The proposed site for Persimmon’s and Grainger’s 3,500 homes – on the rolling downs north of Dorchester – was originally excluded from the Local Plan because of its landscape value.

The Voice can reveal that former West Dorset District Council’s own web page lists the site as having “no potential” for development as it “would be fundamentally at odds with the prevailing character, resulting in significant landscape impact”.


Protesters walk towards Dorchester, seen from the proposed development site

It says the site is “outside, but visible from, the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) with the potential for significant landscape and visual impact when viewed from within the AONB and more locally”.

The web page – still live at the time of going to press – continues: “The site area is elevated and exposed, particularly to the north; characteristic of the chalk downland landscape.

“Land east of C12 (Old Sherborne Road) may have an unacceptable impact on landscape/townscape as the site does not relate well to the built form of the village (Charminster) and would not be in keeping with the chalk downland character of the area.”

The council’s web page is at

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