West Dorset District Council have approved a request from Chesil Bank Parish Council for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area – which is the first formal stage of preparing a plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan will give residents from the Chesil Bank area more opportunity to shape their community.
The Neighbourhood Area would incorporate the villages of Portesham, Abbotsbury, Langton Herring and Fleet
Should the plan come into action, residents will be able to have more control over their local area, including what plans are put forward for new housing, shops and offices.
Councillor Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder, said: “The Neighbourhood Plan will allow residents of Chesil Bank to have more say and influence regarding development in their area.
“It is very important that local people get involved and help shape the future of their community.”
Once the plan has been written, it will be consulted locally and be submitted to the Dorset District Council for an independent review.
A local referendum will also be held to ensure that the plan has the support of locals.
The plan already has the backing of a local business manager.
Graham Roper, manager for the Swan Inn restaurant, told Buzz: “It used to be the case that the parish council decided on what plans were going to be put forward. So it [the neighbourhood plan] will be good for local people.
“The plan could potentially benefit our business.”
Despite this, another local business thinks differently.
Aaron Daniels, an employee for Abbotsbury Fishing Tackle, told Buzz: “People travel from all over the country to buy our tackle. I can’t see our business benefitting from the new plan, as such.
“The plan could be beneficial for local residents, if any building were to be done in Abbotsbury it would ruin its charm, the locals would not want to see to much change, so it’s perhaps a good thing that they get more say.”
Words by Ben Coley