BCP Council and Dorset Council are jointly consulting on supplementary planning policy aimed at protecting areas of sensitive heathland in south east Dorset.
The Dorset Heathlands are an extensive network of lowland heath that are internationally recognised for their importance for nature conservation.
Evidence shows that the heathlands are under significant pressure from an increasing number of people living nearby. As the population grows, human activity and damage caused by domestic pets, have the potential to cause ongoing adverse effects on these protected habitats and species.
‘The Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document’ (SPD) which covers the period 2020-2025, sets out an avoidance and mitigation strategy that will enable both councils to grant planning permission for new homes. The strategy ensures that urban pressures (visitors, fire, etc.) associated with new housing can be mitigated to avoid harm to the Dorset Heathlands.
Councillor Margaret Phipps, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning for BCP Council said:
“Heathlands are important and sensitive sites within the Dorset and BCP Council areas that we all want to preserve. As the population grows a balance has to be struck against managing modern development and protecting these internationally renowned sites. We have a legal duty to safeguard our environment which is why this SPD is vital to ensure we are upholding our responsibilities.”
The consultation runs from 3 January – 3 February 2020. You can view the consultation document on both council websites, in local libraries and at council offices.
BCP Council is collating the responses on behalf of both Councils and emailed responses are preferred using firstname.lastname@example.org but you can send a response by post to Strategic Planning, Growth and Infrastructure, Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2NS. All returns should be made by midday on Monday 3 February 2020.
The feedback will be used to inform the final draft SPD which will is expected to be adopted from April 1 2020.