PROPOSALS for almost 500 homes on farm and allotment land off the Blandford bypass will be decided by Dorset Council in the coming days.

The application asks for immediate full planning consent for 150 homes with public open spaces with a request for outline, or in principle, agreement for 340 homes to follow in a scheme which is likely to include shops, commercial space, sports pitches, a primary school, a pub and cafes.

The site being considered at an area planning committee on Tuesday is to the north and east of the Blandford bypass and is being proposed by Lewis Wyatt (Construction) Ltd.

The nearest parish council, Pimperne, has raised no objection to the plans with local support for a new school within the wider Cranborne Chase area. Blandford Forum town council has also raised no objections.

Dozens of public letters have been submitted over the scheme, many of them objecting to building in open countryside, some of it designated as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, although there is also support for the school, community facilities and affordable homes.

Planning officers say in a report that although the proposals do not comply with the area development plan the benefits outweigh the negative points and are recommending the scheme be approved.

A report summary from the planning team says: “Amongst other things it would provide: affordable housing, land for a new school, a community building, a public open spaces, self-build plots, footpaths, landscape and ecological enhancements, and financial contributions towards various off site items,” and, in addition would boost the area’s supply of homes, including those classed as affordable.

The site is close to farmland where Dorset Council already has permission for a waste transfer station with the nearest homes at Letton Close, Letton Park, Bolney and Greenbanks.

The 37 hectares are bisected by Salisbury Road with part of the site within the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the rest currently used as allotments and farmland. Replacement allotments will be provided as part of the development if it is given planning consent.