals via the website, www.westsherborne.co.uk where more details are available.