Plans for a caravan village for refugees at Blandford to go to appeal
An inspector is asked to look at the Blandford site
A planning application for a 40 caravan ‘refugee village’ in Blandford Forum has now been appealed.
By the time public comment on the motion ended in late August, around a hundred letters were being received – most against the idea, although some had written in support.
Many feared that Deer Park Farm, on the western edge of town, would set a precedent for housing on the site.
Others were concerned about the possibility of the site flooding and the lack of facilities in the city to deal with what some claimed there could be at least 160 extra people.
Jane Bray said: “Blandford does not have the facilities to support this motion. The doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, schools, etc. are already full to bursting!!”
Others complained that this would ruin Blandford’s character and eventually lead to country living quarters.
Application for a decision by the planning inspector
Bryanston (RFE) Ltd and the Rothemere Foundation, along with Agents Savills, have now made a formal application for the application to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate rather than Dorset Council, which had failed to come to a conclusion on the proposal.
The appeal documents say that bidding for 40 caravans for just five years, which would have also envisaged the conversion of a redundant building into a leisure block and community area, would have been “relatively out of sight of the public” and would have provided housing for Ukraine’s refugees.
The reason for the appeal decision is that Dorset Council did not decide the application within eight weeks.
The appeal request calls for an inspector to visit the area to see the relationship between the site and the city, but says the decision could be made through written statements without the need for a public hearing or investigation.
A statement by Savilles on behalf of the applicants said: “This application was prompted by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries as a result of the ongoing conflict.
“It is the intention of the applicants to respond to this crisis by providing assistance and safe shelters to some of those affected by the conflict.
“Therefore, this proposal aims to temporarily base caravans on land under the control of the Bryanston Estate at Deer Park Farm. Additionally, it is hoped that by providing shelter on the outskirts of an existing thriving, sustainable settlement, the refugees will be able to feel welcome in the community and take advantage of the existing facilities, employment opportunities and amenities already in place in the city.”
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