I HAVE to concur with the views of Sharon Morgan (Dorset Echo Letters, March 5) and Michael Wheller (Dorset Echo Letters, March 8). Allowing just eight short weeks to consult on such a hugely detailed plan is completely unrealistic (and undemocratic).

One tends to think firstly of one’s own area (in my case north of Dorchester) on first inspecting the plan. However, there are implications for many towns and villages across Dorset in which I have worked and know well. I am an environmental scientist and feel that I have something relevant to say on many aspects of the plan. I want to contribute widely but fear I am already running out of time.

Dorset is a relatively small area and drainage from the land ends up in a very small number of river systems. It is the interconnected nature of the proposed developments that pose a real threat to the natural environment.

For example, the run-off from such a large urban development such as that proposed north of Dorchester will have a huge impact on the River Frome, in my view. Not just at Dorchester, but throughout the water meadows and other lowland habitats all the way to Wareham and beyond.

It is my view that the whole flood plain is likely to be affected.

I have already asked Cllr David Walsh (Planning Policy Holder, Dorset Council) to extend the consultation period. Sadly, this proved unsuccessful.

Given that Dorset does not have to have an agreed plan until March 2024, I would have thought extending the consultation period for, say, another three months would be entirely reasonable, given that so many residents are, at present, confined to their homes and without access to the internet.

NEIL MATTHEWS Athelstan Road Dorchester