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Common Mead lane field fairfax
The site of the proposed development off Common Mead Lane.

The property company who are hoping to build up to 80 homes on land off Common Mead Lane in Gillingham say they have taken on board objections to their first application.

Fairfax have recently made a new application to construct on the site after their initial plans were narrowly rejected by Dorset councillors in August.

And they say that they hope that councillors on Dorset Council will now feel able to approve the plans when they come before them.

A spokesperson for Fairfax told Gillingham News: ‘The new application now includes almost double the amount of land to the north as new public open space, biodiversity and ecological benefits, in total extending to 4.3 hectares.

‘Safeguarding this additional land in the field to the north as open space is in direct response to a desire mooted by councillors during the planning committee.’

Fairfax also said that their planning statement ‘addendum’ for the new application ‘addresses the committee’s specific reasons for refusal’.

FairfaxThe spokesperson said: ‘The site remains in a sustainable location, adjacent to the built-up area and with a proposed allocation for residential development in the emerging Dorset Local Plan.

‘It provides significant housing contribution in a district with a serious under-delivery of homes, especially in Gillingham, and delivers much-needed affordable housing and financial benefits via the Section 106,’ it added, referring to developers’ funds that can be used to improve local infrastructure.

The company say that though they have not yet submitted an appeal over the first application’s rejection – despite legal advice that they would ‘likely succeed’ – they say they reserve the right to do so in the future.

The spokesperson stated: ‘An appeal would be extremely time-consuming and costly for both parties, and in our view an unfortunate use of public funds for the council to have to defend against a recommended approval on a proposed allocated site, especially in these challenging times.’

And the company concluded: ‘Hence our first step has been to submit this new application in the hope it is again recommended for approval by officers but that this time the planning committee choose to follow that recommendation.’

Gillingham Town Council are set to consider the new application in November and give their views on it, but it will be down to Dorset Council to make the final decision.

Fairfax field Gillingham
The field off Common Mead Lane as it looks in the spring.
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