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The Parish Council decided to create a Neighbourhood Plan to:

  • Develop a shared vision for Wool, Bovington and East Burton which is led by local people

  • Increase the Parish Council’s proportion of money generated by developments to improve our Parish

  • Identify and protect important local green spaces

  • Influence what new homes should be like



Progress has been hindered by the various lockdowns but we have analysed the feedback we received to our 2019 questionnaire and identified key themes. We held 7 walkabout sessions in the parish in 2021 which confirmed the 2019 feedback was still relevant. A further consultation event was held in March 2022.  

We have emloyed the services of a consultant to develop 'policies' which are 'legally binding rules' developers must follow once our Neighbourhood Plan is in force. We are working the areas outlined below. Some areas can be addressed in a Neighbourhood Plan, other areas will be addressed in other ways by Wool Parish Council

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by Andrew Wilson, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

"Whilst your Parish Council will continue to oppose any excessive or unnecessary housing development it is nevertheless important to stress that The Neighbourhood Plan is not a way to stop development - but it can hopefully shape it. So it could be said that the Neighbourhood Plan is intended to help formulate the policies and influence planners and developers alike so that Wool is developed in a way that will enhance the area and benefit the community.

You will be aware that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been working away for some considerable time now, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the group, especially the immediate past-Chairman Martin Hiles, for all the hard work that they have done to get to the stage where we are now.

And that stage means that we are ready to start devising and refining the policies that will determine how development in Wool, Bovington and East Burton happens in a way that will benefit the community, not least in ensuring that developers are required to commit to an agreed contribution to required infrastructure development through Section 106 payments, and also to provide necessary mitigation – especially in terms of the natural environment and biodiversity.

As a result of questionnaires and surveys, areas of concern of our community have been identified and narrowed down, and these will form the basis of our policy developments. Members of the Steering Group are now involved in

adding evidence and substance to these policy areas – areas which have been arrived at and agreed through a process of surveys and consultations.

The policy areas down to which we have narrowed our focus are as follows:

  • Design of housing and residential developments to be sustainable and appropriate;

  • Green spaces and the bio-diverse environment to be maintained and protected;

  • A transport and communication strategy to be planned, funded and developed to allow sustainable transport throughout the area;

  • A “village centres” policy that will protect and enhance existing shops and other commercial facilities;

  • And lastly, a Community Infrastructure Policy that will identify, secure and enhance – by required funding from developers – all areas of infrastructure on which we all rely, like schools, medical facilities, highways, leisure and other community facilities, the library and so on.


We are now gathering together all the evidence and information that we will need to underpin these policy areas because we need to be able to prove that our policies are sound before moving on to the next stage of the process.


Once we have done this, we will be able to embark on the Statutory and Legal requirements to comply with the various regulations, which is quite an involved and technically challenging process. We will then – hopefully sooner rather than later – be in a position to start what is called a Strategic Environmental Assessment, and then we will be able to produce the first draft of our proposed Neighbourhood Plan which will go to local consultation, before being submitted to the Local Planning Authority for a Regulation 16 Consultation. Assuming that this goes smoothly our draft plan will then be submitted to an Inspector for Independent Examination, with any necessary modifications being made by the local planning authority.


And when all that is successfully achieved, we’ll be able to hold a local referendum to adopt or ‘make’ our Neighbourhood Plan. So in terms of the process, we are in a good position to move forward, and we would hope to have an adopted and made Neighbourhood Plan by Christmas 2023. We’re certainly on target to achieve this, and although a great deal of hard work still lies ahead, Wool’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is determined to deliver and provide a clear Vision for the future of Wool and a Neighbourhood Development Plan that is able to provide policies and evidence to ensure that future developments in Wool reflect community needs and priorities.

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The Steering Group will use your feedback to develop a Neighbourhood Plan (NP).


The NP will address the issues you have highlighted and try to ensure what you like remains in place across the Parish.


Wool Parish Council wants an NP in place as soon as possible so the Steering Group will focus on ‘quick wins’ in light of the proposed developments. There will be revisions of the plan in future years to address the remaining issues.


The Steering Group will continue to communicate whilst the plan is under development and you may be asked for your opinions again. 


Please note: It is not too late to provide feedback and you can do so at any time by emailing


Once the NP has been developed, you will be able to vote on it in a referendum. If more than 50% of voters approve it will become a legal document which must be followed by developers and anyone building property.


Issues you have raised that cannot be addressed in the NP will be passed onto the relevant bodies for action.


If you have any thoughts on the comments or would like to get involved then you can email: 

To find out more about The Local Plan visit


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