PLANS to build up to 650 new homes in Wimborne have been slammed by locals worried that the development will be effectively "a new town of its own".

The proposals, submitted by Bloor Homes, concern a stretch of farmland to the east and west of the Cranborne Road, Burts Hill.

As well as hundreds of properties, developers plan to rebuild and extend Wimborne First School in a new location and create a community centre.

Members of the public are expected to attend a meeting of the East Dorset District Council's planning committee on Tuesday, June 16, where the proposals are to be discussed.

Campaigner Susan Davies, who lives in nearby Colehill, said the site is on what was until very recently protected green belt.

"This is the first of several applications that will be submitted over the next few months and, if all are passed, will result in 2,000 new homes being built within the existing town boundary of Wimborne, almost doubling the housing stock and population over the next 10 to 15 years," she said.

The proposals fall under the core strategy, adopted by the district council, which is essentially a blueprint for preferred future development in East Dorset until 2028.

The document was presented to a government inspector in 2013 and adopted by the council in March 2014, and is partly based on the council's assessment that 50 per cent affordable housing was deliverable on the Cranborne Road site.

But Ms Davies said there are doubts now about the number of affordable properties planned for the site.

"We are not against housing, and we want affordable properties to be built so that young families can stay in Wimborne rather than having to move away," she said.

"What we don't want is hundreds of homes costing upwards of a half a million each. It feels like we are not being listened to. We recognise that properties need to be built in Wimborne. But if all of the upcoming applications are granted, and 2,000 new homes are built, it will have an enormous impact on East Dorset. This is the first and it needs to be done right, or not at all."

Ms Davies is part of the Colehill and Wimborne New Neighbourhood Working Group, members of which have put together a document objecting to the outline planning application submitted by Bloor Homes.

She said: "This development, along with the others that will surely follow, will have a profound effect on the community which is quite rightly concerned about issues such as flooding, traffic congestion, lack of infrastructure, ecological and environmental impact and pollution of the River Allen, a rare chalk stream.

"The development on the Cranborne Road is the equivalent of building a small town and will result on the irreversible urbanisation of Wimborne and Colehill."