Thomas Hardy would breathe a sigh of relief

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We are delighted that Kingston Maurward College has withdrawn its plans to build 70 houses on parkland at Thomas Hardy’s hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, Dorset. Hardy was born at nearby Higher Bockhampton in 1840.

The society was among hundreds of objectors to the development, including the Ramblers, the Thomas Hardy Society and the Lower Bockhampton Action Group.

Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘Thomas Hardy would have breathed a sigh of relief at this news. The proposed houses would have devastated this tiny hamlet and its lovely surroundings, and spoiled people’s enjoyment of the public-path network.

‘We trust that this is the end of the matter and that the college has learnt that any development here will incur massive objection. This is a treasured corner of England and should be protected for all time.’

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