BRIDPORT Town Council has called for 'major improvements' to Dorset's Local Plan saying it 'must do more to meet the town’s needs'.

The town council's planning committee held a meeting last night, in which it unanimously agreed on its 28-page response to a consultation being carried out on the Local Plan.

The document includes the council's overall response to the plan, along with a summary of the plan for residents, highlighting its primary concerns.

The draft Local Plan aims to guide planning policies and allocations throughout the Dorset Council area from 2023 until 2038, covering issues such as housing, employment, the environment, transport and economy.

Whilst the town council welcomes care village proposals for Bridport and the opening up of the riverside area alongside St Michael’s Trading Estate, it also describes the document as 'rushed', and calls for a number of improvements.

The necessary improvements outlined by the town council include:

  • More attention to the needs of the community in policies for Vearse Farm, the town centre, West Bay tourism, affordable housing, and access to, from and around Bridport
  • Better overall strategies for public transport, parking, culture and the economy
  • More attention to the climate and ecological crisis, including policies to help residents make their homes energy efficient
  • The concept of ‘eco towns’ to be considered for future development of Bridport.

Cllr Dave Rickard, leader of the Bridport Town Council, said: “A new Local Plan is badly needed as it protects the area from unwanted building and developments, but the draft as it stands isn’t fit for purpose. I urge residents to join us in highlighting the shortcomings by responding to the consultation in support of our comments. The final version really must do more to meet Bridport’s needs and to provide coordinated services across Dorset which address the real social needs and the Climate Emergency.”

Alongside its formal response, the town council has published summaries of the Local Plan and its views, in both text and video form.

Full details can be found at

Planning Committee Chairman Cllr Dave Bolwell said “The hard work put in by town councillors should make it easy for people to send in their views on the Local Plan. Our detailed response, or the summary version can easily be copied or adapted, or people can simply send a comment to Dorset Council saying they support the Town Council’s view. The more people that do this, the more likely we are to see the plan improved for our area.”

Cllr Sarah Williams, who chaired a working group of councillors to analyse the draft plan said “We spent about 18 hours in total poring over the fine detail and in particular the parts most relevant to Bridport and West Bay. The result is an in-depth and considered response and I hope residents will use the document to press Dorset Council for a plan that better caters for our environment, economy, housing, transport and community facilities.”

Full details of the Local Plan consultation, which closes on Monday, March 15, can be found on the Dorset Council website at

Residents can send their comments using an online form, by email to, or by post to Planning Policy, Dorset Council, South Walks House, Dorchester DT1 1UZ.