DISTRICT planning chiefs have ruled in favour of proposals to create a warehouse and distribution centre at Richard Drax’s Botany Bay Farm, despite road safety concerns from dozens of neighbours.

The South Dorset MP wants to convert an unused grain dryer and store at his Botany Bay Farm, near Winterborne Tomson, to form a large warehouse, and to replace the remaining buildings with two new warehouses.

His application, given the green light by Purbeck District Council’s planning committee following a packed meeting yesterday afternoon, has proved deeply unpopular with neighbours.

Indeed, more than 100 representations, all opposing the scheme, were received by the district’s planning department ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

The majority of the opposition voiced concerns about potential traffic issues at the site, in particular safety issues arising from increased HGV activity.

Highways England and Dorset County Council, following independent traffic surveys and discussion about work to widen the junction, had no objections.

Speaking against the warehouse scheme, Bloxworth farmer Richard Sullivan said: “There has been little consultation with the local community, no restriction on the site operation hours and fundamentally flawed traffic data supplied on behalf of the applicant.”

Mr Sullivan described the 92 suggested daily traffic movements outlined in the plans as “pure speculation” saying they could be “significantly greater” depending on the nature of the, as yet, unknown tenants.

Meanwhile, Winterborne Tomson resident Rupert Hardy said: “The developer seriously underestimates vehicle movements on this site.”

The plans will also see the Bloxworth Road access to Red Post junction widened to allow access for HGVs, and the red post that gives the A31 junction its name moved three metres to the left.

Cllr David Budd said: “I don’t feel we have any grounds to refuse this application.

“We would be foolish to go against local and national policy.

“We need to bite the bullet and move to approve.”