The proposed building of 3,500 to 4,000 homes, i.e. a new town, in the countryside adjacent to Dorchester is a regressive policy and would be a huge mistake for several reasons:

1. A large majority of the local population do not want it

2. Instead of promoting the regeneration of rural communities in Dorset, it will have the opposite effect, whereas a progressive alternative scheme would inject a new lease of life into those communities.

3. It will inevitably cause further pressure on the already congested traffic and parking infrastructure in Dorchester

4. By destroying beautiful countryside and replacing it with cement, stone and brick, a vast tract of land open to walkers, wildlife and clean air will not only be a blot on the visible landscape from Dorchester but also have unknown and potentially disastrous effects on the local ecosystem, in particular the flood plains

5. Dorchester is a small town, with a growing population, thanks to Poundbury. It can just about handle this annually increasing population, but will definitely struggle to handle another 8,000 to 10,000 more people on its periphery, whereas other areas of Dorset might benefit from an increase in its local population.

There are over 330 villages in Dorset. Over the years, many of these have lost their local shop, pub, post office, even school or church, because of a stagnant, ageing population and their large number of second homes. Many of these villages could thrive again, if they could increase their population significantly.

The addition of 25 to 100 houses to some of them could ensure that their pub(s), shop(s) and other services remain open, or that some could be (re)opened and other businesses created.

An alternative redevelopment strategy would concentrate on identifying which of these 330+ villages and local areas would benefit in this way from a housing programme, aimed at a combination of affordable and normal housing, appealing to all sectors of the population, especially families.

All should be permanent, as opposed to second, homes. Just imagine the effect this could have on the life of rural communities. Even if only a third of Dorset’s villages came under the scheme, with an average of 35 to 40 houses built in each village, representing the targeted 4,000 villages in total, just think of the benefits this would achieve instead of the harm to be done by having a third town on Dorchester’s doorsteps. This could be an ongoing strategy, regenerating village after village, with no need to stop after reaching the government’s imposed target.


Brewery Square, Dorchester