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What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning is about local people shaping the future development of where they live and work. Led by local residents and businesses neighbourhood planning will guide where new homes, businesses and shops will be provided and protect the things that are most important to local people.


Planning policies are very important in deciding what will or won’t get planning permission. In Purbeck, the Local Plan sets the strategic planning policies for the area, including issues such as the overall housing numbers, and what locations are most suited for new development.

A Neighbourhood Plan must broadly agree with the local plan policies – but it can change things.  For example, it can…


  • Change settlement boundaries (where most development takes place).
  • Allocate sites for development – whether for housing, employment or a mix of uses.
  • Include design guidelines, to say what new buildings should look like. 
  • Protect local green spaces that cannot be built upon.

It is not a tool to stop development – it is about recognising that some development is needed, and making sure it is planned and built in a way that local people would support.  It is about working together, as a community, with local landowners and developers, to find the best fit for everyone to meet our local needs.  


Every neighbourhood plan is different from the next.  There isn’t a set list of things that they should cover.  Local people can decide what issues and places to focus on, and what their priorities are.  

What people said...

More Affordable Housing for local people

Purbeck District Council has been consulting on the Purbeck Local Plan Partial Review including options for major developments to the west and north of Wareham. We asked for views on these options:

  • 93% opposed the development of 500 homes to the West of Wareham.

  • 70% opposed the development of 205 homes to the North of Wareham.

Some more new housing is clearly needed but the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group   objected to these major proposals. 

We have asked for people’s views on the following housing sites:

  • Cottees Market site, East Street - supported by 78%

  • Former Gasworks site, North Street – supported by 78% 

  • Health Centre/Hospital sites (if health facilities moved) – supported by 64% 

  • North of Carey Road, beyond Westminster Road Industrial Estate   - supported by 45% 

Protect Open Spaces
  • 90% wished the Middle School Playing Fields retained for recreation. The Recreation Ground, allotments, Common and water meadows were also highlighted.

More Employment
  • 71% would like additional land for employment to the West of Westminster Road.

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