A plan for the future of Yetminster and Ryme Intrinseca goes to a vote on February 22, which could pave the way for 115 new homes, business opportunities and community facilities.
An amazing 34 per cent of residents responded to a call for their views on the Yetminster & Ryme Intrinseca Neighbourhood Plan (YRINP) – more than double the usual response.
The engagement achieved since work on the plan started in 2015 has been phenomenal, and inspector Andrew Mead praised this and the level of detail within it.
Now villagers will be able to vote in a referendum on the plan, which will cover all development in the area until 2036.
Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area.
If the plan is supported by the local referendum it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.
One of the primary concerns in this plan was to protect the traditional village character of Yetminster and Ryme.
A spokesman wrote: “By 2036 we will be living in a vibrant, supportive community which will value its historic environment and rural setting.
“Local people’s requirements will have been met by providing a variety of housing, business opportunities and community facilities. Changes will have retained the distinctive characteristics of the individual villages and will have made a genuinely positive contribution to our environment in terms of the scale, design, materials, layout and density of development.”
Another spokesman thanked residents for their responses and said: “It is clear that people think the plan is going in the right direction but they don’t want wind farms or a new village hall.”
The two parishes have a population of about 1,260, says Mr Mead. They include a small hamlet… called Hamlet.
Mr Mead said: “The villages are surrounded by open, undulating countryside punctuated by collections of farm buildings and scattered woodland. The River Wriggle, a tributary of the River Yeo, flows through the parishes.”
A great many events and consultation meetings were held over six years and the plan was submitted to Dorset Council in July last year.
The minimum target for new homes is 115 between 2017 and 2036. Four small sites have been identified, to accommodate up to 14 dwellings. The plan proposes adding more qualifications
from the Dorset Housing Allocations Policy to define a local connection which would entitle people to live in any new homes.
The polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Tuesday, February 22.