CONCERNS have been raised that the Weymouth Peninsula site may not be strong enough in its current state to support major building works.

Eric Amey, who worked on the ferry terminal extension in the 1950s, has claimed the site, in his experience, is not suitable for putting new buildings on – unless deep foundation piling is carried out.

He also believes a comprehensive geo-structural survey would have to be done.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has responded to the claims this morning - saying further work was done at the site in the 1970s.

Mr Amey has made an official objection to the planning application for redevelopment which will be considered by the borough council later this year.

There have been a raft of other objections to the plan including from residents, hoteliers and the Weymouth Civic Society.

The council will consider backing funding for the scheme at a meeting tonight - but serious concerns have been raised by individuals and groups about this. See that story here

The Weyforward group has raised concerns. See that story here

Mr Amey, now 90, whose family ran a quarrying and gravel business, worked as an independent contractor at the site.

He recalls the work included steel piling and backfilling the 'void' between the piles with a mix of stone waste, rubble and 'whatever hardcore was available'.

Other work included demolishing buildings, backfilling until all the land now in existence was reclaimed from the sea, and creating large underground oil storage tanks to supply the ferries. Presumably, these tanks would have to be moved if any work took place there.

Mr Amey claims the piles installed were about 40ft long and did not hit solid rock. He says under the sand layer the seabed is 'corrugated' with a rock and shale strata.

He says in his letter to the council: "We built the site according to the prevailing standards of the early 1950s; unlike modern construction methods we did not compact or liquid pump aggregate onto the peninsula site – thus the foundation of the site is not stable or suitable for high load bearing requirements."

He goes on to say: "I would not recommend any new buildings being considered in future construction proposals unless new deep foundation piling were undertaken that reached the rock bed under the site."

Mr Amey goes on to claim that holes would have formed over time in the sheet piling allowing the sea to wash in "creating unseen dangers that grow by the day".

Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Briefholder for Finance & Assets said: “The sheet pile walls in question that surround the Peninsula site were installed in around 1977 and extend from the beach to the link span.

"Many of the other walls and sheet piles were installed at a later date.

"The project has taken into account the necessity of piling to support large structures and the costs for this have been included within the proposals. Any development work will take the mix of materials previously used to fill the structure into account, and this has been included in the initial costings and appraisals for the project."

The council made no further comment on issues raised in Mr Amey's letter.