The planned development would create a whole new neighbourhood complete with play areas and allotments, but it has caused a stir among local residents.
A 113-acre site between Poole and Wimborne has been earmarked by Birmingham-based Richborough Estates to develop 600 new homes, together with a 62-bed care home.
Land promotion specialist Richborough Estates has submitted a controversial outline planning application to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council for the land that occupies fields north of Oakley Lane, Merley in Dorset.
In addition to the principle development, Richborough is requesting permission to create five access points to the site from Oakley Lane.
Last year, the site was selected for housing development in the Poole Local Plan and released from the green belt by the Borough of Poole.
Richborough Estates is allocating 40% of the units as affordable homes, which will range from one bedroom apartments to detached five bedroom family houses. Their plans include new access roads, public open space, allotments and play areas to accompany the housing. The plans do not include provision for a new doctor’s surgery. The BCPC has created mitigation plans relating to provision of additional school capacity.
Local protest over land development
Local residents have been protesting since last year about the proposed scheme. In July 2019, in excess of 200 campaigners from ‘Save Land North of Merley’ group attended a meeting prior to the plans being submitted.
Savills is acting on behalf of the applicant on this planning application. In a planning statement, Savills said: “The planning application has been carefully assembled and prepared over a significant period of time. It conforms to all of the relevant policies in the adopted Local Plan and central government planning guidance.”
Savills said: “This application is made on the basis that the land owners and Richborough are committed to bringing forward this strategic allocation in a timely manner to ensure prompt housing delivery can be achieved on the site as required by the council.
“This will make a valuable and direct contribution in assisting the council to meet its strategic housing target and facilitate the necessary stepped change to housing delivery rates required in the Local Plan.”