Plans refused for 70 homes on former Wessex Park Homes industrial site in Okeford Fitzpaine

PLANS for 70 homes on the former Wessex Park Homes industrial site in Okeford Fitzpaine have been turned down.

The draft proposal would have included the demolition of buildings on the Shillingstone Lane site.

An application “in principle” for the 3 hectare site was first made to Dorset Council by Okeford View Ltd in May 2021.

The site was used by the manufacturer of mobile park houses and still has a range of buildings including barn-style industrial buildings, offices and a significant hard surface area.

A number of objections were filed in response to the draft application. Shillingstone Parish Council said the lane was not suitable for the volume of traffic, the new houses would put additional pressure on Okeford Fitzpaine School, the sewer system and increase the risk of flooding.

“The scheme only provides for 70 market houses – there is no provision for affordable or social housing – the development would do nothing to meet the housing needs of the local population and would only serve the interests of the developers”, the council said in its statement to Dorset Council.

Okeford Fitzpaine Parish Council said they would prefer the site to remain in employment use and claimed there was no need for further homes in the area with a further 120 homes planned, in addition to the recently completed Old Dairy site of 37 homes.

The parish also raised concerns about traffic and said the remote site was unsustainable and would force anyone living there to drive.

He also said the development, if permitted, would blur the distinction between neighboring villages “with the inevitable consequence of Okeford Fitzpaine and Shillingstone merging into a suburban blot on the landscape”.

A planning exercise by Dorset Council concluded: “The proposed construction of 70 country dwellings would result in an unsustainable form of development with limited access to local services, inadequate provision for pedestrian and cycle access and a inadequate choice of transport for future occupants…. would result in an unacceptable suburban appearance and negatively impact the rural character and appearance of the surrounding area,” adding that the development would run counter to a number of local plan objectives.


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