Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan will give us the power to shape our future and growth.

It will allow residents to have a powerful influence in determining where new homes, shops and community facilities should be built and what they should look like. Once adopted it forms part of the statutory development plan and will be used by Dorset Council, as the Local Planning Authority, in making decisions on Planning Applications.


In March 2024, the documents and representations were sent to an Independent Examiner, Andrew Mead BSc (Hons) MRTPI MIQ.  The Examiner considers whether the plan meets certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and will identify an appropriate area for a referendum.

It is unlikely that the examination will involve a hearing, but this will be determined by the examiner. Updates regarding the examination process will be published on this page. The examiner’s report will be published on this page at the end of the process.

On 7 March 2024, the examiner wrote to Dorset Council and Sturminster Marshall Parish Council to clarify some initial procedure matters. The documents relating to the clarifications can be found below:

 Examiner Questions Sturminster Marshall.

Sturminster Marshall Parish Council and Dorset Council's response to Examiner Questions.

Supplementary clarification was submitted 

Response to supplementary clarification 

Wyatt Homes response to Sturminster Marshall PC's response to examiner questions 

Submission Consultation

Sturminster Marshall Parish Council has submitted a draft neighbourhood plan for examination.

The plan includes planning policies to protect and enhance the character of Sturminster Marshall. These policies are intended to help make decisions on planning applications in the parish.

Before the examination, the public have an opportunity to comment on the draft plan.  The consultation period is from 19 January 2024 to 1 March 2024. The draft plan and the comments received to the consultation will be considered by an independent examiner. You can view the draft plan and respond to the consultation online at

Printed copies of the draft plan can be viewed at the following locations:

• Wimborne Library, Crown Mead, Wimborne, BH21 1HH (for opening hours, tel: 01202 882770)

• The Spar, Station Road, Sturminster Marshall, BH21 4AW (open daily 7.30am to 9pm)

• St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Sturminster Marshall, BH21 4BU

Response forms should be available from the above locations and must be returned to Dorset Council by 1 March 2024.  For further information, please contact Dorset Council by:

• Email

• Phone 01258 484224


To formally start work on our Neighbourhood Plan we applied to Dorset Council to get the Neighbourhood area designated. The submitted application met the criteria and on this basis Dorset Council has designated on 24 April 2019 the neighbourhood plan area as submitted. Sturminster Marshall Parish Council has agreed that the designated area for the Neighbourhood Plan should be all the land within the current parish boundary (see boundary map).

A Steering Group has been set up, which is leading the process for developing the Neighbourhood Plan. The Steering Group consists of representatives of the Parish Council and members of the public. The terms of reference for the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group can be found here. The agendas and minutes from the Steering Group meetings can be found below.

A consultation event was carried out on the 26th September 2019. Results of the 2019 consultation can be found here.

In August 2020 a household questionnaire was sent out to every home in the Parish. The results of the questionnaire can found found here. A report on the Autumn 2021 consultation can be viewed here - Consultation Report - January 2022

Pre-Submission Consultation

Availability of Documents

The documents published with the Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan, can be viewed here:

In addition, the Parish Council held a public drop-in session on Thursday, 6th July from 2pm-7pm at the Memorial Hall in Sturminster Marshall. The display boards are available to view here.


Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Meetings