An application for two eco holiday homes at White Lackington in the Piddle Valley has divided local opinion, writes Trevor Bevins.

The scheme has attracted 20 comments and will become one of the first tests of the Neighbourhood Plan.

The consent being sought is for a paddock site adjacent to Mullets which some objectors say should be protected as an important part of the landscape.

Said one: “If granted permission, this development would place two large permanent properties in the gap that currently separates the settlements of Piddlehinton and White Lackington.”

One of the supporters of the scheme, Mervyn Church, who has himself built an eco lodge in the valley for holiday use, welcomes the project: “The proposal for two holiday units inset into the existing slope cannot be construed as either intrusive or having an impact on their surroundings.

“Furthermore, the quality of the refurbishment of 'Mullets', evident for all to see, bear testimony to the inherent quality and attention to detail that will be encompassed in these holiday units.”

Piddle Valley Parish council voted unanimously to object to the application claiming it contravenes the Piddle Valley Neighbourhood Plan, which came into effect in May 2018.

Read more: Six-stable barn planning permission approved in Piddlehinton

Previous applications on the site have been rejected for a number of reasons which some of the letter writers to Dorset Council say remain valid. Said Erica Howard: “The previous reasons for refusal which deemed that the applications were unsustainable have not changed. This is agricultural land within the gap which, being the smallest of the designated gaps shown in the Neighbourhood Plan is consequently the most vulnerable to the consequences of any development and so should merit the highest level of protection.”

The consent is expected to be decided by a Dorset Council planning officer without going to a committee of councillors.

The application says the three-bed buildings will have a ‘green living roof’ and walls with each having parking for two vehicles. Both will be set into the ground to lessen their impact on the landscape.