RESIDENTS on Portland had their say over a £12million homes plan which could see a longstanding derelict building redeveloped.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) hosted a public consultation on the plan, which is aiming to reignite interest in neglected parts of Osprey Quay still to be redeveloped. This includes the red-brick building known as the Royal Naval canteen.

Sutton Harbour had plans for a £30million regeneration project but pulled out in 2008. It did, however, complete some work on the Castle Court site, including the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) building at Portland House.

Business people, councillors and residents gathered in the foyer of the RYA Building throughout Thursday evening to air their thoughts on the HCA’s ideas. These involve the canteen building and 1.2 hectares of land to the south west. The land has planning permission for self-catering apartments, a food store and an office building. The HCA is trying to alter details of the planning consent to attract new interest.

Mark Glendenning, area manager for the HCA, said there had been useful feedback and people can still comment now.

He said: “I think people are really pleased that something might actually happen. We received some comments based on disappointment that there’s not a retail element to the scheme but there’s other land available. We pointed out that there’s land to the other side of Mulberry Avenue.

“We have established a principle: up to 70 dwellings, retention of the north wing of the canteen building, and a general schedule of development over the site.”

Ian McQuade, general manager of business development at Portland Port, said: “I think anything that creates jobs and helps economic development in the area, which the whole of this development would do, is clearly going to be good news for Portland, as long as it’s managed properly with regards to traffic flow.”

Town councillor Rod Wild said there were some concerns about the flood risk as the breakwaters are not as strong as they used to be.

He added: “My personal view is that it’s a bit of an overdevelopment on the residential side. I think that it could be better used.”

Jo Jackson, who runs the Jackson Gallery in Fortuneswell, said she was rather unsure about the need for more housing on Portland.

She added: “The housing, we were all very tentative about it, because do we need any more?”