A LARGE housing development which could change the face of West Parley could take months to be decided.

The plans for 386 homes, shops, offices and a new food store for land east of New Road were submitted to East Dorset District Council by Lewis Wyatt construction earlier this year.

The proposal also includes plans for a link road designed to reduce traffic from Parley Crossroads.

More than 850 people attended a consultation event last year, with many raising concerns about the scheme.

The level of public response and strength of feeling has led to West Parley Parish Council calling for a special planning meeting to decide the scheme.

However, planning officers are still to offer a recommendation on the plans. It is understood they are waiting for further technical information.

Cllr Barbara Manuel, a parish and district councillor, confirmed a special planning meeting had been requested when the time came.

"When you look at the public meeting we held, there were more than 200 people there. I would anticipate that kind of number turning out for the planning meeting.

"It is a major application, people have concerns and it is on green space.

"But we are aware it could be months as there are lots of things to be considered."

Comments on the application have closed now, but objections have been lodged by Ferndown Town Council, Hurn Parish Council, West Parley Parish Council as well as a large number from residents.

In their response, Ferndown Town Council say they consider the impact of the proposal will be detrimental to West Parley, Ferndown, Longham and Hampreston.

They add: "The fact that EDDC council took this out of the green belt against the wishes of many of the local residents deserves mention.

"The number of comments seen in this application by local residents echoes this, we advise that if this unpopular proposal finally receives a consent that is not agreeable to the majority of residents, that they consider a Judicial Review."

Hurn Parish Council say the food store is too large, and will generate unacceptable levels of traffic.

A spokesperson for East Dorset District Council confirmed planning officers were still awaiting information and no recommendation would be given until that had been submitted. No provisional date has been set for the planning meeting.

The proposal's design and access statement says: "Both New Road South and Christchurch Road East will experience a material decrease in traffic."