THE BOURNEMOUTH Canine Association recently lost its appeal to a local authority hold its show at land that would form a new show venue at West Holme, Dorset and has cancelled its intention to purchase the land.
Three years ago, BCA submitted an application to Purbeck District Council outlining its plans to stage its three-day Championship Show around the second weekend of August 2002. The proposal would have entailed the use of fields between the villages of West and East Holme and south of the main Wool to Wareham road.
The Association applied for the change of use of the land from agricultural to show ground for 21 days in a year, which is the maximum period it needed to cover setting up and clearing away the ground before and after the show – and to improve access.
According to a report in the local newspaper The Dorset Echo, residents 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.
Amongst the residents’ complaints against the show being staged were the following points:
The small lane that 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.
The increase in traffic and noise of the events would impact negatively on the small community of West Holme.
One resident was quoted as saying: "An attraction like the dog show proposal would not only disrupt local life and the environment but would irrevocably change it for the worst."
The matter was referred up to Dorset County Council, where councillors debated the application at their planning board meetings over subsequent weeks, whilst planning officers called for more information from the Bournemouth Canine Association on the proposed field access improvements.
However, after nearly three years of debate, argument and counter-argument, the Council finally turned down the BCA’s application, leaving the Association with the task of finding another venue to replace their existing home at the New Forest Showground, which has generated a large number of complaints form exhibitors in recent years.
At the BCA’s AGM last month, Chairman Mick Howes told the members that the council’s decision was a shame because the land would have been an excellent new show site, giving stability and security to the BCA. Mr Howes said they must learn from this experience and move on.
The members were advised that following the retirement of local farmer John Korbey, his land had become available to the New Forest A.S. However, there might be the possibility that BCA may not be able to use the same site within their grounds in future years due to the two shows following so closely together.
Meanwhile the New Forest Show have assured the Association that a suitable site within the grounds would be allocated for BCA and there was no fear that we would have to re-locate.
The Chairman confirmed that BCA were still looking at other sites in the locality but as yet nothing had been found to be suitable. In the long term the Association hope to find new grounds to purchase, but that any such purchase will not be hurried, but carefully considered.