Plan in Bridport for 760 homes approved in designated beauty spot

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Image source, Dorset Council
Image caption,
The homes will be built in an Area of Outstanding Beauty

A council has approved a 760-home development despite concerns about its impact on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Dorset Council signed off the plans for Foundry Lea in Bridport on Thursday.

The site has AONB status, which means "great weight" is given to its natural beauty during planning applications.

However, a council report written by planning officers said the proposals were "appropriate" and that it was in the authority's housing plan.

The Barratt David Wilson Homes development will bring allotments, play areas, an orchard, and a sports pitch with changing rooms, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Planning officers said proposed landscaping would "conserve and enhance the AONB, biodiversity and existing trees and hedges and provide appropriate new planting."

But some residents said they were worried about increased traffic and possible flooding.

Guy Dickinson, a spokesman for Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "What is the point of designating this country's finest landscape as an AONB if you allow it to be built over?"

Objector John Guy said an anticipated 16% to 20% increase in the local population because of the 43 hectare (106.2 acre) site was not justified.

Forty per cent of the homes will be designated as affordable. A 0.4 hectare (0.9 acre) site will be allocated for self-build homes.

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