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Dorset County Council and Dorset District Council: Silverlake

  • Location: West Dorset

  • Purpose: Silverlake is a new holiday housing development that is on a previously active sand quarry and is surrounded by woodlands on the margins. Dorset County and District Council have worked with Building with Nature and Natural England to create a development that incorporates both the local character and green infrastructure to create a place that benefits people and wildlife.

  • Description: The development is 227 hectares and the homes will sit on approximately 18% of that. The project has delivered an additional 87 hectares of new habitat creation to the Silverlake areas. Features include wetlands, bird boxes, bat roosts, great crested newt ponds and more. Residents can also enjoy outdoor recreation spaces, foot and cycle paths and wildlife viewing areas. The scheme has been awarded a Building with Nature Full Award (Excellent).

  • Funding: As part of the Silverlake planning permission, Dorset Council created the Conservation and Community Fund. It is funded through an obligation on the homeowners to contribute £50 per year and the developer to contribute £10,000 per year. Local groups can bid into the fund for nature projects.

  • Conservative councillor/ council lead: Dorset AONB Partnership, Caroline Kelly and Strategic and Technical Planning Committee Chairman, Robin Cooke

  • Further links: Building with nature website, Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund webpage and South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2019 webpage (winner in category).

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