A PLANNING consultant has questioned the sustainability of a proposed new £14million school at Southwell Business Park.

John Montgomery, director of Tanner and Tilly Town planning consultants, was speaking as a witness for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council at a public inquiry into whether a new campus should be built at the Portland site.

The inquiry resumed yesterday after being postponed in January.

Dozens of people packed into a room at the Heights Hotel to hear the proceedings.

The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) is appealing against a decision by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s planning committee to refuse permission for the development at Maritime House.

Planning inspector Neil Pope said the main issue was whether the benefits arising from the use of the site outweighed any negatives of the scheme.

Mr Montgomery told the inquiry that meeting the educational needs of the community was fundamental to the prosperity of Portland – but that the proposed site was not sustainable.

During cross-examination, Matthew Reed representing IPACA said Mr Montgomery was analysing the appeal proposals against an ‘unrealistic alternative’ because he was looking at the date before Brackenbury and Grove schools closed.

Mr Montgomery also addressed the proposed school sports hall being built outside the development boundary, one of four concerns by the borough council.

He said there would be an impact on the adjoining residential properties in Southwell as well as an impact on the view when visiting Portland Bill.

The sports hall would take up 45 metres of the site. The public inquiry continues today.