An extension of a week has been given for public comments on the Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset Local Plan review.

The combined councils issued a news release late on Tuesday afternoon admitting that they have had technical problems and would be giving people an extra week, until midnight on October 15.

Poor response to local plan blamed on council system

The authorities had originally denied there was any problem with their online site – despite many residents reporting difficulties.

“The consultation has been extended due to some technical issues taking place with our email account on the final day of the original consultation period. This meant a number of responses weren’t able to be submitted," the release said.

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council's Briefholder for Environment and Sustainability, said:“A number of residents have been in contact over the last 24 hours to inform us of the problem and we apologise for any issues that have been experienced. The right thing for us to do is extend the consultation, to allow for these comments to be received.

“We want as many responses to this consultation as possible in order to inform member decision making.”

Cllr Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “This provides a further opportunity for anyone who may not have found the time to have their say on the ‘Preferred Options’.

“I encourage anyone interested in the future development in the area, to read the proposals and share their views.”

At the time of the original deadline, midnight on October 8th, the review had received around 900 responses.

Following the closure of the consultation at midnight on October 15th, planning policy officers will analyse the responses and work up a final draft of the local plan review. This revised plan will be consulted on in the future – expected to be summer 2019.