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November 2022

Councillors could work 24 hours a day at present as one project runs into the next. The last Stinsford Parish Council meeting included numerous issues some that I have touched on here in the hope that they will be of interest to residents.

We have updated the Stinsford Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy. This is a far-reaching approach that opens up many opportunities for meaningful work in the parish. We have looked to prioritise policies that reinforce existing policy in the Stinsford Neighbourhood Plan and we have produced a new Communications Strategy that should enable far greater capacity to keep residents up-to-date with progress (you can find all these documents on this website).  

We agreed a final list of ten ‘Local Heritage Assets’ that we hope will receive recognition.  The sites were selected for various reasons including historical, architectural significance and literary association. Importantly they include sites at clear risk such as the Stinsford Park avenue of trees to the House and Fiddlers Green associated with Hardy’s short story ‘The Three Strangers’.

The proposed North Dorchester or what would be more accurately described as West Stinsford, development is always present in council meetings. Dorset Council’s new work and extended timetable for local plan delivery holds potentials but there is no sign of work easing on North Dorchester. Wessex Water specifying that sites for two new reservoirs to protect Dorchester’s water supply will be required if North Dorchester goes ahead really bring home how serious is this issue.

At the same time new risks never seem far away. I think particularly of the government’s notion of Investment Zones that would lead to relaxing planning and environmental regulations and much-reduced community consultation making it difficult for residents and concerned groups to oppose large scale developments in these areas.

An extra 4,000 homes in North Dorchester would also of course add to the present pressure on the parish roads. Improving bus services is an issue linked to the council’s the councils Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy and with that in mind we have fed into Dorset Council's Bus Service Consultation.

Roads are an ongoing issue that appear on the agenda at every council meeting. It is also one of the issues, alongside North Dorchester, that we receive most concerns about from residents. We face growing problems on the road between Grey’s Bridge and Bockhampton Cross, Cuckoo Lane, Hollow Hill and Slyers Lane these roads are simply inadequate for the amount of traffic and the heavy traffic presently using them. This is an issue impacting the everyday lives of residents. Action on this cannot wait. We are presently seeking a joint meeting with National Highways, Highways at Dorset Council and the Police to seek resolution. Cuckoo Lane to Stinsford Hill Roundabout and Lower Waterston leading onto Slyers Lane and back to London Road are simply unsuitable to take extra traffic redirected from regular A35 closures. Residents can be reassured that we  are doing all in our power to seek a resolution.

Sarah Pattison, Chair, Stinsford Parish Council