I AM a Weymouth town councillor but not on the planning committee, can I comment on their recent recommendation to reject a planning application for eight commercial units at the Weymouth Gateway site by Sainsbury’s.

I have sympathy for many of the sentiments expressed by members of the committee.

What we want for Weymouth are good quality jobs to keep our young people from leaving Weymouth and Dorset.

The rejection of this site will have exactly the opposite effect to the one they want, reducing the number of good quality jobs in Weymouth.

The site is projected to produce 200 part time and full time jobs.

Of course many of them will be minimum wage but not all of them will.

Shops will have managers and skilled employees for some of their roles and these jobs will be all year round, not just summer jobs.

The proposed occupiers are well known companies with a track record of training and developing their staff.

Again, of course not all staff will benefit from this, but some will.

I am sure that many people doing summer jobs, working for seasonal employers would see the roles here as significantly higher quality jobs than what they do today.

My argument would hold no weight if the alternative was a development which would bring a raft of technology companies to town.

They would bring more high quality jobs. But those companies won’t locate here.

If a company wants to come to Dorset it will not set up in an expensive site in a town.

There is no base of technology skills in Weymouth to recruit from or technology sub-contractors that a company would want to be near.

They will go to an edge of town or out of town site where the land is cheaper and site access is easier.

Our competition for these companies are places like Dorset’s Innovation Park at Winfrith.

They offer cheaper land and a better road network, they can and do attract substantial technology companies.

We can’t and won’t.

The companies that want to operate in towns are companies that deal with the public.

They are exactly the sort of employers who were planning to locate to the Weymouth Gateway site.

Supporting the proposal would have made Weymouth a bit better place with some improvement to the number and quality of jobs.

It wouldn’t make us Dorset’s silicon valley because nothing will do that.

Rejecting this application will make Weymouth a worse place not a better one.

Cllr Tony Ferrari

Sutton Road,