When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Opposition grows to stadium plans
WEYMOUTH Sea Life Park has joined around 100 objectors to oppose plans for a new football stadium at Lodmoor.
Planning consultants acting for the attraction have written to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council claiming that construction noise and noise from games at the proposed Weymouth FC stadium could have an impact on ‘a sensitive collection of species of marine life’.
The attraction has added its voice to dozens of letters of objection from Lodmoor and Preston residents.
The plans would see the stadium relocated to land near Lodmoor tip and land at the stadium’s current Radipole site used to build up to 170 new homes.
Consultants Nathaniel Litchfield & Partners say the Sea Life Park is a ‘key business’ in Weymouth.
In a letter, senior planner Samantha Sainsbury wrote: “It is our view that the community sports stadium and associated facilities will adversely affect the operation of Weymouth Sea Life Park (WSP).
“The park accommodates a sensitive collection of species of marine life including otters, seals, penguins and turtles as well as various sharks and fish.
“These subsequent representations have been made on the grounds that WSP consider that the additional information does not sufficiently assess the sensitive nature of WSP’s operation, nor adequately consider the impact of the proposals on the park.”
In her objection, resident Elizabeth Loveless said she is concerned about the ‘existing natural environment’ by locating a football stadium inside the ‘wildlife envelope’.
She wrote: “It will only destroy what many have strived to create over the past 20 to 30 years.”
Jennifer and Bill Rickman wrote to say there is a problem with car parking as the area is currently used for tourists’ parking.
The Overcombe Drive residents added: “We fail to see why the football ground cannot stay where it is.”
The board of Weymouth FC is objecting to the planning application for the new stadium.
Wessex Delivery LLP acquired the land surrounding the Bob Lucas stadium from Wessex Park Limited in 2008 for £500,000.
The company, which is linked to Morgan Sindall investments, has been searching for possible sites to relocate the ground for the past four years, a move the board has backed.
However, the board says the proposed Lodmoor site is not suitable due to environmental concerns and its susceptibility to flooding.
Wessex Delivery LLP says the new stadium will provide a sporting legacy for Weymouth following the 2012 Games.
The separate scheme for the old stadium site to be turned into a mixed use development, which would include up to 170 homes, a shop and village green, has received just 27 online comments.
Duncan Johnston of Wessex Delivery said: “For what was bound to be a controversial scheme by nature, especially in relation to its sensitive location, we had anticipated a high level of response.
“We have also been surprised at the low level of objections to the Wessex element of our proposals “We welcome - and from the outset have requested - public response to the overall project as it enables us to work through the issues as they arise.
No further representations can be made to the council because the closing date was September 6. Both planning applications remain under consideration by officers.
Councillor Bill White is objecting to the proposed stadium and says it is unsuitable because of environmental and health and safety concerns.
The Weymouth and Portland borough councillor said: “There are no residents I know of who are in favour of this.
“I cannot understand how the developers think they are going to be successful in this when you think about the circumstances and that the club doesn’t want to go there.”
Coun White said the proposed site is a wildlife reserve with bird watchers and naturalists who want peace and quiet.
He wrote: “The siting of a community sports stadium with floodlighting, cafe, shops and other structures would be highly detrimental.”
PLANS WOULD BRING INVESTMENT TO THE TOWN
THE development scheme would create around 360 jobs, developers Wessex Delivery LLP say.
The company also says the development would bring £30 million of investment to Weymouth.
Other benefits the schemes will bring are an ‘easily accessible town centre sports facility’, training facilities for more than 500 children, a sports centre with a gym, a new business facility, capital receipt for the land to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and a new bird hide, cafe and WC facilities for wildlife lovers.
Comments are closed on this article.