Some of a local ancient road is being widened and part-concreted. Many local residents are concerned about the work.
The track is usually known as the Old Roman Road. It leads from the top of The Ridgeway (above The Old Ship) to the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail. It is a public highway, in the care of Dorset Council. It is inside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, in part, inside the Upwey Conservation Area.
The concreting has taken place over a number of years, but most recently last week. It is being done by owners of a small field off the track who have with no other connection to the area.
The meeting is being held to allow everyone to express their views and to see what action can be taken to protect a quiet rural lane from further damage.
If you are concerned, please come to the meeting. If you can’t make it, but wish to be kept informed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be put on the mailing list.
Updated 16 April 2019
An application for outline permission to build 18 houses on open ground at Chesterfield Place (near Prospect Place) has been refused by the Council’s planning officer, on 15 April.
The reasons for refusal were:
- the impact on the area designated as an “important open gap” outside the developments boundary in the Council’s adopted local plan.
- the consequences for the dwelling that overlooks the site;
- insufficient information about drainage proposals;
- lack of proposals for affordable housing.
However, there remain the possibilities of an appeal, or an amended application.
Details of the application and all the relevant documents can be found on the Council’s website here.
The Upwey Society objected to the application – essentially because it is outside the permitted development area, and is the third recent attempt to invade the open space between Dorchester Road, Elwell Street, Church Street and Stottingway Street. The full objection can be downloaded here: Representation – Land at Chesterfield Place.
Concerned residents potentially affected by the proposed development held an open meeting on 12 November 2018.
Among important points raised at that meeting were:
- The fact that it is outside the area in which building is permitted, under the Council’s local plan.
- The unsuitability of the proposed access (which includes widening Prospect Place, which many residents object to).
- The inadequacy of the parking proposals, particularly for residents of Propect Place.
- The potentially dangerous turning out of Prospect Place which has limited visibilty, due to neighbouring buildings, parked cars and the crest of a hill in Dorchester Road.
- The impact on the open space.
- The precedent value, for the whole of the open space.
In 2018 concrete was laid on a segment of the Old Roman Road (the track that is a continuation of The Ridgeway). It was put there by the owners of a field to the west of the track. They are not from the area, so it hasn’t been easy to talk to them – but they have said that they believe they have a right of vehicular access (the track is a public highway – left over from when it was the Weymouth/Dorchester road up to the early 19th century) and that the council refuse to improve the track. They said that the Highways Department had told them if they wanted the track improved they would have to do it themselves. They added that they originally wanted to lay concrete southward to join The Ridgeway but understand that local people would not be happy. Instead they have laid concrete uphill to join up with a track that runs from the old Dorchester Road to Bayard Dairy.
The concrete is ugly and seems likely to increase the likelihood of the track becoming a ravine in wet weather.
We contacted the County Council, who said:
“The concrete has been laid without any consent or agreement of either Council [Dorset and Weymouth and Portland].
However, from both the Planning perspective and from Highways they have found no reason to actively pursue enforcement and the removal of the concrete.
The view being taken by the highways officer is that it “does not appear to present any issue relating to safety or appear to present any effect on surface water drainage. Indeed its presence probably prevents scouring of the surface in times of high rainfall”.
The team will keep it under review and if there is evidence that this view is wrong they will reconsider.”
Updated 16 April 2019
In April 2018 there was an application for outline permission to build seven detached houses on land behind Eastbrook House in Church Street. It has not yet been decided.
The most recent development is a letter to the Council from the applicant’s adviser, responding to the Upwey Society’s letter of objection mentioned below.
You can find the application on the Council’s website here.
The Society objected. The primary reasons for objecting are that:
- it is outside the development boundary set in the Council-approved Local Plan, which identifies the particular area as important open space;
- sewerage in the area is unable to cope with existing demand, and there is no prospect of it being improved.
10 Church St planning objection