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Bournemouth loses show site appeal

Bournemouth C A championship show committee has lost its appeal to change the use of land ear marked as their show site for use for 21 days each year thus drawing to a close a two year battle with the authorities and local residents.

Dorset villagers were outraged at plans to hold one of the calendar’s major championship dog shows near their homes. Residents at West Holme near Wool, Dorset feared that up to 1200 exhibitors per day could attend the show if planners give the go-ahead for Bournemouth C A to relocate their annual event from its regular venue in the New Forest.

In an application to Purbeck District Council the association outlined its plans to stage its three-day Championship Show around the second weekend of August each year. The application was then debated by councillors at their planning board meetings.

The proposal would have meant the use of fields between the villages of West and East Holme and south of the main Wool to Wareham road.

The association had applied for the change of use of the land from agricultural to showground for 21 days in a year. This is the maximum period it needed to cover set up and clearing away the ground before and after the show – and to improve access.

According to a past report in the local newspaper The Dorset Echo, residents had protested in strong terms to the Council, listing a number of points in support of their opposition of the show. Interestingly, however, the residents seem to be under the impression that more than one event was to be staged on the land in question, although only the dog show has been cited as a scheduled event.

The residents had protested that: a) the small lane which provides access to the field would not be able to cope with the increase in traffic that regular use for dog shows and events would bring and b) that the increase in traffic and noise of the events would impact negatively on the small community of West Holme.

The residents added: "An attraction like the dog show proposal would not only disrupt local life and the environment, but would irrevocably change it for the worst."

Dorset County Council officials then called for more information from the Bournemouth Canine Association on the proposed field access improvements which were reviewed by the council. This then resulted in a visit to the land at West and East Holme, near Wareham from the inspector appointed by the First Secretary of State.

In a brief statement issued earlier this week Bournemouth CA chairman Mick Howes said,- ‘BCA would like it to be known that following a recent visit to land at Westholm, Wareham from the Inspector appointed by the First Secretary of State, the appeal has been dismissed. The application now ends. The association thanks all those who have given support for this project.’