Changes made to a proposed retirement home development in London Road, Dorchester is expected to lead to approval by local planners.

But the 44-apartment scheme, on the former Watson Petroleum site, is still unlikely to satisfy some of its detractors.

Dorchester Town Council and the local Labour Party have suggested the site ought to be developed with affordable homes for local people using money in the district council's housing fund.

If the site is approved, as is being recommended at a district planning meeting tomorrow, builders McCarthy & Stone are likely to have to pay a six-figure sum in lieu of having any affordable homes the site.

Labour this week accused the company of 'jumping the gun' by putting out leaflets advertising the apartments – before they have planning permission.

Barry Thompson, chairman of Dorchester Labour, claimed the company was taking the planning system for granted.

He said: "They think they can run roughshod over local opinion."

Claudia Sorin who with Barry will be standing in the Dorchester East Ward which includes this site in the May elections said that Labour objects to the scheme because it makes insufficient contribution to the town's major need for affordable housing for families. She said: “At the very least for McCarthy & Stone to do this is the height of arrogance.”

A spokesman for McCarthy & Stone said: "Whilst it is typical for housebuilders to raise awareness of future schemes, on occasion ahead of planning permission, we do acknowledge an administrative error in this instance, where we had mistakenly missed out the phrase ‘subject to planning’ from our sales literature.

"If approved, our proposals will help to meet an acknowledged need for specialist accommodation for older people, with the local over-65s population predicted to rise significantly over the coming years. Our communities stimulate local housing chains as our customers typically free up larger family-sized homes for local families and first-time buyers. We firmly believe that our proposals will deliver a number of benefits and we hope that our application will be determined on its planning merits.”

Planning committee members are being asked to delegate approve of the scheme to planning officers if the company signs a legal agreement over its 'affordable' homes contribution.

The report says that the company's Community Infrastructure Levy charge for the development could be almost £393,000.

Committee members will also be told that design changes have resulted in a better looking building for the site but the alterations have not addressed some of the other concerns, including what some objectors say is insufficient parking spaces, including just one for people with mobility problems, together with 29 other slots.

Comments in favour say the application is a good use for a brownfield site and will free up family homes in the area on the assumption that older people who move in are local.