Protest March

CampaignersOver 200 campaigners marched to East Dorset District Council Offices this evening in a peaceful demonstration to express their anger at not being given a democratic voice regarding the core strategy.

They say the council has made it difficult for anyone to ‘have a voice’ on the proposals contained in the huge document, which includes proposals to build 500 houses on green belt at West Parley. Other areas affected by housing proposals are Corfe Mullen, Colehill and Verwood.

The council has said that there are no alternative sites for the new homes the area needs.

Kieran Ryan from West Parley said, “No one is listening to what we’ve got to say. We’re not against housing because our children will need homes, but it should be limited. Have you seen the core strategy? It is very difficult to read and for people to express their views.”

His 11-year-old daughter Holly added, “We don’t want to be a big city.”

Kieran was optimistic and said, “It’s not too late to do something. It’s never too late until the bulldozers go in.”

The sombre march was headed by retired funeral director, Derek Kearey from West Parley who walked just ahead of an illuminated Death of Democracy coffin: campaigners followed with the Grim Reaper. Police closed roads whilst campaigners walked the short distance from the Stocks Inn to reach the council offices just before the official council meeting took place.

Voting on the core strategy was to follow, but protestors said they were not allowed to attend. Instead they stood outside and shouted, “No! No! No!” In the hope that the council would heed their cries.

For more photographs visit our West Parley Gallery

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