The Upper Marshwood Vale area is unusual in that there is no central village or community. Marshwood has a Shop and Post Office together with a Garage at one end with the houses being found along each side of the B3165. The Church, School and Pub are nearly a mile away with another dozen or so houses dotted along the next half mile. Bettiscombe is a Parish but many of its houses form part of what we think of as “Marshwood Village”. It has a Church and village hall near its old Manor House with a few dwellings and farms. The parish of Pilsdon is really a rural area with the odd house and a few farms.
This leaves the community of Stoke Abbott which nestles in a valley bottom. This has a conservation area within which are located a cluster of houses, a Church, Pub and a village school hall, supported by a number of adjacent farms. Stoke Abbott is actually quite a long way from the other Marshwood Vale communities, being on the other side of a hill.
We all live in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and would not wish to see any large developments, after all it is this rural setting with green fields and woods, together with the magnificent views, which is the very reason we enjoy living here. The odd house or two here and there and perhaps a small number of additional Affordable Houses for local people (8 units were completed recently via the Marshwood Community Land Trust) would be acceptable over the next 15-20 years and that perhaps is all we will need.
The following figures were provided by West Dorset District Council in September 2016 as a summary of those on their Housing Register who have declared a local connection to the Upper Marshwood Vale area. Of the applicants, 9 have a connection to Marshwood and 3 to Stoke Abbott.
|Single person requiring studio or 1 bedroom||3|
|Couple requiring studios or 2 bedroom||4|
|Family requiring 2 bedrooms||5|
|Family requiring 3 bedrooms||0|
Land suitable for building housing is hard to find and so we will be calling on land owners to offer sites where they would be prepared to consider some building over the next 15 to 20 years.