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28th December 2016 - WDDC Planning website shows 23rd December 2016 as 'Target decision date'.


9th December 2016 - A message received by from Andy Aylott, Chairman of Stratton Parish Council.

"Planning Application - Land Adjacent to 70 Dorchester Road, Stratton.

As Chairman of the Parish Council I would like to point out that the recent planning application response made by the Parish Council to WDDC in respect of the Land adjacent to 70 Dorchester Road, Stratton was incorrect. The response was marked as being supported by the Parish Council, whereas in fact the Parish Council were NOT in support of the application. Quite clearly the wrong response had been submitted.
The comments made by Parish Councillors as to why this planning application was NOT supported were :- Distance several of the houses were from the A37 Main road and resultant noise levels, level of density on the site, problems with visibility and safety for vehicles leaving the site, that the application did not include any recognised 'social housing', and a comment about the application mentioning garages, but that no garages appeared to be on the plans, only parking spaces.

It would be helpful if this information could be shown on your website to ensure that the true position of the Parish Council is known. WDDC Planning Officers have been informed of this error and advised of the Councillors true comments."


9th December 2016 - Read Stratton Parish Council's amended response to the planning application HERE When you reach the Planning Application page click on 'Select' to the left of the word 'Consultees' in the column heading 'Application Documents'. Then click on 'View Doc' to the left of 'Consultee Response (Stratton Parish Council) in the column heading 'Application Documents - Consultees'.


9th December 2016 - Revised planning application shows an increase of on-site car parking spaces (12 up from 11).


9th December 2016 - On the western boundary of the proposed development site there is an old chain link fence that has seen better days. In places, remnants are held up by concrete posts. Thanks go to Peter Hallett for telling us that the fence was the boundary between the Village School Playing Field (the side from which the photo was taken) and the Eldridge Pope Brewery bottle dump.


8th December 2016 - On one of the wettest, greyest, most dismal days that they could have chosen, five intrepid Stratton residents spent a couple of hours tackling the brambles and undergrowth that had encompassed the commemorative trees just outside the western boundary of the proposed development area. If you visit the site, you may think that a section of the undergrowth was missed but this was, in fact, intentional. As was borne out during the morning, the small birds in the area enjoy the safety that the brambles provide.

So, the trees were liberated, the birds still have somewhere to watch the passing pedestrians, riders and drivers, and we humans can see the plaque marking the spot where in 1989 a tree was planted acknowledging the centenary of Dorset County Council. Sadly the tree has disappeared - something that might happen to the County Council as we know it, in the next two or three years.

7th December 2016 - West Dorset District Council Planning Department target decision day altered to Friday 23rd December.
5th December 2016 - West Dorset District Council Planning Department target decision date is Wednesday 7th December. Click HERE for a link to full details of the Planning Application on the WDDC website.
1st December 2016 -- The Stratton Parish Council response to the planning application proposal is now available HERE
28th November 2016 -- Click HERE for a link to full details of the Planning Application on the West Dorset District Council website. For specific information regarding the County Highways concerns over road safety click HERE
28th November 2016 -- Hidden amongst the undergrowth to the west of the building plot, just outside the wire boundary fence, is a sign commemorating the centenary of Dorset County Council. The particular tree that it relates to is difficult to determine. There are a couple of other commemorative trees in the same area.
23rd November 2016 -- Unrelated road surface repair works just east of the service road junction in Dorchester Road took place.
7th November 2016 -- Planning Site Notice posted in The Rise saying that further information can be found online. Click HERE for a link to full details of the Planning Application on the West Dorset District Council website.
5th November 2016 -- Details of the revised planning application for the construction of five dwellings and eleven car parking spaces can be viewed on the West Dorset District Council website HERE
31st August 2016 -- On-site surveying underway.
1st August 2016 -- Several local people mentioned on Facebook that the Japanese Knotweed plants have been removed.
18th July 2016 -- 5:30pm - Has the Japanese Knotweed re-appeared or is it some similar looking plant? Answers please to

6:30pm - I am grateful to Kevin Ackerman of Food & Environmental Ltd, Dorchester for contacting to confirm that this plant is Japanese Knotweed.
9th June 2016 - Japanese Knotweed buried in the north-west corner of the plot.
8th June 2016 - John Cherry's photo of the building plot.
6th June 2016 - The Japanese Knotweed is buried and glass disturbance is seen.
2nd June 2016 - Work with treating the Japanese Knotweed is well under way.
31st May 2016 - Work has started to remove the Japanese Knotweed. The contractor says it will be dug up, wrapped in a membrane and buried on site at depth of two metres, where the gardens of the houses will be. The Knotweed will lie dormant. He is aware of the glass and asbestos contamination.
24th May 2016 - Local residents concerns include a) how and when the Japanese Knotweed will be dealt with; b) the contaminated site not being fenced off, allowing access and enabling the possible transfer of pieces of shredded Japanese Knotweed to other areas; c) the manner in which the initial ground clearance was conducted; d) the fact that the site is only 50 metres or so away from the Village Green and the implications if the contamination were to reach there; and e) what effect the presence and immediate non-treatment of the contamination might have on existing property values.
22nd May 2016 - John Cherry writes, "[This contamination issue] will only get fixed properly if someone has the will and the power to force the developer to do it and as far as I can see no one has. The surface will be scraped and a tame expert will write a report saying he can see no weed, then the development will go ahead, a larger one than the original plan, as hinted at by the withdrawn mail and removal of healthy mature trees.
21st May 2016 - Three new photos taken today. Japanese Knotweed is growing in height and appears to be spreading.
18th May 2016 - Chair of Stratton Parish Council, Gill Slade sent an email to the website that read, "Stephen Smith, Managing Director of Celebration Developments, attended the meeting of Stratton Parish Council on Tuesday 17th May to discuss the development that his company is undertaking on the land at the western end of Dorchester Road, Stratton, adjacent to no. 72. He confirmed that detailed planning consent for the building of two houses had been granted in  2002 and following the development of the visibility splay within the 5-year deadline following the granting of permission, the consent is now confirmed. He commented that there are two forms of contamination on the site which need to be dealt with. These are glass and asbestos, which was known about at the time of the original planning application, and now also Japanese Knotweed. Plans for addressing the asbestos and glass contamination have been drawn up by a specialist company and approved by West Dorset District Council.  A specialist contractor has been appointed to address the issues of the Japanese Knotweed and it is proposed that the weed will be dug up and buried on the site (but not in the area where the glass and asbestos is located)  in accordance with Environment Agency conditions. Mr Smith has left copies of the plans with the Clerk to the Parish Council should anyone wish to view them."
18th May 2016 - Local resident John Cherry was at the meeting. He writes, "Stephen Smith metaphorically hid behind his tame expert and his report. Unfortunately we do not know who the expert is or his qualifications. The report and its plans of where he believes the knotweed is, was not among the papers handed over. There is a great discrepancy between the amount of knotweed seen by Stephen's expert and Andrew Hyett's [another local resident] expert. Who do we believe? At the rate the surface vegetation is being disturbed it will soon not be possible to validate either claim."
18th May 2016 - The website has received an email recalling that several large pieces of carpet were laid on the plot of land in question in or around 2003 by a local man living nearby, in a bid to suppress the Japanese Knotweed that he realised was growing there. The message continues by questioning the developers belief that the introduction of the plant is a recent occurrence. Finally the email shows concern about the recent felling of at least one perfectly healthy mature tree on the site.
14th May 2016 - Three local residents take to Facebook to air their views.

John Cherry: "This action [removal of information email - see 13th May (afternoon)] clarifies my views on the developers attitude, not for the better. The contamination is of concern to all in the village as it could affect our insurance costs and the availability of mortgages. The contamination must be dealt with in an open manner and the work covered by an independent insurance backed guarantee that will compensate anyone who looses out as a result, for at least the next 20 years."

Andrew Hyett: "Personally, I think we need more information to clarify the situation, not an attempt to suppress people's opinions and concerns. And I hope the Parish Council will now take a leadership role in this matter. I think one thing that must be addressed quickly, is to find out whether the Japanese Knotweed has spread to the vegetation either side of The Rise on the other side of Dorchester Road. If so, the impact on homes could be serious."

Audrey Savage: "This definitely needs to be sorted and I agree the parish council need to get involved sooner rather than when it's too late."

13th May 2016 - Several emails to the Stratton website have touched on the contamination issue. One message from a Magiston Street resident covers all of the concerns. It reads, "One hopes the Environment Agency has been involved in agreeing the proposals for dealing with the contamination, as it seems that burying the japanese knotweed on site (even only 2 metres deep) - see advice at will inevitably disturb the glass and asbestos which are intended to be left undisturbed.  Presumably the specialist company undertaking the knotweed disposal will have been informed about the asbestos hazard and will be taking the necessary precautions. One also hopes that those undertaking the recent site clearance works have undertaken risk assessments and taken appropriate measures to protect the workforce and public, as will be expected of those undertaking the preparatory works and the construction work on the site."

10th May 2016 - An Edmonds Pye, Estate Agents 'SOLD' board recently appeared on the site and clearance work has taken place. The Stratton website spoke on-site to Steve Smith, Managing Director of Celebration Developments of Poole about the project. He welcomed the opportunity to use the website to provide details to local people about ongoing work.
26th February 2016 - On 19th May 2003 planning permission was granted by West Dorset District Council to Mr H Mead for the erection of two dwellings with garages and the construction of new pedestrian access on land adjacent to 72, Dorchester Road, Stratton. (WDDC Planning Ref: 1/E/02/002112)

Over the years the land has been occasionally surveyed and periodically 'FOR SALE' signs have been seen. According to Estate Agents, Edmonds Pye advertising literature the site has some contamination problems.

WDDC Planning Application 1/E/02/002112 contains architects drawings which are dated October 2002. The application can be viewed via the website.