Plans for 1,500 new homes in Gillingham agreed

Artist's impression of Gillingham development Image copyright West Dorset District Council
Image caption The homes are to be built on agricultural land south of the town

More than 1,500 homes are to be built on farm land in North Dorset after councillors agreed outline permission.

Up to 1,595 properties, a school, community centre, shops and sports pitches are planned for the southern side of Gillingham.

Objectors had raised concerns about increased traffic and the loss of wildlife habitat.

Developers will now have to submit detailed plans, including proposals for affordable housing.

The first application for up to 634 homes, a primary school and sports pitches at Park Farm was submitted by builder CG Fry & Son while the second, for up to 961 homes, shops, health facilities and a community hub was by Welbeck Land.

North Dorset District Council's planning councillor David Walsh said he had been working with the community and developers on the scheme for six years and said outline planning approval represented a "great deal of work by the council, developers and the community".

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