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A development of 150 homes on a site at Bay Lane in Gillingham could be built following enforced changes in the way planning applications are viewed in North Dorset.

Because insufficient homes have been built in the area in the last year or so, North Dorset District Council does not have what’s called a ‘five year housing land supply’.

This means that government guidelines that are broadly in favour of building new homes will carry greater weight against the planning authority’s local plan.

Critics fear this may pave the way for so-called ‘back door’ applications from developers to build homes outside the local plan.

Among the sites that could potentially be developed under the new planning regime is the plot at Bay Lane near Gillingham School in Gillingham.

House builders Persimmon have confirmed they are interested in the site, where up to 150 homes could be built.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South Coast told Gillingham News: ‘The Council has acknowledged that it does not have a five year supply of housing land as required by the National Planning Guidance. We have an option on land east of Bay Lane, behind Gillingham School.

‘At this stage no application has been submitted; we have asked for a pre-application meeting with the Council to discuss in greater detail the submission we made last year.’

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