By Town Crier Alistair Chisholm
A planning application to develop north of Dorchester was turned down by a planning inspector in 1988 on the grounds of the area’s “timelessness”, cultural significance for Thomas Hardy’s writings and importance in Henry Moule’s paintings.
Nothing changes “timelessness” and its unique contribution to both the look and feel of Dorchester.
If you thought the SCON (Stop the Council Offices Now) campaign was important, then it pales into insignificance when put alongside these outrageous plans to build a satellite town north of the water meadows and floodplain of the river Frome. If this ‘preferred option’ in the current Local Plan Review were to go ahead it would spell the end of the town as we know it and could well be considered akin to the rape of the county town.
This challenge to all we honour and respect in Dorchester is as serious as the threat posed by the railway companies in the 19th century. The people of Dorchester fought and won that battle and we can still enjoy Maumbury Rings and Poundbury hill fort. I urge everyone who lives, works or visits Dorchester to fight with every fibre they possess to save one of the town’s most unique and iconic features, for I truly believe, if this battle is lost, then so too is Dorchester, Roman Durnovaria and Thomas Hardy’s ‘Casterbridge’.