WEYMOUTH Town Council has objected to plans to knock down a bungalow and build a block of flats calling them 'deplorable'.

The town council’s planning committee met on Tuesday to discuss plans to demolish a bungalow and build eight flats with parking at 56 Preston Road.

However, after hearing from a number of concerned residents strongly opposed to the development, councillors decided to object to the plans.

They did so unanimously and on the grounds that the flats would contribute to a loss of light and privacy of neighbouring properties in the area.

There were also concerns over the scale of the development, loss of trees and traffic generation as a result of the parking spaces.

Resident John Liles spoke at the meeting. He said: “Believe it or not I’m not against flats but I fail to see the point of knocking down a house or a bungalow, in this instance, to build them.

“We all understand the need to move the town more upmarket. But do you think young professionals want to live in these pokey flats? I suggest they will be looking for the type of properties such as those already on Preston Road that this council seems happy to keep knocking down.

“I’m well aware of the pressure the council is under from central government to build more, but to lose perfectly good houses to achieve it is senseless and I feel it would come back to haunt the decision makers of this council.”

One resident who lives close to the property said ‘it would be like living in a deep dark goldfish bowl’ if the three-storey flats are given the go ahead.

She added that the developers have shown a ‘total disregard’ for neighbours and it’s ‘frightening and immoral’ that they can ‘swoop in’ and have a ‘negative impact on people’s lives.’

Meanwhile, another resident said the ‘wellbeing and mental state’ of her parents whose home neighbours the property would be badly affected.

Cllr Jan Bergman said: "I am particularly concerned the flats can look down into neighbours homes, including a child's bedroom and the bedroom of an elderly couple."

He also said he had problems with the 'density' of the development, which he called 'inappropriate'.

He said the application was ‘deplorable’ and that it would badly affect vulnerable people.

He said: “It needs to be said when you have ASBOs, you should have anti-social development orders as well.”

Cllr Graham Winter said: “Tonight someone has mentioned the trend of councils to develop houses into flats. When we were the borough council there was a trend on Preston Road of knocking houses down to become flats, I was against it then and I’m still against it.”

Cllr Ann Weaving said: "I will be objecting. I'm sick to death of seeing Preston Road turned into odd blocks of flats when it was once a beautiful road."

Weymouth Town Council is a planning consultant, the plans will go to Dorset Council's planners for a final decision.


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