The Inspector published her initial findings earlier today. In short, she is confident that the plan can be found sound subject to further modifications.
As put forward during the Hearing sessions, Purbeck area will need to deliver c.180 homes per annum, a capped figure that will require early review through the emerging Dorset Local Plan.
The Inspector supported draft Policy H8 which allows for small settlement extensions subject to modifications tiering the size of developments to their place in the settlement hierarchy – this could open up opportunities for carefully conceived proposals on the edge off existing settlements. There are important implications for those with land in the Dorset AONB, as lower thresholds for affordable housing delivery (through financial contributions towards offsite supply) will now apply. The controversial second homes policy in the AONB is also set to stay, albeit ‘replacement’ dwellings are to be excluded. Brett Spiller, Director at Chapman Lily Planning, commented; ‘I am pleased that we finally have clarity on these matters as important planning decisions have been held up. I have mixed feelings about some of these policies, the aim of the second homes policy is laudible enough but I have already seen it disuade some developers from progressing sites in Swanage and I fear that it might only serve to place greater pressure upon the existing housing stock. We welcome draft Policy H8 although I’m sure that its implementation will raise many practical questions’.
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