CAMPAIGNER Jason West is set to speak at tonight’s full council meeting on behalf of community group Weyforward.

It comes after the group hired law expert Charlie Hopkins in a bid to challenge the council to tweak its peninsula redevelopment plans.

Weyforward launched a Crowdfunder page to hire Mr Hopkins.

He has since written an opening analysis taking issue with the council’s proposal, which has been sent to councillors.

Others are concerned about the plan - see our story here

And there's concerns about the stability of the land for development - see our story here

Mr West said: “I think one of the most striking things is that the council have said this scheme is to regenerate the town, but Charlie claims it will more than likely suck income out of the town centre to the peninsula, which could hollow out the town centre."

Mr Hopkins also claims the visitor numbers the council have based findings on are outdated.

Mr West said: “It’s astonishing really what they’re proposing to do and everyone in Weymouth and Portland who cares about that piece of land should be up in arms about this.”

Mr Hopkins' assessment also alleges the council’s proposal contravenes the local plan and its policies.

Mr West said: “The point is if the council contravenes planning policy and we can put together a good argument, which we can because we have Charlie, then why are they borrowing £11.7 million to afford a plan which sucks income from the town and puts the council into more debt. They’ve already said that phase two is probably not viable because the market for leisure is in recession.”

He added: “The simple thing for the council to do would be to start listening, because they haven’t been, and to pause the plan for a month or two, and set up some meetings with the community and potential developers and do it all in an open way.

“Through a series of meetings, they could adjust the plan and put something better there.”

Mr Hopkins will present his complete findings to the council’s planning committee.

Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Briefholder for Finance & Assets said: “This scheme has been in development since the council’s management committee decided to progress leisure-led regeneration of the redundant ferry terminal in 2016. This is a high profile site, and careful consideration has been given to a mix of uses on the site which will complement and strengthen the town's current leisure and tourism offer. Mr Hopkins makes points specifically shaped to progress his client’s position, and we are not going to engage in a planning debate with either Mr Hopkins or his client, Jason West, via the media. Our planning application states clearly how we believe this scheme meets the Local Plan and ultimately it is a decision for planning committee to determine.”