We Want to Hear From You

At an appropriate time, we will be holding a public consultation – both in person and online – so that local residents and any interested parties can learn more about the plans, ask any questions they may have and give us their feedback. In the interim, we are very happy to meet with any interested groups to discuss the proposals for the North Dorchester Garden Community.

Please contact us via email or call us on 0800 689 5209.

North Dorchester was considered as a potential option as far back as 1987 when the strategic housing needs of Dorchester were last settled. Four subsequent rounds of Plan-making are now finally pointing towards NorthDorchester as this generation’s response to the needs of the County Town.

July 1987
The concept of North Dorchester identified

North Dorchester is mooted as an option for the expansion of Dorchester. The Council eventually selects Poundbury, which commenced in 1993.

July 2008
North Dorchester reconsidered

The revised Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the South West is published identifying 7,500 new dwellings at Dorchester. The Council commissions a study to consider possible sites, including North Dorchester

May 2010
Regional Spatial Strategies scrapped

The new coalition Government announces the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies, delegating these matters to local authorities. All work on the RSS stops

September 2011
A new Plan for Dorchester

West Dorset and Portland Councils begin work on a new joint plan

June 2012
Draft Plan for West Dorset published

The Plan proposes development of up to 1,500 homes at Crossways, instead of development at Dorchester, although it concedes that further sites around Dorchester will be required in later stages of the Plan.

November 2012
Abortive plans for Dorchester

WDDC revises its draft Plan and consults on an additional 1,000 homes south east of Dorchester and 700 homes at Crossways. The Council eventually abandons south east Dorchester as an option due to opposition.

August 2015
The housing needs of the County Town must be addressed

The Planning Inspector concludes the Examination into the 2015 Local Plan. He concludes Crossways cannot meet the needs of the County town. The Plan is adopted only on the basis of a swift review to look at alternatives around Dorchester

March 2016

The Review of the Local Plan to look at additional sites to meet Dorchester’s need commences

February 2017
North Dorchester Put Forward as an Option

West Dorset District Council publishes its Issues and Options Plan, identifying North Dorchester as the largest single growth option for Dorchester outside the AONB.

July 2018
North Dorchester identified as a Preferred Option

The Council publishes its Preferred Options for growth around Dorchester, including a Vision for the development of North Dorchester.

September 2018
Public Consultation launched

The North Dorchester Consortium seeks views on how the development can be shaped to meet the needs of the entire County town.

April 2019
Dorset Council Formed

Work on the West Dorset Plan is halted. A new Local Plan for the new Council gets underway.

June 2019
North Dorchester wins Garden Community Status

The successful bid was supported by the North Dorchester Consortium comprising Grainger plc and Charles Church. We are working collaborative to provide Dorchester with the homes and jobs it needs to do so sensitively and sustainably.

January 2021
Dorset-wide Draft Plan

Dorset Council begin consulting on a Draft Local Plan Options Consultation, which includes the proposed allocation of the North Dorchester site.

August 2021
North Dorchester Masterplan commissioned

Dorset Council appoints HYAS to coordinate a masterplan for North Dorchester.

July 2022
Dorset Council delays its Local Plan

Due to proposed changes in the planning system and the need to prepare more technical evidence, Dorset Council delays its next draft of the Local Plan until 2024

December 2022
Reform of the Planning System

The Government launches its consultation on the reform of the planning system. It restates its commitment to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

March 2023
The North Dorchester Consortium launches its website

With the Masterplan for North Dorchester emerging and the Local Plan process moving forward next year, we have launched a new website to keep local communities informed of our progress.

Next steps

The North Dorchester Consortium has supported Dorset Council’s plan-making process over the last 7 years and is participating fully in the masterplanning exercise. We are awaiting the outcome of that process before setting out the sequence and timing of our response.