Persimmon has requested a public inquiry following Dorset Council’s failure to determine the developer’s plans to build up to 135 houses in Shaftesbury.
Persimmon wants to develop land south of the A30, opposite The Maltings. This site is ring-fenced for businesses that offer employment. The company proposes building business units, a primary school and a 72-bed hotel or care home on this land, along with the housing.
Shaftesbury Town Council, Shaftesbury Civic Society, the current Local Plan, the draft Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan and the Melbury Abbas Neighbourhood Plan state that this 9-hectare plot should be reserved for commercial use.
But Persimmon says that demand for the entire site isn’t there. They say they have had interest for parcels of the land or units.
Much of this open space lies within Melbury Abbas and Cann. Parish Council chairman William Kenealy believes that Persimmon’s priority is house building, and he doubts whether additional facilities will be built if consent is given.
The developer has gone to appeal because Dorset Council hasn’t determined Persimmons’ March 2019 application within the expected eight-week period. The council had negotiated a series of extensions to the deadline date with Persimmon.
The company’s appeal has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate and their form requests a public inquiry, which they estimate could last four days. If successful in the appeal, the building giant could be awarded costs from Dorset Council.