PROPOSALS to build six houses on a patch of open land in Weymouth have been met with fierce opposition.

More than 20 people packed out the public gallery at a meeting of Weymouth Town Council's Planning and Licensing Committee to voice concerns over the size, scale and potential flood risk of the outline planning application to build on land between number 38 - 40 Overcombe Drive, Preston.

Other concerns related to the loss of natural habitat and impact on the horizon - with some people claiming the buildings would be visible from as far away as Hardy's Monument.

The three bedroom homes are proposed by Elite Homes.

Geoff Petherick, who was leader of the former Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, spoke on behalf of residents. "There is potential for serious risk of flooding, with no apparent consideration from the developer," he said.

Preston councillor Tony Ferrari said: "This will be visible from the south Dorset Ridgeway - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

Ann Smart, a resident of Overcombe Drive, said: "The architects seem to have created a Disney visualisation of what is appropriate.

"The size of the rooms are barely within legal requirements because they have balconies attached to them - which would also overlook existing houses.

"They resemble 'flat pack' homes, with no gardens."

Cllr Jan Bergman said: "These would absolutely ruin the landscape - Weymouth would start to resemble one of those horrible Spanish towns with high-rise developments.

"We need to make sure there are amenities for residents - this patch of land is regularly used for dog walking. I'm totally objecting to this."

Cllr Graham Winter said: "It reminds me of the Sixties song, 'Little Boxes on the Hillside'. This is one of the few remaining bits of green land in Weymouth."

Cllr David Mannings said: "This land is used to get to Jordan's Hill and should be maintained as an official right of way.

"It is one of the highest points in Weymouth - the buildings would need aviation navigation lights."

Cllr Lucy Hamilton warned the committee that the government requirement for homes in Weymouth could override their objections. "People may want to take it up with their MP," she said.

The committee unanimously voted against the proposal. The next stage is for Dorset Council's Planning Committee to consider the outline application.

Ray Watton, from Elite Homes, emphasised that the finished development would look very different from these initial plans.

He said: "What we've submitted so far is just an outline application. I reviewed the site last week and realised we may be pushing the parameters too far. We are going to sit down with the council to design something much more sympathetic to the street scene and more fitting with the local area."

The applicant has also provided assurances that the proposed development meets the minimum technical standards required by current building regulations in respect of water and access, as well as nationally described space standards.