POOLE Quays Forum (PQF) has written an official letter of complaint to council leader Janet Walton, raising concerns about the authority's planning committee 'ignoring' its own officer recommendations.

Members of the forum, who worked to establish a neighbourhood plan which was approved by Borough of Poole (BOP) earlier this year, believe "inappropriate development" has been agreed in Hamworthy which does not tally with the borough's own planning policies.

PQF's Bill Constance said: "The whole point of planning policies are that they recognize the needs of the area and give a firm steer to appropriate development.

"The community relies upon them for the sustainable development of their neighbourhood.

"Planning policies also give developers a clear set of parameters to work within.

"PQF spent a great deal of time consulting with the people of Hamworthy to produce our neighbourhood plan, which was only approved by the borough in February."

Members of PQF are concerned after councillors granted consent for a ten-storey housing development, last month, and more recently for additional residential developments on Blandford Road they say will mean land, previously allocated in BOP's own Core Strategy for new retail and community facilities, will be lost forever.

Proposals were agreed at the last planning committee meeting to redevelop the former Hamworthy Royal British Legion site, which were only partly agreed by officers, and to redevelop part of the Hamworthy Liberal Club site, which had been recommended for refusal.

Bill said: "Hamworthy needs more, and better shops and facilities.

"At a stroke, the planning committee has thrown this out and approved low-density private housing at the heart of what should be the neighbourhood centre.

"Local people are already forced to travel further afield for basic services, and this is set to become a bigger problem, as the harbourside regeneration sites are built out."

Meanwhile, Hamside Residents's Association chairman Ann Smeaton said she was appalled by recent decisions.

"If the councillors on Poole's planning committee are going to overrule their officers at every turn and ignore their own established planning policies", she said, "then it sends out a message to developers - come to Poole, our council is so desperate to get its quota of housing units up that it will consent to anything."