Councillors have voted against recommendations and granted the build of eight new homes – despite major flood concerns.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s planning committee voted to approve the build of eight ‘chalet style’ bungalows on a site on Littlemoor Road despite the Environment Agency (EA) recommending it to be refused.

The EA recommended rejection based on flood risk to prospective occupiers and insufficient proof the build would not worsen flooding elsewhere.

Environment Agency planning officer Mike Holme said the application was contrary to National Planning Policy on flood risk.

Mr Holme presented a short animation showing predicted flooding during a 1 in 100-year rainfall event which he said predicted a worst-case scenario.

It showed the proposed site was situated in flood zone three which is deemed a high-risk area.

However, the EA’s recommendations were met will scepticism from councillors.

Cllr Ian Bruce said: “I don’t believe that building on this site is going in make it any more of a flood risk anywhere else.”

He said that if the committee rejected this build, they would have to reject any other developments in the area.

He added: “It might be that people in a hundred years will have to get their feet wet. I am sure they will be able to wade through the half a meter of water to get to safety.”

Cllr Colin Huckle said he would be quite happy to put his vote behind the project subject to conditions.

He added that he would be surprised if the site flooded as it had not flooded before.

Mr Holme said the agencies flood predications accounted for climate change and although the site had not yet flooded it was not safe to say that it would not in the future.

Cllr Kevin Brookes raised concerns that the rejection of the application would stop anything in the area being changed in the future.  

The committee voted to grant the application with conditions with only Cllr Mark Tewkesbury voting against.

Conditions set included a permeable car park, raised electric sockets and usual flood resilience measures be put in place.

They also agreed that the ground floor level would be elevated to 300mm above the highest anticipated flood level in the next century to fall in line with environment agency rules.

Cllr Wheller stated the committee believed because the properties were chalets, in the event of a flood there were adequate escape routes.

After the meeting Raymond McIntyre chairman of Devon and Dorset Properties said: “We hear councillors saying, ‘oh not another block of flats on Preston Road'. We are trying to do something different and imaginative.”

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