Just a month after consultation on Dorset’s Local Plan closed, the council’s portfolio holder for planning, Cllr David Walsh, is telling us we now need to develop green belt land for housing to meet government targets - and provide land for thousands of homes overspill for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. (Monday’s Echo page 12).

It’s tempting to say the consultation has finished Cllr Walsh - you’ll have to wait like the rest of us.

The problem at the heart of the local plan is confusion between actual housing need and a 30,000 home target from a government computer programmed for “build, build, build” on a massive scale to boost the economy and the big developers.

But what Dorset needs is small scale house building, development that creates both homes and jobs for local people in our villages and small towns.

We don’t need large scale new communities twice the size of Poundbury or multi-million pound luxury developments for wealthy investors.

Does Cllr Walsh really believe development on a scale equivalent to half the number of households in Poole could be build in rural Dorset in 17 years?

It’s taken 30 years to build Poundbury and dozens of new homes are still going up there.

Surely it’s the very landscape of Dorset that is the special thing about our county?

It’s also clear from the local plan that the council has done too little work identifying areas for housing.

Instead of village scale development, the plan proposes a small number of large sites like the 4,000 homes on land above the water meadows outside Dorchester, but none in our villages which need it.

Serious work needs to be done by Dorset’s planning department - and brought back to the public for proper consultation.

Our elected leaders need to be telling government that the imposed development targets are out of scale with our rural county and need focus on local housing need rather than development as an opportunity for wealthy investors.