A QUARRYING company looks set to win support to build a housing estate on an industrial site on Portland after a few attempts.
A number of applications have been put forward by Stone Firms Ltd to develop a yard of old quarry buildings off Bumpers Lane at Easton.
Last year, councillors rejected a scheme for 75 homes but backed a scaled-down version involving 28 units.
The rejected scheme went to appeal and was dismissed. The planning inspector said it would meet housing needs and could enhance the area but said the main issue was whether it would be ‘sustainable’ as it would affect an open gap and be near a quarrying area, affecting the living conditions of those in the proposed development.
Applicants have taken these comments on board and submitted a new scheme for 64 houses, including affordable homes, to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. It is for a smaller area and includes a ‘buffer zone’ around the site where quarrying would be excluded, and an area to be set aside for nature conservation.
Part of the site is outside the development boundary but as the council doesn’t have an up-to-date plan in place to guide future growth it cannot argue this issue, given that the scheme will deliver much needed housing, a report states.
Applicants are seeking outline planning permission to establish the principle only at this stage of providing residential development on a 2.18 hectare piece of land.
Portland Town Council has objected on the grounds of overdevelopment and some residents have written to object, highlighting issues such as more vehicles in Wakeham, impact on parking, and lack of infrastructure to cope with more housing.
Borough planning officers are recommending the proposal is approved at a meeting this Wednesday.
Case officer Chris Moscrop said: “The current application has sought to address the issues raised as part of the appeal and in particular the applicants now propose to enter into a legal agreement to address the remaining concerns addressed by the appeal inspector.
“Members will also be aware that the borough is currently unable to demonstrate that it has a five year housing land supply and that as such the planning balance in this case – given the benefits that would arise in the provision of much needed open market and affordable housing; open space and nature conservation – means that a favourable recommendation is now made subject to a 106 Agreement and planning conditions.”
Borough councillor for Tophill West, Cllr Ray Nowak, said: “I welcome a scheme which will provide affordable homes but as long as they are smaller properties of one or two bedrooms which Portland seems to be lacking.
“I am also pleased to see that this is a smaller scheme than the one which was put forward last year.
“However I do have concerns about the lack of infrastructure in place to support the new housing developments on the island.
“I also think there needs to be consideration for the Jurassica scheme, as an access off Bumpers Lane was discussed as a possible route to the Jurassica site, and this could conflict with that.”