A plan for 18 homes off Prospect Place, Upwey has attracted opposition from some neighbours.

The one-hectare site lies within the village Conservation Area to the west of Dorchester Road with access via an unmade and unadopted track. The site is recognised as an 'Important Open Gap' in the Local Plan.

Palmer Homes say they will widen and make up the track to adoptable standards as part of the scheme with the addition of pavements – also offering residents ten proper parking spaces for the first time.

Six of the eighteen home will be built as 'affordable' social housing.

The company want to build nine three-bed house; one two-bed; and two four-bed houses for the open market with two two-bed and four three-bed social houses, together with 53 parking spaces.

The site, which has some dilapidated farm buildings and an old greenhouse, was once used as a brickworks in the 19th century and a market garden and poultry farm until around 2002.

Outline planning permission was granted, on appeal, for eight homes on the site in February 2016 to Morrish builders with the inspector, at the time, concluding that the application would have little effect on the character of the area.

But some residents say it is the 'character' of the area they like – and want to keep it that way.

Prospect Place residents Jim and Marilyn Clubb are among the objectors. They says the road has always been unmade since the homes were built in 1881: “The area has always been a rural area, and Prospect Place is one of the few remaining lines of Victorian terraced cottages left in Weymouth. We believe that this character and charm should be preserved and not taken over by another modern development,” say the couple in statement to local planning committee members.

Mr Clubb says that the effect of opening up the road to the site would treble the amount of traffic coming out onto a junction at the brow of a hill with poor sight lines and that, during construction, the use of heavy lorries on the lane could cause vibration damage to homes.

Fellow Prospect Place resident Robert Hughes shares the same concerns and says he also worries about potential drainage problems.

“Our beautiful little, unspoilt track, will become a thoroughfare and generate danger for children and pets...we just don't want a bigger road outside our front doors.”

He says that the Victorian house have no, or little foundations, which could be damaged by 40-ton lorries accessing the site and claims that many services, water and electricity, supplies lie close to the surface and would also be susceptible to damage.

Palmer Homes say that, overall, their development will benefit the area and help meet a demand for local houses. Their agent says there is precedent for development in the area and nothing against using the site in the Local Plan. It is normal practise for planning officers to insist on measures to mitigate disturbance to nearby residents during any construction work.

To the south of Prospect Place is Miles Gardens which was granted permission in February 2016 and was not deemed to contravene the council's environmental policies relating to open gaps.

The applicants say their proposal will only have a small effect on the recognised open gap which should not preclude the site being developed: “With respect to the impact on the Upwey Valley Important Open Gap...the proposal will result in a relatively small area of open land within the gap being built upon and that a clear belt of countryside will remain between Upwey Village and the settlement along Dorchester Road.”

They say additional trees will also be planted as part of the landscaping to mitigate the appearance of the new homes.

James Graham of Elwell Street says he considers the application: “yet another incursion into the Upwey Conservation Area and will remove a further Open Gap for wildlife and flora...Once you allow over-development, the area is changed for ever - you can't go back to what it was. Many people choose to live in Upwey because it has a unique village character and rural feel.”

Dr Danielle Wootton, from Stottingway Street, who campaigned against the Miles Gardens scheme, says the effect of that development has been to force badgers and deer, which once used the area, to roam further to find food: “The open gap is so important in Upwey as it provides vital green space that supports wildlife as well as being an important green lung for both humans and animals.. Further development will just make the situation worse for the wildlife.”

The outline application can be found via the DorsetforYou website and has the reference WP/18/00832/OUT and is listed as 'Chesterfield Place', a property at the end of Prospect Place. It is open for comments until November 25th.