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Weymouth Town Council respond in depth to Dorset Council Local Plan

Weymouth Town Council spent almost four hours finalising their position on Dorset Council’s Draft Local Plan at an Extraordinary Full Council Meeting on Tuesday 9th March.

Councillors had produced a summary of the Town Council’s positions along with a series of questions for residents. The input from residents will influence Weymouth Town Council’s final submission for the Local Plan consultation, which is required by Monday 15th March.

Leader of the Council, Cllr David Harris, was delighted with the response which a number of residents contributed to:

“It was really good to see so many people taking part and contributing their views. Fortunately, the vast majority of them felt that the council was on the right track and they supported the line we were taking. Officers and fellow councillors ensured that the meeting ran smoothly and at the end of this epic meeting, Weymouth Town Council passed a resolution asking Dorset Council to involve them much more fully in the next steps as they have a lot of useful local knowledge to share.”

The second half of the meeting was led by Cllr David Northam, who had been working on completing the detailed consultation form following on from two meetings which councillors had already attended on the subject.

Cllr Northam commented, “The hard work was well worth it as we have a very strong response to send to Dorset Council. We are looking forward to working with them to help clarify some of the anomalies that were present in the plan as they affect this marvellous town. Our strap line is ‘Local Jobs and Local Homes for Local people’.”

The council focused on affordability of homes, the need for more employment land in the South Ridgeway conurbation (Weymouth, Chickerell and Portland), ensuring that homes built are for primary residence and not for second homes or letting, and making sure that the plan must reflect the environmental statements it made at one point but generally ignored in its main policies; the council believe the coronavirus pandemic and the Climate and Ecological Emergency should be making us radically rethink our approach.

Both councillors expressed their thanks to officers, fellow councillors, and residents for making the meeting such a success and hope that Dorset Council will respond favourably to their positive suggestions as a town.