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					                       3.0 Settlement Pattern


BACKGROUND                                                                         coast, were laid out with wide boulevards and planted with
                                                                                   pines, making an attractive environment for residents as
3.1                                                                                well as visitors. The continued growth of tourism into the
New development will be essential to achieve the strategy                          present century was accompanied by the development of
of the Structure Plan. This chapter sets out the policies                          the town as a retirement resort, and the growth of
relating to the settlement pattern within which new                                employment in the service sector.
development will be accommodated.
                                                                                   3.4
3.2                                                                                As personal mobility increased, low density suburban
The settlement pattern of Dorset is dominated by the                               development resulted in the physical merger of the two
conurbation in the south east, centred on Bournemouth                              towns. Previously separate villages, such as Parkstone,
and Poole. Elsewhere the County is served by a number of                           Winton, Boscombe and Southbourne, were absorbed. This
small towns and resorts, spread evenly across it, and                              process also extended eastwards, while Christchurch itself
interspersed by several hundred villages and hamlets.                              expanded from its medieval core. Coalescence continued
                                                                                   until the 1970s, so that today the built-up area extends
3.3                                                                                unbroken from Highcliffe in the east to Upton in the west.
The conurbation itself has its origins in this more rural                          The expansion of the conurbation is shown in Figure 3.1. It
settlement pattern. Poole’s historic function as a port was                        has been accompanied by an increase in population from
reinforced in the eighteenth century by trade with                                 about 117,000 in 1900 to over 430,000 in 1994.
Newfoundland. However, growth was relatively slow until
the latter part of the nineteenth century. Then greater                            3.5
mobility, industrial expansion and increased leisure time,                         The importance of the conurbation today must be
coupled with the natural attractiveness of the area, resulted                      measured on an international scale. Economic
in substantial and sustained growth which has continued                            diversification has resulted in a number of firms,
throughout this century. Bournemouth has a much shorter                            particularly in banking and finance, choosing to locate their
history, dating only from the latter part of the nineteenth                        international headquarters in the area. Other companies of
century. Its development was linked exclusively to the                             international significance, notably in the high technology
growing demand for holidays. The town’s resort image was                           manufacturing sector, have grown or located in the
carefully fostered and extensive areas, particularly near the                      conurbation. In addition, the traditional service industries



         Figure 3.1
         The Growth of South East Dorset


                                1906                                                                                1994




                                                                          N

                                                  Miles 0        5            10

                                              Kilometres 0   5       10




                                                                                   Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Structure Plan (CSP28) 29
have widened their horizons. Bournemouth’s significance           3.10
as one of the country’s top resorts has been enhanced             Is such an approach consistent with the strategy of this
through the construction of the Bournemouth International         Structure Plan and the principle of sustainable
Centre, a conference and exhibition facility capable of           development? As noted earlier, much of the attractiveness
hosting world-class events. The Bournemouth Symphony              of Dorset is related to the variety of lifestyle which can be
Orchestra, of world-wide renown, is based in Poole. The           accommodated within the present settlement pattern. The
educational developments noted earlier have also expanded         overall aim of the strategy is to improve the quality of life
the town’s international standing. Finally improvements in        within sustainable limits. Therefore, provided the
communications, in particular the ferry link from Poole to        settlement pattern is sustainable, the Structure Plan should
Cherbourg, have brought the conurbation closer to other           continue to support it.
parts of Europe.
                                                                  The Bournemouth-Poole Conurbation
3.6
Beyond Bournemouth and Poole, the settlement pattern of           3.11
small towns and villages is an inheritance from the days          One of the fundamental requirements of sustainability is
when Dorset’s economy relied heavily on primary industries        the need for economic prosperity. While this must be
such as agriculture, forestry, fishing and mineral extraction.    spread throughout the County, it is of paramount
Then the towns acted as the main employment and service           importance that the conurbation should be encouraged to
centres for the population of their surrounding areas, a role     build on its growing international reputation. Not only will
which continues to the present day. Some developed                this help to develop its own economy, but it will have spin-
beyond this, particularly the resorts of Lyme Regis, Swanage      off benefits for the surrounding area. It will enhance its
and Weymouth, where tourism continues to be a major               established role as a major national tourist resort and
sector of the economy. In addition, military bases and other      regional commercial and industrial centre, enabling
defence establishments significantly influenced the growth        residents and visitors to enjoy the shopping, sporting,
of Blandford, Portland and Weymouth, and continue to              cultural and other facilities offered by any large urban area.
affect the fortunes of these towns.                               In terms of the use of resources, considerable investment
                                                                  has already been made in the conurbation and it is
3.7                                                               important to make full use of this.
However, while the role of the towns as employment and
service centres for their catchment areas continues, the          SETTLEMENT POLICY A
function of the village has altered significantly in recent
years. Employment in primary industries continues to              THE BOURNEMOUTH-POOLE CONURBATION WILL
decline, so that the numbers of those who both live and           REMAIN THE PRIME CENTRE OF THE COUNTY AND
work in the countryside have decreased. At the same time,         ITS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS ITS
many villages have become dormitories for people working          REGIONAL ROLE WILL BE MAINTAINED THROUGH
in nearby towns or further afield, and are also attractive to     THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAJOR EMPLOYMENT,
the retired and those wanting holiday or second homes.            TOURISM, SHOPPING, EDUCATION, RECREATION AND
                                                                  COMMUNITY FACILITIES.
3.8
Overall the population of Dorset beyond the conurbation in
the south east has grown steadily throughout the century          The Weymouth/Portland/Dorchester Area
as people have moved into the County. In 1900 it stood at
about 150,000, and by 1994 exceeded 230,000. However,             3.12
the pattern of growth has not been entirely uniform.              As noted earlier (paragraph 2.41), the
While all the towns have seen their populations increase,         Weymouth/Portland/Dorchester Area has suffered
the pattern in the villages is mixed. Even in the 1980s, the      significantly from defence-related closures and relocations.
populations of over a quarter of Dorset’s parishes fell.          Within the period of this Plan, the aim is to assist the area
                                                                  to regain the economic prosperity it enjoyed before these
POLICY CONSIDERATIONS                                             changes occurred. Because of the economic difficulties in
                                                                  the area, the Government granted Weymouth and Portland
3.9                                                               (together with Chickerell) Intermediate Assisted Area
Previous structure plan policies reinforced the existing          Status. The area has also attracted European and Single
settlement pattern by concentrating development in the            Regeneration Budget funding to assist in its regeneration.
conurbation and supporting the roles of the smaller towns
as employment and service centres for the surrounding             3.13
areas. Development in villages was related to their size and      The process of regeneration will be accompanied by new
character, and the availability of infrastructure and             built development. Most of this development will be in the
community facilities. Generally speaking, built                   towns of Weymouth and Dorchester. In addition, the re-use
development in the countryside was not permitted.                 of both the former Naval facilities at Portland and the




30    B o u r n e m o u t h , Dorset & Poole Structure Plan (CSP28)
former nuclear reactor site at Winfrith (now Winfrith            A, B and C will therefore be necessary. In South East Dorset
Technology Centre) offer excellent prospects for                 this will be limited to the completion of existing strategic
employment generation (see Economy Policy E). The village        commitments (Policy 1.6 of the First Alteration of the South
of Crossways also has potential to assist in the regeneration    East Dorset Structure Plan), so as to contain any additional
process. Crossways has few constraints to development,           outward spread of the conurbation. Elsewhere in the
enjoys rail access to Weymouth, Dorchester, Wool (for            County the further expansion of Beaminster, Lyme Regis
Winfrith) and the Bournemouth-Poole conurbation, and             and Swanage could not be achieved without causing
could accommodate expanded employment development.               unacceptable environmental harm or seriously affecting the
                                                                 character and setting of the settlements.
SETTLEMENT POLICY B
                                                                 3.16
THE AREA EMBRACING WEYMOUTH, PORTLAND                            Beyond the towns, additional housing growth could be
AND DORCHESTER, INCLUDING THE SETTLEMENT AT                      accommodated around a number of existing settlements on
CROSSWAYS, WILL PROVIDE A FOCUS FOR                              the Poole to Weymouth railway line - specifically at
ECONOMIC REGENERATION. THIS WILL BE ASSISTED                     Crossways and Sandford/Holton Heath. This would be
BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, SHOPPING,                      consistent with the principle of sustainable development
EDUCATION, TOURISM, RECREATION AND                               for two reasons. First, the railway itself offers the
COMMUNITY FACILITIES AT THE TOWNS OF                             opportunity of reducing the number of car-borne journeys.
WEYMOUTH AND DORCHESTER AND OTHER                                Additionally, increased use of the railway should help to
LOCATIONS IN THE AREA IDENTIFIED FOR THESE                       safeguard its future, which itself is vital to the regeneration
PURPOSES IN THE PLAN.                                            and restructuring of the economy of Weymouth and
                                                                 Portland. Second, land is already available in these
Local Service Centres                                            locations for employment purposes and the provision of
                                                                 housing near these sites will provide the opportunity to
3.14                                                             reduce journeys to work. Any significant housing
It is also important that the roles of the smaller towns are     development at Crossways and Sandford/Holton Heath must
strengthened. They make an important contribution to the         be accompanied by the provision of community facilities,
County’s economy. They also provide a range of shopping,         including new schools.
sporting, recreational and other community facilities. The
grouping together of all these facilities minimises travel, by   SETTLEMENT POLICY D
encouraging multi-purpose trips, and makes the provision
of public transport more viable. In terms of other               HOUSING GROWTH WILL BE CONCENTRATED IN THE
resources, it is important again to make best use of existing    FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
investment.
                                                                        (I) IN SOUTH EAST DORSET WITHIN
SETTLEMENT POLICY C                                                         THE BUILT-UP AREAS AS CONTAINED
                                                                            BY THE EXISTING GREEN BELT;
THE ROLE OF THE FOLLOWING TOWNS AS LOCAL
SERVICE CENTRES WILL BE SUPPORTED BY THE                             (II) WITHIN AND ADJOINING THE
DEVELOPMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, SHOPPING,                                      TOWNS OF BLANDFORD FORUM,
EDUCATION, RECREATION AND COMMUNITY                                       BRIDPORT, DORCHESTER,
FACILITIES:                                                               GILLINGHAM,   SHAFTESBURY,
                                                                          SHERBORNE, STURMINSTER
BEAMINSTER, SHERBORNE,                                                    NEWTON AND WEYMOUTH;
BLANDFORD FORUM, STURMINSTER NEWTON,
BRIDPORT, CHRISTCHURCH, SWANAGE, FERNDOWN,                           (III) WITHIN THE TOWNS OF
VERWOOD, GILLINGHAM, WAREHAM, LYME REGIS,                                  BEAMINSTER, LYME REGIS AND
WIMBORNE MINSTER, SHAFTESBURY.                                             SWANAGE;

Housing Growth                                                      (IV) AT CROSSWAYS AND
                                                                         SANDFORD/HOLTON HEATH IN THE
3.15                                                                     POOLE - WEYMOUTH RAILWAY
Sustainability therefore supports the functional significance            CORRIDOR.
of towns. The strategy demonstrates that sustainability also
requires that they should be the focus of new built              The South East Dorset Green Belt
development. In terms of land requirements the most
significant form of development is housing. Much can be          3.17
accommodated within existing urban areas through infill,         The “built-up areas of South East Dorset” refer not only to
redevelopment, conversion and so on. However there is            Bournemouth, Poole and the relevant towns listed in
insufficient capacity within these areas to provide all the      Settlement Policy C, but also to other developed parts of
housing Dorset requires. Some outward expansion of a             the conurbation where development has been permitted by
number of the settlements identified in Settlement Policies      the South East Dorset Structure Plan. Since the 1970s, the




                                                                 Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Structure Plan (CSP28) 31
coalescence of these areas has been prevented by the South         BOUNDARY. EXISTING URBAN AREAS AND
East Dorset Green Belt. This has helped to retain the              DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED IN THIS PLAN WILL BE
physical identity of the smaller settlements, by restricting       EXCLUDED FROM THE GREEN BELT.
the outward sprawl of the built-up area. It has also
safeguarded the countryside from encroachment, and                 3.19
preserved the settings and special characters of the historic      It is not proposed that this reduction in the house-building
towns of Christchurch, Wareham and Wimborne Minster.               rate will be compensated by additions to existing
All these factors are important in terms of moving towards         settlements or the development of new settlements beyond
a more sustainable settlement pattern. Coincidentally the          the Green Belt. First, these areas would not be attractive to
Green Belt contains a significant amount of high grade             people who want the lifestyle offered in the Bournemouth-
agricultural land, large areas of international and national       Poole conurbation. Some element of the demand for
nature conservation interest, part of the Cranborne Chase          housing in South East Dorset, particularly from those
and West Wiltshire Downs AONB, groundwater protection              wishing to live in the smaller towns and villages, could be
areas, and land liable to flood in the Avon and Stour river        met in settlements closest to the outer boundary of the
valleys. The principle of sustainable development                  Green Belt, but the scale of the development required
underlines the significance of all these factors and, while it     would substantially alter the character of these places.
is not the function of the Green Belt to protect such areas,       Further, this option and that of a new settlement would be
its existence reinforces the protection offered by other           contrary to the principle of sustainable development. Land-
policies of the Plan.                                              take, the demand for other resources, environmental stress,
                                                                   threats to areas of high environmental quality, and waste
3.18                                                               generation would all increase. Also, unless such settlements
When originally defined, the boundaries of the South East          were self-contained in terms of housing, employment,
Dorset Green Belt allowed for a considerable amount of             shopping and community facilities, the number of car-borne
greenfield development. Much of this has been taken up,            journeys and their distances would rise significantly. Self-
although a significant amount remains and is carried               containment would be difficult to achieve: research by the
forward into this Structure Plan. As time goes on, the             Department of the Environment suggests that new
effect of the Green Belt will be to concentrate development        settlements would have to have a minimum of 10,000
within the existing built-up areas, again helping to               dwellings for this to be possible. Even then, people would
reinforce a more sustainable pattern of development. Not           continue to commute, shop or make other journeys beyond
only will less greenfield land be used, but there will be a        where they lived, according to choice. This is more likely in
consequent reduction in house building rates. The latter           South East Dorset, where the employment, shopping and
has been accepted and intended in South East Dorset since          leisure opportunities of the conurbation are obvious
the preparation of the original South East Dorset Structure        incentives to make such journeys.
Plan. The retention of the present boundaries of the Green
Belt will mean that this reduction will come into effect           Villages
during the period of this Plan.
                                                                   3.20
SETTLEMENT POLICY E                                                Nevertheless the principle of self-containment for existing
                                                                   villages throughout Dorset is one which should be sought
DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH EAST DORSET WILL BE                           after, both to reduce the number of car-borne journeys and
CONTAINED WITHIN THE BUILT-UP AREAS BY THE                         to foster community life. As noted earlier (paragraph 3.7),
SOUTH EAST DORSET GREEN BELT. THE PURPOSE OF                       the function of the village has changed significantly, so that
THE GREEN BELT IS TO PROTECT THE SEPARATE                          many now serve merely as dormitory areas for the larger
PHYSICAL IDENTITY OF INDIVIDUAL SETTLEMENTS IN                     urban centres. Additional housing development simply
THE AREA BY MAINTAINING WEDGES AND                                 increases the level of commuting, much of which is by car,
CORRIDORS OF OPEN LAND BETWEEN THEM AND TO                         since viable and attractive public transport is particularly
MAINTAIN AN AREA OF OPEN LAND AROUND THE                           difficult to provide in rural areas. The problem can be
CONURBATION. WITHIN THE GREEN BELT THERE IS A                      addressed in two ways. First further housing development
PRESUMPTION AGAINST INAPPROPRIATE                                  will be restricted to those villages where it will help to
DEVELOPMENT.                                                       maintain or improve existing community facilities, such as
                                                                   shops and schools, or where it is needed for affordable local
SETTLEMENT POLICY F                                                housing. Only those villages with a reasonable range of
                                                                   infrastructure and facilities for shopping, education and
THE INNER BOUNDARY OF THE GREEN BELT WILL                          recreation should be selected for additional housing.
GENERALLY FOLLOW THE EDGE OF THE MAIN URBAN                        Second additional employment opportunities should be
AREA AS EXTENDED BY THE DEVELOPMENT                                provided in villages. Not only will this help to reduce the
PROPOSED IN THE PLAN. THE GENERAL COURSE OF                        need for commuting, but it will also help to diversify the
THE OUTER BOUNDARY WILL BE SOME EIGHT TO                           rural economy. In turn, this may help to supplement
THIRTEEN KILOMETRES BEYOND THIS INNER                              agricultural incomes and thereby aid farmers and




32 B o u r n e m o u t h , Dorset & Poole Structure Plan (CSP28)
landowners in their stewardship of the countryside.              The Countryside
Development in villages should be within boundaries
defined in Local Plans, with the possible exception of that      3.23
required to meet local affordable housing needs.                 It is fundamental to the strategy that development in the
                                                                 countryside should be kept to a minimum. However some
3.21                                                             development must be located there. First, agriculture and
To move towards self-containment, it is essential that the       forestry need new buildings as they adapt to changing
amount of new development permitted in villages is in            economic circumstances. On the other hand, buildings no
balance with the range of existing infrastructure and            longer needed for these purposes can be used to provide
community facilities. New development must also respect          other employment opportunities. Second, generally
the character of villages, so as not to threaten the built       speaking, minerals can only be worked where they are
environmental heritage of the County.                            found, and for the most part this is in rural locations.
                                                                 Worked-out sites and other locations in rural areas may also
SETTLEMENT POLICY G                                              provide opportunities for the disposal of waste and for
                                                                 countryside recreation. Third, source materials for many
THE ROLE OF VILLAGES (INCLUDING THE                              forms of renewable energy are also found in the
SETTLEMENTS OF THE ISLE OF PORTLAND) AS SELF-                    countryside, and it is appropriate that generation facilities
CONTAINED COMMUNITIES WILL BE ENCOURAGED                         should be located close by. Fourth, service infrastructure,
AND STRENGTHENED BY ALLOWING HOUSING AND                         such as roads and gas, electricity, water and telephone
OTHER DEVELOPMENT WHERE IT WILL HELP TO                          supply lines, is also necessary in rural areas. Finally, some
MAINTAIN, IMPROVE OR SECURE COMMUNITY                            new housing is needed in the countryside, particularly
FACILITIES (INCLUDING SHOPPING AND EDUCATION),                   where it is essential for the efficient and secure operation
PROVIDE AFFORDABLE LOCAL NEEDS HOUSING OR                        of rural enterprises. Exceptionally it may also be allowed to
BROADEN EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES. THE                            provide affordable homes for local needs.
AMOUNT, SCALE AND NATURE OF THE
DEVELOPMENT PERMITTED WILL BE RELATED TO THE                     SETTLEMENT POLICY I
RANGE OF EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE AND
COMMUNITY FACILITIES, AND THE CHARACTER OF                       DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OUTSIDE THE
THE VILLAGE. VILLAGES WITHIN THE SOUTH EAST                      SETTLEMENTS IDENTIFIED IN SETTLEMENT POLICIES
DORSET GREEN BELT WILL BE SUBJECT FIRST TO                       A TO G SHOULD BE PERMITTED ONLY WHERE SUCH
NATIONAL GREEN BELT POLICY.                                      A LOCATION IS ESSENTIAL. THE PRIORITY FOR THE
                                                                 CHANGE OF USE OF EXISTING RURAL BUILDINGS
Scale and Design of Built Development                            SHOULD BE FOR PURPOSES WHICH GENERATE
                                                                 EMPLOYMENT. HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SHOULD
3.22                                                             BE STRICTLY CONTROLLED AND ALLOWED ONLY
The reasons, in the context of sustainable development, for      WHERE IT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE NEEDS OF
concentrating new built development within existing built-       THE RURAL ECONOMY AND, EXCEPTIONALLY, TO
up areas were set out earlier. However without care such         PROVIDE FOR AFFORDABLE LOCAL NEEDS.
an approach could have consequences which would be
contrary to the guiding principle of the Plan. Town              3.24
cramming and poor design would result in a deterioration         The South East Dorset Green Belt is almost exclusively rural
in the urban environment, and hence the quality of life of       in character and its quality compares with that of the rural
urban residents. However, for the Plan’s strategy to be          areas in the remainder of Dorset. Consequently the same
successful, it is essential that the quality of the urban        policies will apply in the Green Belt as in the rest of the
environment should improve, rather than deteriorate. This        County, so long as they are compatible with Government
will make the main urban areas more attractive for people        policy on Green Belts. Otherwise the latter will prevail.
to live in, and thereby alleviate pressure on the countryside.
Equally important is the need to preserve the existing
distinctive high quality and character of many of Dorset’s
towns and villages. They form a significant part of the
environmental inheritance of the County which must be
conserved and improved.


SETTLEMENT POLICY H

BUILT DEVELOPMENT IN ALL SETTLEMENTS SHOULD
BE OF A SCALE AND DESIGN WHICH RESPECTS AND
REFLECTS THE FORM, SETTING, HISTORIC
CHARACTER AND OTHER DISTINCTIVE ATTRIBUTES
OF EACH SETTLEMENT.




                                                                 Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Structure Plan (CSP28) 33

				
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Description: 30 Settlement Pattern