Web-Report – Autumn 2013

Affiliated to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)


Chairman’s Notes
Society Matters
The Society’s website is receiving plenty of interest and a number of enquiries via info@purbecksociety.com have been received. If you have any contributions for the site, e.g. photos or articles relevant to the Society’s activities, please e-mail them to Frank Nicoll at franknicoll@btinternet.com who will coordinate them with our webmaster David Churchill.

Thank you to those who responded positively to our plea to members to receive communications by e-mail. However we need many, many more to do so before distribution by this means becomes workable and your Committee has decided at least for this issue, the Newsletter will be posted apart from those that can be easily hand delivered.

At the AGM we had something of a crisis when we were without a Treasurer. Fortunately Heather Tainsh has been co-opted to the Committee as Treasurer, she will be ably assisted by Sylvia Bromley. So a very warm welcome to you both!

Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our application for a grant from the De Moulham Trust towards the restoration of the Society’s set of Hutching’s History of Dorset. We are currently following up other avenues of potential grant aid.

I hope you enjoy reading the various reports and can now look forward to the Autumn Programme of meetings and the Society Lunch, details of which and a Booking Form should be found elsewhere in the Newsletter and on line.

Windfarm: I have continued to be involved with David Gerry on this. We have included David ‘s report on recent developments. Please note the next (final?) consultation round – that at Swanage is on Tuesday 17th September 2pmn – 8pm at the Catholic Hall. It’s important that once again we show our strength of feeling. Interesting that Germany has virtually abandoned its wind developments and is building conventional power stations again – as is most of the rest of the world!

NHS Consultation: The consultation process continues, I have attended two Reference Group meetings, the last on 9th May when a number of objections were raised as to certain aspects of the options put forward . However, we were left with the impression that the Commissioning Group consultants had a strategy in mind which they steam-rollered through.

The Mowlem Restaurant & Bar: has proved very popular during the season and a great asset to the town. How we missed it last year and the year before!

Seafront Car Parking: Commissioned prior to the season also in Station Road. Serious problems have been caused along the seafront on occasion, as reported in the local press.


  • Application to re-designate the Dorset AoNB as National Park (NP): We have sent a letter of support, as we believe that greater planning safeguards can be employed in an NP over an AoNB.
  • Wareham footbridge (PA 6/2013/ 0424 & 0425): An objection has been submitted on behalf of the Society – as the proposed addition of ramps and landings for disabled people will drastically impact on this listed structure.
  • Swanage seafront (PA 6/2013/0395): An exciting scheme, which should not only stabilise the Recreation Ground but would actually enhance this part of the seafront, with inclusion of the public toilets and an attractive kiosk on the corner of Victoria Avenue. Changes include rationalisation of the footpaths and 2 rows of chalets. Unfortunately, restoration of the bandstand is not included. I submitted a letter of support on behalf of the Society.
  • 7 Burlington Road (PA 6/2013/0398): The Society has submitted an objection to the proposal for a ‘garden annexe’ in the garden of this property on grounds of over development.
  • Grand Hotel Beach Huts (PA 6/2013/0390): We have submitted an objection to this proposal, on the grounds of increasing visual intrusion, as this proposal adds further height to that of the previous application, which in turn added height to the original scheme.
  • Business Park: Noted, the first batch of units are under construction
  • Prospect Farm: Planning application for 35 dwellings refused by PDC, has gone to Appeal.
  • Cumberland Flats: construction of the ‘luxury flat’ development is now well advanced on a site (corner Cranborne and Ilminster Roads) where there used to be housing for special needs people. You may remember the scheme was refused by PDC but won on Appeal.

Swanage School: At last making good progress on site after delayed start to protect wild life and earlier objections from Sport England.

Swanage Pier: A letter of support on behalf of the Society was sent to the Pier Trust for their application to the HLF for funds to repair the storm damage. According to the local press, their application appears successful – especially as at the time of writing (27 August) pile drivers were at work!

Purbeck Heritage Steering Group: I have attended meetings of this co-ordinating group, which exists to bring together various heritage initiatives in Purbeck. These include safe otter routes, development of geological trails, management of historic hill forts, support for traditional Purbeck industries, e.g. quarrying and farming, preparation of action plans for Special Areas of Conservation and promotion of cycle links from Norden. Next meeting is on 12th November.

Local Plan working parties: I have attended one of the two working parties held so far, that on 18th July. Hopefully some progress was made in influencing where the additional housing can be best (or least worst) accommodated, e.g. the Grammar School site, Prospect Farm (20 not 35 units). Employment opportunities and possibility of Live/work units discussed. General presumption is against large developments, small infill but not ‘garden-grabbing’. Problem of constructing ‘affordable’ housing rather than second homes – surely PDC could adopt planning policies to encourage this?

Finally, a small group of Committee members were given a fascinating conducted tour over the new Baptist Church and community centre by courtesy of the Rev. Mark Hatto. The design is interesting and the spaces, the Worship Area and the various meeting rooms are flexibly designed so that meetings of different sizes can be accommodated. These can be up to 400 in the Worship Area or small groups of 20 or so in a side room, with various sizes in between. There is well appointed kitchen serving into this side room and into the large reception foyer. State of the art projection and sound systems are installed, controlled from the first floor ‘Engine Room’. Facilities indoors and outdoors for children are provided, as well as rooms where small groups can stay and a room for confidential counselling. There is parking for about 35 cars at the rear and side as well as an area that could be used for open air activities such as barbecues. A potentially very useful facility for the whole community – not just the Church.

Mike Stollery