COUNCILLORS have given the thumbs up to plans for a major development on Weymouth's New Look site.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council's planning and traffic committee approved an outline application for the scheme in Mercury Road.

It will involve a new headquarters for New Look's 500 staff, fire station, hotel, retail warehouses, industrial units, medical centre and ambulance station.

Human resources director Robin Lewis said the company was very pleased' to be moving forward with the plans after many years of work.

"Through this application we are bringing jobs back to Weymouth that left when the distribution centre was closed three years ago.

"We are pleased with the support we have had from the local community."

Committee member and employment spokesman Geoff Petherick added: "It is excellent news the committee has approved this.

"It presents a major opportunity to drive the economy of Weymouth forward by increasing wage rates. One of the things we are short of in Weymouth is high quality office space like there will be here."

Once completed, it is thought the scheme could create thousands of new jobs in Weymouth and the surrounding area.

Final approval has been delegated to planning, economy and development manager Simon Williams, following completion of an agreement where New Look will contribute £420,000 towards local amenities. This will include £140,000 towards the Weymouth relief road.

Mr Williams said: "The key thing about this scheme at the moment is that it will make premises available rather than leaving land allocated but undeveloped.

"The scheme has support from the people of Weymouth by the fact there have not been many people objecting to it."

A condition that retail space will not sell items such as food, clothing or games has also been attached so business is not damaged in the town centre and other parts of Weymouth.

Applications for individual parts of the development will come at later dates.