WOODLAND in East Dorset has been earmarked for both a waste disposal facility and a gypsy and traveller site.

As reported in the Daily Echo, residents have spoken of their fears that the land south west of Blunts Farm in Ferndown could be used for an incinerator with a chimney more than 300 feet tall.

However, part of the land has been under consideration for a travellers site since 2012.

Campaign group the Friends of Uddens and Cannon Hill Woodland was established to fight plans for the initial travellers site plans.

Now one of the founders, Michael Gorse, has resigned in protest.

He said: "The land is owned by the Forestry Commission.

"They should have stopped the plans for the incinerator right away, but they haven't.

"They can't be forced to sell the land for these uses unless the council puts a compulsory purchase order on it."

He said he had left his role with the group because of his 'anger' with the Forestry Commission.

"It's just one thing after another," he said.

"They could stop this, but they won't."

The proposals for an incinerator form part of Dorset County Council's draft waste plan.

A version of the plan published last year included Blunts Farm as a suggested location for a variety of waste management uses.

However, the landowner objected and council planners are now considering a wider area south west of the farm for a waste vehicle depot, a residual waste treatment site, a household recycling facility to serve Wimborne, Ferndown and surrounding areas, or a bulky waste treatment or transfer facility.

If permission is given for a bulky waste treatment facility, which is used to deal with waste that can’t be recycled or composted, it is possible that a building measuring at least eight metres tall and with a chimney that could “exceed 100m” - or 300 feet - could be built.

A council spokesperson confirmed that the travellers site is also still being considered.

"The Dorset-wide Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document is under preparation and a number of site options were deemed to be worthy of further consideration back in 2012, including the Cannon Hill site," the spokesperson said.

Consultants commissioned to carry out preparations have now completed the initial phase of their work.

A draft plan is being prepared for Dorset authorities to consider this summer, and further consultation will take place in due course.

However, a timetable for the next round of consultation has not yet been agreed, the spokesperson added.

The draft waste plan will be adopted in December 2017.