Following Christchurch Borough Council’s decision to develop a new Country Park the public are being invited to make their suggestions on the layout, features and activities for the park as part of a programme of ongoing engagement.
Information about the proposals is available on a dedicated section of the 2 Riversmeet Leisure Centre website at https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/sport-leisure/leisure-centres/two-riversmeet-leisure-centre/two-riversmeet-park.aspx
As well as the draft layout there are factsheets, frequently asked questions and an online survey which the public are invited to complete. Local residents living close to the park have additionally been sent a letter explaining the proposals and seeking their views
Community Committee Chairman, Cllr Margaret Phipps, said: “We want local people to take the opportunity to help shape the future development of the park and this is the first step in what will be an ongoing process of engagement to ensure that we provide a balanced approach which all current and new users of the park will be happy with.”
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West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are introducing a new system for members of the public to search and comment on planning applications.New system to comment on planning applications
The new ‘IDOX Public Access’ system, set to launch in late January, has been designed to provide an efficient and easy-to-use process for users.
Currently, all comments received on the planning system have to be added manually by officers in order for them to be publicly visible. Under the new system, comments will appear ‘live’ as soon as they are made allowing for improved efficiency and transparency for users.
Anyone using the system will first need to create a profile in order to submit comments on applications. This will also enable the opportunity to save searches and track applications as they go through the planning process.
North Dorset District Council has already introduced the system.Efficient and easy to use
Jean Marshall, Head of Planning at North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said:
“The ease of use of our planning database is at the forefront of any system changes we make. This new system will be significantly more efficient and easy to use for both officers and the public.”
A user guide which will be available when the system is launched.
Work will start in the New Year to improve a HGV pinch point on the C13 through Melbury Abbas.
As part of Dorset Highways’ A350/C13 route management scheme, a new pull-in and vehicle activated signs (VAS) are being installed for HGVs travelling through Melbury Abbas village.
This system will advise HGV drivers to wait in the pull-in when there is another HGV in the narrow section, with the sign advising the driver when it is clear to move through the passage.
This will work in conjunction with the current traffic signal control shuttle working in Dinah’s Hollow, which has operated since July 2015 after the slopes of the natural hollow were found to pose a risk of slippage.
Councillor Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said: “When Cabinet agreed that the advisory one-way HGV system should continue, we also committed to providing additional improvements to help traffic flow along these two very busy roads.
“This is still a medium-term solution. We are continuing to work with neighbouring authorities to push for a long-term solution for the north-south connectivity from the M4 to Poole Port to support Dorset’s economy.”
Work will start on Monday 7 January and last for 12 weeks, with the road closed – from the top of Spreadeagle Hill (junction to Compton Abbas Airfield) to the C13 junction with the B3081 – for the duration of the work.
Arrangements are being made to ensure residents and emergency services have continued access, as well as ensuring refuse collections and gritting can still take place.
The official signed diversion route will be via the A350 although local drivers may choose to use an alternative route. Signing will be in place advising HGV drivers not to use unsuitable roads.
Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, elected member for Stalbridge and The Beacon division, said: “We appreciate that while work is taking place on the C13 it will put pressure on the A350, as well as other local roads, and will affect many residents along the route.
“This work is vital to ensuring these two roads work together, as best as they can, to serve our north Dorset communities. I’d urge all road users to please be patient and considerate to each other while traffic is pushed onto other areas of our limited road network.”
The work in Melbury Abbas includes:
- Trenching, ducting and cabling work to link up the existing traffic signals in Dinah’s Hollow with the existing HGV sign on Spreadeagle Hill and the new sign in the village centre
- Improving the signals in Dinah’s Hollow to make them permanent
- Installing a new Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) to inform northbound drivers of an approaching HGV heading southbound
- Building an HGV pull-in adjacent to the new VAS in the centre of the village
- Installing kerbing to protect the banks
- Improved signing and lining throughout the village
- Restructuring and resurfacing work through the village
During the closure Dorset Highways will use the opportunity to carry out other maintenance work, including road repairs, verge and hedge cutting and tidying through Dinah’s Hollow.
This phase of work is scheduled to finish on 29 March. Improvements at the Gore Clump junction – which are the final element of the route management scheme – are currently programmed for summer 2019.
Planning permission for a development of 30 affordable homes has been given by West Dorset District Council under delegated authority.Beaminster – Magna development
The scheme, which is located on the north-east side of Beaminster town, will provide 4 one-bedroom flats, 14 two-bedroom houses and 12 three-bedroom houses. The majority of these will be provided along a winding ‘village street’ and will come in the form of terraced and semi-detached homes.
19 of the homes will be for rent, which will be available from around £80 per week for a one-bedroom flat, to approximately £110 per week for a three-bedroom house.
11 of the houses are being built to help people onto the property ladder through shared ownership. To register your interest and find out more about the scheme log onto helptobuysw.org.uk.
All 30 homes will meet ‘Nationally Described Space Standards’ which means that the properties have been designed to provide families with the space needed for them to live comfortably.
David Aldwinckle, Property Director at Magna Housing, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide new, affordable homes in Beaminster. Our purpose is to help people meet their housing needs and this development will provide much-needed homes for local people.”High level of housing need
Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:
“There is a high level of housing need in Beaminster, and it is great to see more developments coming through in the area.
“Generally, there is a need of more homes for residents across the district, this is why we launched our Opening Doors Programme.
“As part of this programme, we have started a Home Ownership Register to learn more about housing demand and find out the size and locations of homes that people want. As part of this we also forward on details of upcoming developments and opportunities to own a home.
“I would recommend anyone looking to own their own home to sign-up to the register.”
Additionally, outline planning permission has been issued for 22 new homes with 35 per cent affordable housing on land south of Fullers, Broadwindsor. A reserved matters application, which sets out the detail of the scheme, will be needed before building work can begin.
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The go-ahead has been given for an accelerated planning process for a key employment site in Dorset.
Through an approved Local Development Order (LDO), fast-track planning for employment development will now be possible at the Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone site near Wool.
Purbeck District Council’s Planning Committee approved the order at its 19 December 2019 meeting.
The LDO enables appropriate development, whilst respecting the local environment.
It was prepared by consultants, Stride Treglown, in 2018 using feedback gathered from residents, businesses and other organisations during public consultations.
Councillor Cherry Brooks, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council member and portfolio holder said: “Co-ordinated appropriate development at the site can now be enabled through a fast planning process, benefiting existing businesses and those planning to move to the site. At the same time, we are able to safeguard the special qualities of this sensitive area.”
Councillor Brooks continued: “This will be a unique selling point for the site and, consequently, make it easier for businesses to create quality jobs and boost the local economy.”
Jim Stewart, Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, welcomed the LDO approval for Dorset Innovation Park. He said: “The Local Development Order is the key that will unlock rapid investment in the site by target sector companies, reducing the planning process from several months to less than 28 days.
“The LDO will benefit those wanting to expand their existing businesses on site, relocate to take advantage of business rate relief, or respond quickly to newly awarded contracts. This will all lead to new highly skilled employment opportunities and an increase in employment productivity for Dorset.”
Dorset Innovation Park is a significant strategic employment site for Dorset. It is developing as an advanced engineering and manufacturing cluster of excellence for the South West, building on strengths in, marine, defence and energy technology.
Significant investment in the whole site by Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is providing a new opportunity for businesses by offering attractive Enterprise Zone benefits such as business rate reduction, streamlined planning and access to full fibre broadband connectivity.
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Christmas can be an exceptionally difficult time for vulnerable children in Dorset – but it’s also a time when we all think about how we could make a difference.
Dorset County Council is asking: could you give a child a home? People are needed from all walks of life to sign up to be foster carers, to meet a desperate need in the county.
There is no typical foster carer. All you need is a spare room and to be able to offer a safe and loving home, and have patience and a sense of humour. Click here to find out more about what sort of qualities you’d need.
Fostering can work around your own lifestyle. You could be a full time carer, but there are other options such as offering respite care at weekends; semi-independent care to young people in work, education or training; or providing a safe home in emergencies.
Cllr Steve Butler, Cabinet member for Safeguarding said:
“The support of foster carers can significantly improve the situation and life chances for children.
“Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for our vulnerable children, so if you’ve ever thought about fostering, perhaps now is the time to make that call and help a child make happy childhood memories.”
If you think you could you make Christmas – and all year round – happier for a child in care, get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01305 225568 or visit the foster in Dorset website
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Holwell could have a Neighbourhood Plan if residents give it the go ahead.Residents to vote on Holwell Neighbourhood Plan
Councillors agreed at West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee on 13 December 2018 to go ahead with the referendum on Holwell Neighbourhood Plan.
A local referendum will take place on Thursday 7 February 2019, with local residents going to the polls to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposals.
The plan was drawn up by local people, and agreed by the Parish Council, who felt confident that the plan reflects the hopes and views of the local community.
Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.
If the plan is supported by the local referendum it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.Holwell Parish Council congratulated
Cllr Robert Gould, West Dorset District Council’s Ward Member for Queen Thorne Ward, said:
“I congratulate all those who have worked so hard to bring the Plan to this stage and I hope it will be supported by residents on 7 February.”
Cllr Ian Gardner, Planning Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said:
“I am pleased that Holwell Parish Council have produced the neighbourhood plan for residents to vote on. To get this far involves considerable effort which seems to be recognised in the Examiner’s findings. I encourage all residents of Holwell, who are interested in future development in the area, to review the plans and vote on 7 February.”Voting
The referendum will be held on 7 February 2019. Residents will have to be registered to vote by Tuesday, 22 January 2019 to vote in the referendum. To check if you are registered to vote call 01305 838299.
Holwell residents can vote in person at Holwell Village Hall. The polling station will be open from 7am to 10pm on 7 February 2019.
To vote by post or proxy, residents will need to fill in an application form and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer. Postal and proxy vote application forms are available online at dorsetforyou.com/how-to-vote or by contacting the district council.
Applications to vote by post must be received by 5pm on Wednesday, 23 January 2019. To vote by proxy, application forms should be received by 5pm on 7th February 2019.View the plan
The plan can be viewed online at dorsetforyou.gov.uk/holwell-neighbourhood-plan, at South Walks House in Dorchester or Sherborne Town Council offices. The parish council also intend to ensure copies of these documents are available locally.
Schools across Dorset are reaping the benefits of the faster, more reliable broadband speeds now available thanks to a council-run initiative.
Superfast Dorset, working with its delivery partner Openreach, has provided around 84,000 homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband.
But the roll-out has brought wider community benefits too, including making faster connections available to 78 of the county’s schools, many of which have made the switch from standard to fibre broadband.
Sherborne Abbey Primary School has 325 pupils aged between four and 11 and took advantage of the faster connectivity when it became available.
Assistant Headteacher Simon Garnett said a fast, stable internet connection is essential to provide young people with the best possible learning opportunities.
“Computer skills form part of the National Curriculum of course, but pupils use the internet every day to research topics ranging from wildlife to the Victorians. There are some fantastic resources online,” said Mr Garnett, who teaches Year 6.
“Before we switched to a fibre broadband service it was pretty frustrating – things could take ages to load. If I wanted to show a video to support the children’s learning in the classroom I used to download it onto a USB stick at home and bring it in.
“Since we took a fibre broadband service it’s so much easier. It benefits our support staff too as so much is done via the internet these days, from communicating with parents to ordering supplies.”
Piddle Valley CE First School in Piddletrenthide, near Dorchester, has 84 pupils aged up to nine and has also switched from standard to fibre broadband.
Headteacher Jayne Browne said: “Even our younger children in the Reception class see IT as a link to supporting and enhancing their learning, whether learning through games or researching for information.
“All staff and children find the system less frustrating especially when a whole class are wanting to access the internet on our laptops or iPads.
“Overall the improved connection has supported many aspects of the school including our office systems such as registration and safeguarding. This has been important to Piddle Valley CE First School as we are so much more reliant on the internet these days.”
Since 2010, superfast broadband has mainly been delivered using fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology, which is a part-fibre, part-copper technology: fibre optic cables run from the exchange to a street cabinet, and existing copper telephone lines connect the cabinet to the premises.
Superfast broadband, defined as a download speed of 24Mbps (megabits per second) or more, is now available to 97% of Dorset premises.
Access to full-fibre networks in the county, however, sits at around 7% and just over 3% in the Dorset County Council area. These networks use fibre optic cables to connect the exchange directly to each premise. Full-fibre connections can deliver speeds greater than 1 gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps).
Full-fibre networks are even more reliable than copper-based networks, and cheaper to maintain and operate. They are also important for supporting high capacity mobile broadband, particularly future 5G networks.
Dorset was the first area of the UK to benefit from pilot funding from the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network Scheme to provide full fibre connections to a school in the county.
Cheselbourne School has used the funding to connect to full fibre from local company Wessex Internet. This deployment then allowed surrounding businesses and residents to do the same.
Superfast Dorset is managing a further expansion of this pilot activity with Broadband Delivery UK, Department for Education and Dorset County Council’s schools team to seek funding for a further 19 schools.