A PARISH council fighting plans to build more than 1,000 homes has begun the process of creating a development plan to control what is built in the area.

Alderholt Parish Council has requested that East Dorset District Council ‘designate’ the area – starting the process for the creation of a neighbourhood plan.

The move is set to be made next week and, if approved, will allow the parish council to begin work on creating the document.

Proposals to allocate land in Alderholt in the district council’s local plan have been strongly opposed by villagers with hundreds attending a meeting in September to consider how to respond to a consultation.

The parish council has raised concerns about the “inadequate” facilities in the area to cope with the possible population increase.

In January it employed a planning consultant to help it in its opposition to the plans.

At the last ever meeting of the district council on Monday (March 25) councillors will be recommended to approve the formal designation of the parish to allow it to begin work on creating a neighbourhood plan.

A report to councillors says the move should be “welcomed”.

“This is the first stage of a neighbourhood plan process in Alderholt and officers will offer support in this wherever possible,” it says.

“At this stage however, the decision to undertake a neighbourhood plan should be welcomed and the council is encouraged to support the process by designating the neighbourhood area.”

Dozens of neighbourhood plans have already been finished or are being worked on across Dorset.

The neighbourhood plan in Alderholt would cover the whole of the parish and would have to be considered as part of the planning process for any development application in the area.

The process of creating the document usually takes a number of years to complete and will require the support of a referendum of people living in its area and final approval of the district council before it can be brought into use.