CAMPAIGNS highlighting the importance of two Weymouth beauty spots are to be thrashed out in council debates tonight.

Efforts to protect Greenhill Gardens and to restore access to Castle Cove beach have prompted locals to start petitions to build support.

Both have gained enough signatures to trigger a council debate, and will come before the authority at the full council meeting this evening. It will be up to councillors to take action, refer it to a committee for further consideration or do nothing.

The Greenhill petition, calling on the council to keep the gardens under public stewardship, was launched by resident Geraldine Owen amid fears of what could happen to the area in a council sell-off.

The council is looking to sell the lease for the chalets and associated facilities to save money, and says a new operator will be able to maintain the site to a better standard. It has just completed a public consultation on the move.

Two community groups have expressed interest in bidding for the site and some inquiries have also been received from private investors. A report to councillors says: “The council is willing to consider alternative ownership and management arrangements that will address the identified costs of repairing the chalets.”

It adds: “Officers are planning to report the outcome of the public consultation, representations received in respect of the disposal and to make reference to the petition in their report to the management committee on July 1.”

The Castle Cove petition was launched by Green Party member Clare Sutton and is trying to get authorities and landowners to sit down and talk to each other about restoring access to the area.

Safety concerns following a landslip last year resulted in the footpath being closed off and a footbridge being removed.

Castle Cove, also known as Sandsfoot beach, has been enjoyed by many families and Miss Sutton believes proper access should be sorted out so people can enjoy it again.

A council report says the possibility of providing another route to the beach has been investigated and deemed to be unviable.