MORE than 50 residents took part in a heated exchange over the future of seafront chalets in Weymouth.
The exchange took place at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee.
Councillors have agreed to openly market the Greenhill chalets and associated facilities, whilst allowing another community group more time to submit a proposal.
The Chalet Users Community Group (CUCG) submitted a business plan in May, and representatives arrived at the management committee expecting to hear an outcome.
Committee members considered a report by David Evans, director of environment.
He described CUCG’s plan as ‘potentially sustainable’ subject to financial and legal arrangements.
His report revealed a second community group, Friends of Greenhill Gardens, could be in a position to present their proposals within three to six months of receiving confirmation of the council’s interest.
Mr Evans recommended members agree to one of two options.
This included inviting the two community groups to submit proposals by November 1 to lease the chalets and associated facilities.
The second option involved openly marketing by informal tender the opportunity to take a lease for up to 125 years. David White, 65, a chalet owner, travelled from Yeovil for the committee.
He said: “We were supposed to have the agreement today. It’s going on and on. All they are doing is going round and round in circles. It was going to be the final decision today we were told.”
Speaking at the committee, Cllr Ian Bruce said: “It’s trying to find the best possible solution to move forward.
“I believe we should move forward with both routes and move as quickly as possible. We must give everybody a fair chance.
“It’s not something that the councillors are trying to do down.”
Cllr Mike Goodman said he did not want to exclude the community group from the process.
He said: “I have enormous sympathy for the community group that wants to take this on. It’s a colossal project for a community group to run with. It needs to be set up as a well-funded company and organisation.”
One resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “They have let it go on and on and they are saying let’s get another six months and hopefully people will go away.
“They don’t want the little group to take over, they want the big group.”
Cllr Mike Byatt, chairman of the management committee, said: “I recognise that this is a really important issue for local residents and we are trying as best we can to ensure that we get the best possible outcome.”