AN APPLICATION for up to six beach hut-style holiday homes off Bowleaze Coveway, Weymouth could be approval at a meeting this week.

The scheme has been reduced in size from the initial ten holiday homes after wide-ranging objections.

The outline planning consent for the site next to No 61, currently a field, is being considered by the area planning committee which meets in Dorchester on Thursday.

Officers are recommending that the scheme is approved, subject to conditions. A report to the committee says that at this ‘in principle stage’ the proposal is considered acceptable in its general visual impact and would not result in any significant harm to the area.

But objectors, including Weymouth Town Council, say the application site is outside the town’s development boundary and should be rejected; Natural England describe the site as an “exceptionally important ecological corridor” and say development would be ‘wholly unacceptable” – unless the developer signs an agreement to give up part of the site and manage it for wildlife, which has been discussed as an option.

Other concerns have included overlooking, extra traffic, the risk of noise and disturbance from people using the holiday homes, the risk of coastal erosion at nearby Furzy Cliff and the importance of the site as a gap between the residential area and holiday site further to the east.

Planning officers say the application is only for outline, or in principle, consent and that many of the concerns raised by residents and others could be resolved at the next, in detail, stage of the planning process: “Any reserved matters applications would need to consider the visual impact in terms of scale and design but at this ‘in principle stage’ it is considered that the development of up to 6 holiday units could be achieved that would not be unduly prominent in terms of the neighbouring properties and the local character… The proposal is also considered acceptable subject to conditions in relation to drainage, land instability and biodiversity,” said a report to the committee.

The grassland site, of 1,200 square metres, is immediately east and downhill of 61 Bowleaze Coveway, the last house in a row overlooking Weymouth Bay and Bowleaze Cove.

Each of the units is said to be capable of sleeping up to six people and will be connected to mains water, electricity and the sewerage system.

Developers says that the density is similar to that of the adjacent holiday park and is appropriate to the location.