Protests over East Dorset greenbelt housing plan

Protests at Furzhill Protesters carried a coffin to the council offices to symbolise the "death of democracy"

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A demonstration has been held over plans for 2,000 new homes to be built on green belt land in Dorset.

About 200 campaigners from West Parley, Colehill and Wimborne protested ahead of East Dorset District Council's vote on its core strategy.

The Keep West Parley Green residents' group said the council's consultation has been "undemocratic".

The core strategy was approved, with the council insisting there had been 40 weeks of public consultations.

Protesters marched to the council offices at Furzehill, carrying a coffin to mark the "death of democracy".

'Economic stability'

They claimed the Conservative-run council's consultation forms had insufficient space for objections and venues for public meetings had been too small.

Kenny Pearce, of Keep West Parley Green, said the plans would "obliterate green fields and the green belt".

"We're not against houses, just dumping them on a nice village and turning it into a concrete jungle," he added.

Council leader Spencer Flower said: "The core strategy protects 99.5% of green belt in East Dorset - it will mean growth, economic stability and ensure people can live and work in the district."

He added there was still the opportunity for the public to have their say during the forthcoming planning process.

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