Shaftesbury resident Charlotte MacKay launched the ‘Save our Slopes’ campaign in 2018 with her husband Nicholas.
The couple wanted to stop housebuilding on a triangle of land between New Road and the B3081 Shaftesbury to Gillingham road at Enmore Green. Charlotte says building homes here would spoil the appearance of one of our town’s green slopes.
There were over 200 objections to the previous plans and the local Planning Authority and the Planning Inspector turned down the original proposal for 23 properties.
Last December, appeals inspector David Wyborn determined that, ‘the incursion of residential development into open and attractive countryside on this part of the northern scarp slope of Shaftesbury would be particularly harmful’.
This summer, new plans were submitted. Poole-based developer Nylo Homes has since amended their application. That means that the period of consultation has been extended until 20th November. Charlotte is concerned because she feels that people who had already commented on this new application may be unaware that the proposal is now slightly different.
Developer Nylo Estates say they’ve changed their plan so all the proposed homes will now be classed as affordable. He says a local need for cheaper housing has been identified. Shaftesbury Town councillor Philip Proctor previously argued that low-cost housing is impossible to deliver on this sloping greensand site because of the cost in preparing difficult terrain for housebuilding. Gary House of Nylo says that is his decision to make and not a planning consideration.
Mrs MacKay is also worried that accessing information about these plans has become challenging since the relaunch of the Dorset Council’s planning application website. She says it’s hard to find and read feedback and comments on the revamped planning portal.
Planning officers, rather than elected councillors, are set to decide whether this new estate can be built. But Gary House says that if Dorset Council officers turn down the amended plans, he will appeal to the Planning Inspector. And as he believes that Dorset Council has not met the deadline for determining a planning application, he has the automatic right to have his proposal decided in an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.
You can read the amended application here.