AN APPLICATION for almost 100 homes on the former Royal Manor Arts College site on Portland has been submitted.

The building has stood empty since July 2016.

Dorset Council has received an outline planning application to demolish the existing buildings in Weston Road and build up to 98 homes. The application comes after public consultation events which largely showed support for homes on the 2.5 hectare site.

The Homes England application is expected to be decided under delegated powers by a planning officer with comments on the application open until December 28.

Homes England suggests that the site would have 74 open market homes,17 social housing units and seven described as ‘intermediate’. It does not specify the sizes, which is usually determined at the detailed consent phase.

The applications suggests that 148 parking spaces would be included on the site and 49 cycle spaces. A statement accompanying the application says that the homes would not only meet a local need but provide an economic boost for the island.

Homes England say there would be a maximum contribution of over £615,000 through Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, 25% of which will go to the Neighbourhood Forum if the Portland Plan is adopted prior to the start of the project and at least 15% to Portland Town Council.

It says the site would support the employment of up to 306 people and provide up to three apprentices, graduates or trainees within the construction industry, with further financial contributions to school spaces on the island.

Two public comments submitted so far both object to the outline scheme. Dawn Weaver says in her letter to the council: “With the new Tesco on the main road through Wyke Regis the traffic is now appalling trying to leave and return to the island. Until the traffic problem is sorted out through Wyke no more dwellings should be built on Portland.”

The views are shared by Bev Watson. She said: “I feel that 98 dwellings are too many for this area, I believe the original plan was for far fewer. Potentially that is another 200 cars using and parking on already very congested roads around Portland. The local doctor’s surgery is already struggling to provide appointments for the patients it has, and where will the children go to school? Perhaps fewer dwellings with adequate parking coupled with a doctor’s surgery perhaps or a primary school might make a lot more sense.”