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Have your say on the future of Dorset heathland
4:00pm Tuesday 12th February 2013 in News
RESIDENTS are invited to have their say on the impact of housing development on the long term future of Dorset heathland.
Public consultation will run from eight weeks up to March 28 on the preferred options document for heathland, developed by five local authorities as part of a longer term strategy to reduce or avoid harm caused by housing development on the internationally important land.
Over recent years the scarce habitat has been destroyed by arson and vandalism, recreational activities such as walking, dog walking and cycling can cause damage and disturbance to plants, birds and animals that contribute to the unique landscape and character.
The plan sets out options and draft policies designed to protect and enhance the valuable habitat by providing a range of measures aimed at reducing activities which damage the heaths.
“We would like to hear from everyone who has an interest in the heathland so that their views and comments can be taken into account in policies aimed at protecting this important landscape,” said Cllr Mike White, cabinet portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, Borough of Poole.
The document is available at libraries, council offices and at the website.
- To protect the integrity of the Dorset Heaths by:
- Improving the quality of habitat;
- Increasing the presence of important heathland species;
- Reducing the effects of fragmentation and isolation by linking and securing sympathetic land use;
- and reducing incidents of arson, vandalism and damaging activity.
- To mitigate and avoid the impacts of population and housing growth and other
- contributing development through measures that include:
- Suitable alternative sites giving an attractive natural experience;
- Creating a network of alternative recreational facilities;
- Providing new routes and connections between open spaces;
- Enhancing capacity of existing open spaces and recreational facilities;
- Providing access management of the heaths and education of users.
- To integrate the Dorset Heaths and the avoidance and mitigation measures within a wider green infrastructure network by:
- Implementing heathland avoidance elements of the green infrastructure strategy and local plans;
- enabling health and well-being benefits;
- and ameliorating the effects of climate change.