A New Draft Local Plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland
West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are working together to prepare a joint Local Plan. When adopted the Local Plan will form the main basis for making decisions on planning applications.
The Local Plan sets out a long term planning strategy for the area up to the year 2031 and includes detailed policies and site proposals for housing, employment, leisure and infrastructure.
June 2012 Pre-Submission Draft Local Plan
During June and July 2012, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council consulted on a pre-submission draft of the Local Plan. Around 2,000 representations from over 900 individuals and organisations were made. A summary of the pre-submission consultation (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window) is available and more information on the earlier consultations and evidence is also available.
A small proportion of those representations suggested new development sites for inclusion in the Local Plan. During November and December 2012, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council published these Alternative Sites (pdf, 5Mb) (opens in a new window) for comment. A summary of the findings from the Alternative Sites consultation (pdf, 737kb) (opens in a new window) is available.
January 2013 - An Alternative Strategy
After considering the responses to the pre-submission Local Plan, West Dorset District Council then consulted on an alternative strategy, to include a potential new housing and employment site at Dorchester and reduce development on previously suggested sites at Sherborne, Beaminster and Crossways. The consultation closed on the 14 March 2013. A summary of the findings from the Local Plan - Alternative Strategy Consultation Summary (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window) is available.
June 2013 - Submission for Local Plan Examination
The West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Pre-Submission draft Local Plan (as proposed to be modified) together with the draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedules were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on the 24 June 2013 following Elected Member approval. It is anticipated that an examination in public will be held by an independent Planning Inspector in 2014. If the plan is found 'sound', the Local Plan could be adopted mid-2014. Further details of the Local Plan examination process including the evidence base and consultation databases are now available.
The pre-submission draft local plan submitted for examination (as proposed to be modified) can be given weight as a material planning consideration as it progresses to adoption. The degree of weight given to each draft policy will vary, depending on whether or not the issue is contentious and to what extent it is consistent with the national planning policy framework. Officers have looked at the degree to which the policies are contentious, and also to what extent they are in conformity with the national planning policy framework, and have provided some guidance (pdf, 174kb) (opens in a new window) on the weight to be accorded to these policies.
August-October 2013 - Modifications to the Proposed New Local Plan for West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland
West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council consulted on all the modifications that have been made to the Local Plan Pre-Submission draft (June 2012), and the associated Sustainability Appraisal between the 9 August and 25 October 2013. The consultation responses will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate to consider alongside the Local Plan ahead of an examination in public.
If you would like to be kept up to date with progress on the development of the new Local Plan, please register by contacting the Strategic Policy team.