AN angry resident has united her community against plans for housing "slap bang" in a popular park.

Sarah Fudge, 44, has dubbed BCP Council's proposal for 350 to 400 new homes at the front of the Turlin Moor recreation ground in Blandford Road as "a ridiculous idea".

She has set up 'Save 'The Rec' Hamworthy' on Facebook, a page which has gained more than 300 likes within 48 hours, in a bid to dissuade the council from building houses on the park.

Sarah said: "Hamworthy can't cope with any of those houses as it is already overpopulated,"

"It is such a ridiculous idea. I'm an estate agent for this area so I should be welcoming the plan, but I also live here and I don't want any more houses where I live.

"I walk my dog across those fields twice a day. It is so tranquil and lovely.

"Lytchett Bay – a conservation area – is also right next door, so how can you get planning permission to build there?"

Sarah and the residents who back her campaign say new houses should be built on the edge of a town rather than "slap-bang" in the middle.

"Its just not sensible," Sarah added.

"We want to make sure that the council do not push forward with the plans under the radar and use coronavirus as an excuse.

"There are quite a lot of people who are not aware of it, mainly because they are older and do not have online access."

The master plan work is still in progress, but BCP Council states it should be in a position to share and consult in October.

Development plans include the consideration of travel infrastructure and leisure facilities, along with schools.

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: "Our work so far indicates that there is capacity in the school system to cater for the children generated by this development. As part of the process leading up to a planning application, we will be working with education providers in the area to confirm that. We will be able to share further information at the pre-application consultation."

The council is planning to carry out a public consultation on the proposal in the autumn, prior to submitting a planning application. Work is set to begin onsite in June 2021 is approval is granted.

The spokesperson added: "Across the council, we undertake a lot of consultation with members of the public on a regular basis. The pandemic has made our usual methods of face-to-face consultation extremely difficult, and the new ‘rule of six’ adds further strictures for the time being.

"The council have procured a new online engagement tool which will provide us with a Covid-safe method of carrying out good quality public consultation until such time as social distancing measures are eased."

Councillor Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for housing, said: “We have a shortage of housing and large housing targets to meet so this scheme will be essential in delivering new homes for local people.

"It is a site identified in the current Local Plan and work is continuing with our developers on the scheme ahead of a future planning application being submitted.

“Since the project started in 2017 it has always been recognised that delivering benefits for the local community is a key part of this scheme including enhanced recreation facilities, and an important part of this project will be to work closely with the local community and all stakeholders to help us to shape the final proposals before formal consideration."