I was one of the few residents who sat through the depressing Planning Committee meeting regarding the outline Peninsular Development.

The Chief Planning Officer started by giving an excellent summary of the purpose of the meeting – which most committee members went on to ignore.

Submissions from the floor were all excellent; focussed, concise and presented with first-hand experience of the problems that the proposals would present to hoteliers and guest house owners, the Pavilion, local restaurants and the futility of building another pub; this one being stuck out on a very unfriendly wind-swept peninsular.

Cllr. Tia Roos spoke from the floor very passionately that the development should serve the local community and not concentrate on erecting a lot of ugly commercial properties which would primarily benefit the profits of developers and businesses based far from Weymouth.

Cllr. Christine James also spoke about the need to consult with local businesses and residents, their children and schools to determine what would be a worthy alternative to the proposals presented.

The wisdom of Cllrs. Roos and James were greeted with enthusiastic applause.

Sadly, these beacons of sanity and hope were quickly extinguished when the meeting got underway with a long discussion led by Cllr. Ian Bruce on the optimum number of car parking spaces needed. Other councillors joined in to discuss whether the provisions for cyclists would be adequate and whether the view from the Nothe Gardens of Weymouth Beach should be retained or not.

And so the meeting droned on discussing the minutia of the present outline proposal and ignoring the pleas from Cllrs. Roos and James for wider and imaginative community-led proposals for the peninsular.

By this stage members of the audience were literally groaning with their heads in their hands.

Those of us with long memories recall the demolition of Weymouth Town Centre in the 1980s and the ‘bombsite’ that was left for ten years before the present shopping centre was eventually built.

Regrettably, history is about to repeat itself.

One certain sign of chaos and ineptitude being once again visited on the long-suffering residents and business owners of Weymouth is that the vote to approve the unimaginative and ugly outline planning application for the Peninsular was voted through on political party lines, those for the application being all Tories and those against being all non-Tories.

It seems that party politically inspired cliques will, as in the fiasco of the 1980s Town Centre ‘Bombsite’, be fighting an internecine battle that will be disastrous for Weymouth and its prosperity.


College Lane