DORSET planning head Cllr David Walsh has claimed there are no ‘exceptional circumstances’ which would allow the area to dodge the Government’s housing targets.

He said that while neighbours, BCP, might have a case this was not true of rural Dorset – which has already offered to provide 9,000 additional homes for the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area in addition to its own target figure of a minimum of 39,000 new homes over the next 17 years.

Cllr Walsh, the planning portfolio brief holder, said that even if a different method of calculation other than the Government’s 2014 base figures were used to work out housing need for the rural county the overall difference in numbers would be small.

BCP’s deputy council leader Philip Broadhead is currently challenging the Government’s calculation methods asking for more recent baseline figures to be used instead. He is arguing that the BCP area does merit being an exception to the rules.

The authority is also expected to set out its own assessment of housing need for the future based on its own calculations.

Cllr Walsh was asked at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting by the Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England why he was not doing the same for Dorset.

The Gillingham councillor said he saw no exceptional circumstances for Dorset to do anything other than follow Government guidelines.