Many local people came to view proposals being developed for Wareham’s future on Saturday. An exhibition showing the emerging Neighbourhood Plan proposals for Wareham were staged alongside the District Council’s proposals for the whole of Purbeck at the Purbeck School. The proposals for Wareham Neighbourhood Plan would make use of underused brownfield land at Westminster Road and Johns Road Industrial Estates and a certain amount of Greenbelt land immediately to the west of the Westminster Road Industrial Estate and provide additional employment land at Sandford Lane. Suggested by local residents, these proposals provide a positive alternative to the controversial plans put forward previously by the District Council in 2016.
The District Council is launching a 6-week consultation period on revised plans for the Local Plan Review. This will provide the opportunity to consider proposals for Wareham and the rest of Purbeck. The District Council is proposing that the Neighbourhood Plan delivers a total of 200 new homes in addition to normal planning applications in Wareham over the period until 2033.
Cllr Keith Critchley, Chair of the Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group said “We are delighted with the interest shown by local people at the exhibition on Saturday. We urge people to support the Neighbourhood Plan when completing the District Council’s survey. These proposals came from the local community and will help provide much needed homes for local needs”.
The Wareham Neighbourhood Plan provides the opportunity for local people to help shape future development in the Parish of Wareham, including Northport, Northmoor and Carey. In 2015 local people gave their views about a range of issues and highlighted affordable housing as a top priority.
In 2016 Purbeck District Council identified two sites in the vicinity of Wareham for new housing development including 500 homes west of Wareham and 205 north of Wareham. 80% of residents who responded to the Neighbourhood Plan survey in 2016 were strongly opposed to these proposals.
Wareham is very constrained by flood plains, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Green Belt and Nature Conservation designations but clearly some development is necessary if the local need for housing is to be met. The Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group identified a number of potential housing sites including greenfield land to the west of Westminster Road, south of Bere Road and north of Carey Road. The North Wareham Action Group also pointed out the potential for regeneration of Westminster Road Industrial Estate in view of Government Policy encouraging use of brownfield land. This was supported by local people in a survey carried out in 2017.
Specialist technical support is now being given by consultants AECOM funded by the government to investigate options for future development in Wareham. This is providing vital independent evidence which is helping shape proposals in the Neighbourhood Plan.
For further information please contact: Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, Wareham Town Hall, East Street, Wareham BH20 4NS
Facebook page: Wareham Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Keith Critchley, Chair, Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group 01929 52651
David Evans, Vice-chair, Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group 01929 551828
Hilary Evans, Wareham Neighbourhood Plan Steering 01929 551828