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Have your say on the Dorset Council Local Plan

We’re inviting residents to a Full Council meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 9th March to share thoughts about issues that specifically affect Weymouth in the Dorset Council Local Plan. Find out more about the Dorset Council Local Plan.

If you’d like to get involved, you should email office@weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01305 239839 to:

The meeting will be available to watch live on our Facebook page.

Councillors have met to discuss the plan would like to hear from local people about key aspects affecting housing, employment and the environment in our town.

Here are their thoughts and questions for residents:

General points about the plan

As well as the issue that this paper was a patchwork of plans from the past there is no recognition of the new circumstances that are developing as a result of the impact of the pandemic. Taking the six old plans does not lead to a coherent new plan and so the concept of a “South Ridgeway conurbation” is not mentioned. It makes a lot more sense to look at the conurbation south of the Ridgeway as a whole.

Before we can make any real progress on options we need to get accurate figures to work with. There is considerable double and triple counting.
We believe that there are general statements on strategy but these are not clearly followed when applied to the different policies.

We are disappointed in the lack of recognition of the AONB and SSSI areas in and around Weymouth.

Even the over counted figures would not allow us to get anywhere near the balance needed between housing, business and environmental developments.

We are concerned that figures are based on a Government algorithm and bear little reflection to local need.

There is no reflection of the new conditions prevalent today; a Covid-19 pandemic which should have a major impact on working habits, business needs and needs for residents and a Climate and Ecological Emergency. This paper sets the policies for the next 15 years and assumes that everything in the late 2030’s will be similar to today. This needs to change.

Questions for residents


Weymouth Town Council have commissioned a Housing Needs Assessment as part of its development of a Neighbourhood Plan. This report, produced by AECOM, says that Weymouth has an Affordable Housing need for a minimum of 1,775 units and a potential need of 2,649. Further they state that policy HOUS2 will not deliver this quantity – at 35% Affordable Housing the plan would deliver as a maximum 1,129 units (35% of 3225). Even with 35% affordable housing everywhere we would not meet our housing demand in this area for private and social rented accommodation. This is especially relevant because of the large number of sites already with planning permission.

This challenges the total number of houses needed in the area and reinforces the need for us to develop a plan for the “South Ridgeway Conurbation”.

Looking at the area as a whole also means that overdevelopment on the green corridor between Chickerell and Weymouth can be managed more effectively, such as excluding Wey 14.

Suggested actions to meet our needs

Questions for residents

Business Growth

The DC plan fails to deliver its Economic Strategy with its proposals for business growth. Weymouth is the biggest conurbation yet only has 13 hectares of possible business land and even this is under threat of turning it into new retail units despite the development needs of the town centre, devastated by the pandemic and the new way of shopping.

The environmental policy says developments should be close to people to avoid unnecessary travel yet there is no allocation of business growth to match the housing growth, especially in Greater Weymouth. Weymouth residents believe that this is the greatest priority for the plan to deliver.

There is some concern that overdevelopment of the Dorchester area for housing may impact on the commuting needs for residents and hence detract from the environmental policies being suggested.

Suggested actions to meet our needs

Questions for residents

Environmental vision

The balance between business growth and housing development needs to closely reflect this vision. Housing developments must be required to conform to standards required to conform to standards required for the Climate and Ecological Emergency. These cover a range of activities.

An emphasis needs to be made for improving public transport to support both local travel and the train route to London via Yeovil and Salisbury. We also need a clear strategy for the spread of electric car charging points which should be shared as quickly as possible.

There is mention of ensuring that housing quality meets new environmental standards, but it is not clear how these should be enforced without giving developers excuses not to provide sufficient affordable units.

Questions for residents