THE next phase of Sherborne’s Barton Farm development, for 66 homes, will be debated by Dorset Council in the coming days writes Alex Cutler.

Councillors at the committee meeting, due to be held in Sturminster Newton today (Jan 21), are being asked to allow the head of planning to grant the permission – subject to a number of conditions.

Sherborne Town Council had requested that the scheme be rejected, claiming that the homes would destroy an open space and block the view and light from homes built in earlier phases closest to the site.

The town council say it is also concerned about extra traffic and claims that the existing sewage system is already at capacity and that the drainage system for surface water may not be adequate for the new homes.

Similar concerns have been expressed in letters to Dorset Council with additional worries about the landscaping proposals, additional noise and the loss of old hedgerows.

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The proposed homes, close to existing properties in Marston Road, are the fourth phase of the scheme being built by Persimmon Homes. The new application would take the site beyond the 279 homes agreed at the outset of the development.

If agreed the site would link in to the existing road network of the previous phases which are to the west-northwest of it.

The homes are a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced with one three-storey block of flats, all in a mix of brick, stone and render under slate or pantile red roof tiles. 23 are allocated for ‘affordable’ housing spread across the development.

A report to the planning committee acknowledges that the Barton Farm scheme has, in the past, been criticised: “While the site has attracted some degree of negative attention due to highway works being delayed, errors in material selection, and timely provision of community infrastructure, the developer has worked with the relevant officers to remedy matters and deliver the homes needed.”

It says there is no reason, in planning terms, to reject the application and the affordable homes will be of benefit to the area, along with smaller open market homes.