PLANNERS have unanimously agreed the details of 63 homes for part of the Hall & Woodhouse brewery site at Blandford.

The scheme is the first phase of a development which will eventually bring 180 homes to the town.

Dorset Council’s northern area planning committee heard that the homes and flats will be a mix of converted former brewery buildings and new builds with access from the brewery main entrance on Bournemouth Road.

The scheme was first given outline consent in 2009.

Planning officers said the proposals would enhance the character of the local conservation area and had brought no objections from any of the statutory consultees including highways and the environment agency.

Work is continuing by the developers to try and bring some affordable homes to the site but this has yet to be agreed.

The planning committee heard that roads on the site were expected to remain private which would mean negotiations might have to be held about what level of public access should be allowed and arrangements made for rubbish collections.

Cllr Robin Legg said the move would mean that the site could become a gated community, if the developers chose to do so.

The phase will have 23 apartments, 11 two-bed houses and 29 three-bed.

Dorchester councillor Les Fry said he hope that the developers would do more to make the site sustainable and add ground source heating, electric car re-charge points and solar panels. The committee backed his suggestion but were warned that there was nothing they could do to make the developers follow the advice.

Concern was also expressed by Gillingham councillor Carole Jones about what she saw as a lack of suitable play areas although the committee heard there was a large green open space adjacent to the site as well as a skate park.