BUSINESSES are already suffering from a five-week major road closure in Studland says its parish council who are demanding an investigation into the consultation process.

Studland Parish Council is calling for a review of Dorset Council’s consultation over the ongoing water main works on the B3351 Studland Road, which began on October 31 and are due to last for five weeks.

Nick Boulter, council chair, has hit out at the county authority for “blatantly ignoring” the views of the parish council and several local businesses over concerns that the roadworks would have a detrimental impact on local trade.

With the Sandbanks Ferry also out of action for maintenance works – which have been delayed – Cllr Boulter said the parish council asked on four separate occasions for the B3351 project to be moved to January to avoid the “double whammy” of road and ferry closures.

Bournemouth Echo: Sandbanks Ferry terminal closedSandbanks Ferry terminal closed (Image: Newsquest)

Following the commencement of works, he told the Echo: “As the ferry absence was scheduled, it was down to Dorset Council to arrange a good time for the works by Wessex Water. We wrote back four times, at each stage in the consultation, to say that closing the B3351 at the same time as the ferry being out would be detrimental for businesses.

“We will be demanding an investigation into the consultation process, and why it blatantly ignored the wishes of not only us, but major employers in Studland.”

The Bankes Arms pub announced it would close for two weeks from Monday, November 14, after being “cut off from civilisation” during the works.

Since then, the Shell Bay seafood restaurant has also shut for around six weeks.

David Suruki, owner of Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, said: “We’re definitely slower than normal, even at this time of year. With the ferry being out at the same time it just makes it that much harder to get here if you’re from Bournemouth or Poole.”

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset CouncilDorset Council

Mr Suruki said the club was not consulted by Dorset Council about the works, more “told” they would happen.

Two possible dates for the works were presented to interested parties earlier this year, and received a mix of preferences. Dorset Council said it felt the closure of the road should coincide with the ferry maintenance, as it said less traffic uses the road during this time.

The £500,000 scheme is expected to be completed by Friday, December 2, but Wessex Water said it would do everything it could to complete the work as quickly as possible.

Cllr Boulter said a motion to request a review of consultation process would be made at the next Studland Parish Council meeting.

“It is clear that there is no joined up thinking at Dorset Council,” Cllr Boulter added. “They’ve made a mockery of the consultation process.”

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “Dorset Council’s Traffic Team carried out the required consultation process. Among others, we received a response from Studland Parish Council and these comments were taken into consideration. The final decision was made for the work to be carried out at a time that affected the fewest people possible.”