Town councillors have objected to plans for a major new retail development in Weymouth – because they would prefer a scheme that would attract higher-quality jobs.

As reported, plans have been submitted to build eight commercial units at the Weymouth Gateway site south of the Sainsbury supermarket at the junction of Mercery and Dorchester Road – a development that would create more than 200 full and part time jobs.

It would be home for businesses including Dunhelm, B&M Homestore, McDonald’s and a Costa Coffee drive- through. The company behind the plans is developers Avercet Property and London Metric.

Dorset Council will have the final say on the plan – but Weymouth Town Council’s planning committee had a chance to comment on the application.

The committee was unanimous in its opposition to the scheme, stating it wanted to protect a key employment site. There were also concerns about density, layout, scale, traffic generation and possible flooding.

Speaking at the meeting, resident Claire Allen – who said she was among 30 local objectors – told councillors: “This application is for retail use only, so it’s likely to attract low-paid jobs, probably with zero hours contracts.”

She also raised concerns about extra traffic as a result of the development, which could prove ‘hazardous’ to ‘already busy’ roads. She went on to claim there would be noise pollution from early morning deliveries and light pollution.

The meeting also heard concerns about more fast food outlets setting up in the town.

Cllr Graham Winter, the mayor, said: “In my view it’s a no brainer – we should recommend refusal because in the 2015 Local Plan, the only plan we have got, it’s detailed (the land) for industrial not retail use.”

Cllr Jan Bergman said: “We should be trying, as much as possible, to recruit high-quality employment to ensure we have high-paid jobs in Weymouth not just low-paid jobs.”

Cllr Christine James said: “I was on the original planning committee back when this (Weymouth Gateway scheme) came to committee and I asked a lot of questions then like why, if we are in the middle of a child obesity crisis, do we want another McDonald’s or Costa Coffee? I think that alone would be enough to say no. Let’s face it, you only get obese by eating too much.”

Committee chairman Cllr Lucy Hamilton, said: “Time has moved on, we are Weymouth Town Council now, we don’t have (Portland’s) Osprey Quay anymore, so this (site) is central to us. We know we have good people in this town looking for good jobs, who are well qualified. I don’t want to see this big box development.”

She added: “If the comments of Weymouth Town Council go against what Dorset Council officers are likely to recommend, then it’s highly likely this item will go before Dorset Council’s planning committee with a list of the objections.”