'Uninspiring' plans for the development of Weymouth's Pavilion peninsula will not be revised – despite growing opposition from community and business groups.

The scheme, currently at the planning application stage, entails demolishing all existing buildings on the peninsula, except the Pavilion theatre and the Jurassic Skyline tower, and erecting new hotels, a pub with accommodation, restaurants and cafes, indoor leisure buildings, public car parking, commercial fishing and mixed-use harbour buildings.

The proposal will, like all applications, be reviewed on its merits by the council's Planning Committee.

But Jason West of community group Weyforward said the plans were 'unimaginative, uninspiring and uncreative', and failed to adhere to Weymouth's Town Centre Masterplan.

"There is no allowance for the public realm," Mr West said. "What will happen in the winter, when there are no tourists? There needs to be more public space in the plan."

As such, Weyforward is using an online direct-democracy platform to garner residents' views – and convince Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to go back to the drawing board.

Voters are not anonymous but log in via their Facebook or email accounts to the platform, which was developed and is already in use by local government in Iceland.

Mr West pointed out that only 900 people had participated in the council's online consultation, and that only 52 per cent of those were in favour.

"If we can beat the council's tally, then they'll have to listen to us," he said.

As of Monday, 729 online voters had expressed opposition to the existing plans, while 969 had voted in favour of Weyforward's 'alternative vision' for the peninsula – which does not, however, constitute a detailed or costed plan.

The votes in favour of the council's plan, and those against Weyforward's vision, are so far negligible in number.

Prior to establishing the poll, Weyforward held two meetings with stakeholders at a co-working space on the peninsula.

According to Mr West, the meetings – the first on May 29, the second on June 12 – resulted in an unexpected consensus among all groups present, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Weymouth BID and several online groups.

The consensus reached, he said, was that the plans needed to be revised, with criticism of the lack of public space, the addition of further hotels to an already crowded market and the failure to provide a wider range of wet-weather leisure activities.

Weyforward is now urging the council to go back to the drawing board – an outcome that would constitute a major success for the group's use of innovative digital direct democracy.

"These days, local authorities can't just foist things on people," Mr West noted. "People want to be able to shape where they live. They want to have a say on their own services."

Residents can have their say in Weyforward's peninsula development poll at http://bit.ly/voteweymouth.

Borough council leader Cllr Jeff Cant meanwhile said there were no plans to deviate from the existing plans, stressing that the proposal had gone through 'multiple periods' of public engagement and had received input from 'leading market experts', as well as local businesses.

"The scheme submitted for planning is consistent with the Town Centre Masterplan’s overarching aim of transforming the town into a year-round destination," Cllr Cant argued.

“The submitted proposals consider the leisure market, the existing hotel demand and the development needs of the harbour. Our aim is to upgrade the town’s tourism offering with new indoor leisure facilities that will provide a year-round draw, while creating new public spaces and family-orientated commercial uses for residents and tourists alike.

“Significant public space is included in the outline planning application. The car-parking area in front of the Pavilion will provide a landscaped public open space for community events and general use. In addition, an enlarged pedestrian walkway will continue the promenade on to the Peninsula and all the way around the site. There is also the possibility of space for education uses and start-up businesses.

“We are confident that the proposals clearly outline what is required to ensure Weymouth thrives as a 21st century resort and will continue to take the proposals through the official planning process.”