Photos from the carnival

July 3, 2009
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Corfe Mullen Carnival

June 22, 2009

Hi,

For KCMG, the carnival was a great success, with lots of support from local people.  We took over £220 on our stall, and were busy most of the time – with people either playing the Tom-Bola, or looking at the large scale maps & photographs we had on the stall.  Thanks everybody for giving us so much attention.   Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the photos cannot be uploaded now – they will be published as soon as we can.


Corfe Mullen Carnival: THANK YOU!

June 14, 2009

A huge THANK YOU to all of you who came for a chat, looked at the maps & supported our stall yesterday at Corfe Mullen Carnival. Photos and news to follow shortly.


Dorset green belt battle for new minister (Daily Echo 09/06/2009)

June 14, 2009

By Juliette Astrup

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for green belt development in Dorset are taking their battle to the newly-appointed minister in charge.

John Denham has replaced Hazel Blears as Secretary of State for communities and local government after her sensational resignation just weeks before she was due to return the decision on the South West Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS).

This controversial document lays out plans for 48,100 new homes in Dorset by 2026, and would cover swathes of greenbelt with 1,500 homes planned around Bournemouth, 2,750 at Lytchett Minster, Lytchett Matravers and Upton, and 2,400 at West Parley, Corfe Mullen and Wimborne.

And now groups fighting the scheme are calling for the new man in charge to hear their pleas before making his mind up.

Jo Haywood, spokeswoman for Save our Green Spaces, the coalition of more than 30 action groups across the South West, including seven in south east Dorset, said: “There are tens of thousands of angry people from across the region, including local councilors, wanting a word with John Denham.

“Our groups are planning to deliver thousands of letters, emails and postcards to Hazel Blears’ successor to show our increasing frustration at the government’s plan to push ahead with the strategy against strong opposition.

“We intend to take our campaign direct to new minister John Denham in Westminster. We want to be one of the first groups to meet with him and will be writing to ask for an early appointment.”

Campaigners have also welcomed a High Court judge’s ruling last month that the government’s East of England Plan for thousands of new homes in Hertfordshire must be reconsidered.

Terry Stewart, president of the Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “This sets a great precedent which could save our green belt.”

He said the local action groups were holding a meeting on June 15 to agree a “combat action programme.”

Ccouncils in the area are planning to fight their case at the high court should current housing figures be imposed on them.


Battle over homes on green belt land (Daily Echo 27/04/2009)

May 25, 2009

 

Battle over homes on Dorset green belt land
8:00am Monday 27th April 2009
 Comments ()   Have your say »
By Juliette Astrup »
DORSET councils are preparing for a legal battle against the government over plans for green belt development.
Barrister Timothy Straker QC has been tasked with finding legal grounds to challenge housing figures laid out in Regional Spatial Strategy – 48,100 new homes in Dorset by 2026.
Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, is not due to make the final decision on the plans until the end of June – but councils are preparing for the worst.
Jonathan Mair, head of legal and democratic services at Dorset County Council said: “When it is published Dorset councils will need to be ready to act quickly if this is to happen.”
He said Mr Straker had offered a “preliminary opinion” and was now looking in detail at concerns relating to specific districts.
So far the cost is around £1,000 each for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset, but legal bills could rocket if the fight goes all the way. Mr Mair said the final cost would depend upon how many councils were prepared to participate, and if they won.
Dorset county councillor Susan Jefferies, who tabled a motion before cabinet asking for a commitment to legal action, said: “It’s going to be a difficult one to challenge, nobody should have any illusions about that.
“We can’t challenge the quality of Hazel Blears’ decision, we can’t say we all disagree with it – we could say she hadn’t been given all the evidence. The feeling is very strongly that local democracy has been utterly run-over roughshod.”
The strategy would decimate swathes of green belt with 1,500 homes planned around Bournemouth, 2,750 at Lytchett Minster, Lytchett Matravers and Upton, and 2,400 at West Parley, Corfe Mullen andBattle over homes on Dorset green belt land

 

Monday 27th April 2009

By Juliette Astrup

DORSET councils are preparing for a legal battle against the government over plans for green belt development.

Barrister Timothy Straker QC has been tasked with finding legal grounds to challenge housing figures laid out in Regional Spatial Strategy – 48,100 new homes in Dorset by 2026.

Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, is not due to make the final decision on the plans until the end of June – but councils are preparing for the worst.

Jonathan Mair, head of legal and democratic services at Dorset County Council said: “When it is published Dorset councils will need to be ready to act quickly if this is to happen.”

He said Mr Straker had offered a “preliminary opinion” and was now looking in detail at concerns relating to specific districts.

So far the cost is around £1,000 each for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset, but legal bills could rocket if the fight goes all the way. Mr Mair said the final cost would depend upon how many councils were prepared to participate, and if they won.

Dorset county councillor Susan Jefferies, who tabled a motion before cabinet asking for a commitment to legal action, said: “It’s going to be a difficult one to challenge, nobody should have any illusions about that.

“We can’t challenge the quality of Hazel Blears’ decision, we can’t say we all disagree with it – we could say she hadn’t been given all the evidence. The feeling is very strongly that local democracy has been utterly run-over roughshod.”

The strategy would decimate swathes of green belt with 1,500 homes planned around Bournemouth, 2,750 at Lytchett Minster, Lytchett Matravers and Upton, and 2,400 at West Parley, Corfe Mullen and Wimborne.

 

 Wimborne.

Green belt fight may go to the High Court (Daily Echo 21/04/2009)

May 25, 2009

 

7:00am Tuesday 21st April 2009
By Steven Smith »
THE fight against green belt development in Dorset could go all the way to the High Court.
Government plans to build 48,100 new homes in the county by 2026 have met with widespread opposition and now one councillor is looking to make sure the fight goes on.
Cllr Susan Jefferies will table a motion at the next county cabinet meeting tomorrow asking her colleagues to pledge to look at mounting a challenge via judicial review if the government presses on with the plans.
Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, is due to come back with a decision on the South West Regional Spatial Strategy at the end of June.
Cllr Jefferies said: “It’s looking after our backs because the preparations for a judicial review take time. You only have six weeks. I do believe that the council is preparing anyway, but I want public assurance that they are.”
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, added: “If we do get bad news then I think it’s the only way forward and I think it’s good to put a marker down and seek cross-party support that that is what they’re going to do. Obviously they have got to take advice, because undue risks with taxpayers’ money cannot be taken.”
The plans would practically end Bournemouth’s green belt, with 1,500 extra homes, while land near Lytchett Minster would get 2,750.
Sites at West Parley, Corfe Mullen and Wimborne would be heavily affected, with 2,400 dwellings. Those against the plans say Dorset’s infrastructure cannot cope with the numbers.
District councillor for Corfe Mullen, Cllr Anne Holland, said she was presenting the same motion to East Dorset District Council to see if the council was “serious” in its stated opposition to 2,400 homes on green belt land at Colehill, Corfe Mullen, and West Parley.
A communities and local government spokesman would not comment on potential court action but said the south west was facing long-term housing shortages and, if the problem was left unaddressed, the next generation would have nowhere to live.
Tuesday 21st April 2009
By Steven Smith
THE fight against green belt development in Dorset could go all the way to the High Court.
Government plans to build 48,100 new homes in the county by 2026 have met with widespread opposition and now one councillor is looking to make sure the fight goes on.
Cllr Susan Jefferies will table a motion at the next county cabinet meeting tomorrow asking her colleagues to pledge to look at mounting a challenge via judicial review if the government presses on with the plans.
Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, is due to come back with a decision on the South West Regional Spatial Strategy at the end of June.
Cllr Jefferies said: “It’s looking after our backs because the preparations for a judicial review take time. You only have six weeks. I do believe that the council is preparing anyway, but I want public assurance that they are.”
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, added: “If we do get bad news then I think it’s the only way forward and I think it’s good to put a marker down and seek cross-party support that that is what they’re going to do. Obviously they have got to take advice, because undue risks with taxpayers’ money cannot be taken.”
The plans would practically end Bournemouth’s green belt, with 1,500 extra homes, while land near Lytchett Minster would get 2,750.
Sites at West Parley, Corfe Mullen and Wimborne would be heavily affected, with 2,400 dwellings. Those against the plans say Dorset’s infrastructure cannot cope with the numbers.
District councillor for Corfe Mullen, Cllr Anne Holland, said she was presenting the same motion to East Dorset District Council to see if the council was “serious” in its stated opposition to 2,400 homes on green belt land at Colehill, Corfe Mullen, and West Parley.
A communities and local government spokesman would not comment on potential court action but said the south west was facing long-term housing shortages and, if the problem was left unaddressed, the next generation would have nowhere to live.

PM questioned over Green Belt (Stour & Avon Magazine, 27/03/09)

March 31, 2009

GORDON Brown has been quizzed by MP Annette Brooke over the Green Belt. During Prime Minister’s Question Time the Mid Dorset and North Poole Lib Dem MP asked him if the Government was still committed to “robustly protecting” the Green Belt, and if so would he scrap the strategy for the South West which threatens local Green Belt land. His answer that the Government is doing more than any other to protect the Green Belt disappointed Mrs Brooke.

She said: “It is unfortunately no surprise that the Prime Minster did not answer my question properly. He would prefer to avoid the issue than admit that his proposed policy in this area is draconian and deeply unpopular with local residents. Mrs Brooke’s direct questioning is part of the ongoing fight against the South West Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which proposes the building of houses on Green Belt land in her constituency. This would result in an extra 2750 homes in Lytchett Minster and 700 more in Corfe Mullen. She added: “I recognise that we need more houses, but it is the manner in which they are being imposed upon us that is unacceptable. Such is the strength of local feeling that 35,000 representations were made in response to the RSS proposals; this is a record number and the whole process has been slowed down because of it. The fight to protect our Green Belt continues.”

The Government’s response to the consultation on the Strategy was expected before Christmas but has been delayed because of the record number of representations and as yet a timetable hasn’t been published. The campaign against development is also being kept in the public eye by the Conservatives

Jim Paice, the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, visited Corfe Mullen to see where new homes would be built.

He said: “I am truly astounded that the Government can be considering development on this scale in this area. Housing shouldn’t be forced on communities in this manner and to lose an area of such considerable beauty would be a tragedy.”

Nick King, Conservative spokesman for Mid Dorset and North Poole, added: “This is just part of our fight to oppose development of the Green Belt. I’m delighted Jim was able to reiterate what David Cameron said when he visited the area last November: that a Conservative Government will stop these development plans and return decision making over this kind of development to local people.”

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