PLANS to use sandbags to fill gaps around the Gurkha restaurant in Weymouth have been withdrawn.

The idea met with objection from town councillors and the Environment Agency while Natural England expressing concerns about the proposal.

The restaurant, in the shape of a boat, had asked to use sandbags with decking on top to help reduce litter and other debris building up in the water around the business. A planning application to Dorset Council said that due to the restaurant's shape and the flow of wind and tide, flotsam often gathered at the front of the building.

Cllr Christine James told a town council planning committee last year that the design was 'treating the symptoms not tackling the problem.'

The town council committee decided at the time to object to the proposals on grounds of design, visual appearance and materials.

The Environment Agency has since also objected to the idea on the grounds of the threat to the area's biodiversity and flood risk and said that the proposal would encroach on the Radipole Lake Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

“The proposal to use hard engineered solutions (sandbags, gravel and decking) within the SSSI/River Wey to prevent rubbish build up is likely to be considered unacceptable,” it said.

It warned that if the business were to continue with its plans it may need an environmental permit for flood risk activities which it said was likely to also be objected to on the same grounds.

Natural England had also said it was concerned about the proposals. In a statement to Dorset Council it said: “As submitted the application could have potential significant effects on the structure and function of the Radipole Lake SSSI and therefore biodiversity.”

It said that to consider the proposal it would need additional information about how loss of SSSI area will be prevented, details of any proposed planting and further details of the infilling materials for the sandbags.