Can You Suggest Street Names For A New Shaftesbury Estate?

Dorset Council planners approved Redrow’s controversial planning application for a new housing development opposite Wincombe Business Park last month. And on Tuesday evening, Shaftesbury Town councillors discussed names for the four proposed streets.

Cllr Andy Hollingshead wants your ideas. “Dorset Council has asked for an almost immediate response. If people do have strong views about it, and I would obviously urge them to reflect the fact that people will be living there, then please do send them in,” said Andy.

This new Redrow estate is right on the Dorset and Wiltshire border, and both counties have strong connections with the military. If you walk around The Maltings development, you’ll probably have noticed that many of the street names refer to the forces. Councillor Peter Yeo said this could provide inspiration for naming the streets on the new Littledown estate.

“I’m thinking we should link it to the existing military named streets in our town. We’ve already got Rifles Lane and Matty Hull Close. He was, unfortunately, a soldier in the Household Cavalry who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Iraq,” explained Peter. “We’re already remembering military connections there, so I was thinking we should have things like Hussar Way or Dragoon Close or Lancer Road, all to do with the cavalry regiments that all do their training in Dorset.”

Potential street names could come from important Shaftesbury people, historic events or landscape features. Cllr Philip Proctor said a name like Glastonbury View could work for this hilltop site before he went on to say that, “It’s a place for looking down on Gillingham.” That brought Cllr Peter Yeo’s suggestion of ‘Gillingham View’.

Cllr Alex Chase offered a tongue-in-cheek idea for this new estate which, controversially, will mean house building on the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “AONB View,” he said.

“It is a shame we are losing a part of the AONB as part of this and I think possibly it would be nice to remind people of what’s there,” Alex continued. He is not sure whether it will be acceptable to Redrow or the planning authority. “I’m not sure it’ll go down particularly well with Dorset Council,” he added.

Town Clerk Claire Commons advised that Dorset Council’s draft policy advises against dedicating streets to living people. Claire said Caldwell Close on The Maltings Estate had been named after the late Shaftesbury Civic Society founder, Rachel Caldwell, before she died. Phil Proctor proposed discussions with the family of Mervyn Jeffery. The former Mayor was made a Freeman of the Town posthumously at the end of June.

Councillors also debated whether the principal access road could be called Littledown, continuing the use of this name from the adjacent stretch of the A350.

Meeting Chairman Cllr Andy Hollingshead looked to local literature for his inspiration. “It is at the top of the Blackmore Vale, which was celebrated in Tess of the D’urbervilles, the famous Thomas Hardy novel. There’s probably a source for names there. I think it’s possible we will get quite a lot of good Dorset names which could add meaning to the estate,” said Andy.

The site also looks out on a former royal hunting forest, but Andy advised the meeting that could create difficulties. “If you are proposing a name for a road or any public area with a royal connotation, or the word royal in it, there has to be an agreement by the Lord Chancellor’s office for that to be used. That process obviously takes an awfully long time.”

Redrow has also asked for suggestions for naming three apartment blocks. The Shaftesbury and District Historical Society will also be asked for its suggestions too.

Portakabins, skips, JCBs and hard-hat wearing workers are already on this site, clearing the land and laying out the street plan. So if you have an idea for a street name, tell the Town Hall, soon. They have been asked to submit eight suggestions, although only four names will be used.