DEVELOPERS are hoping to build eight homes on Dorset Council-owned land off Hetherly Road, Weymouth.

A previous outline application for five homes was rejected with a decision given in favour of development at appeal in September 2019.

The site has been used as an  informal recreation ground and is described as a 'green lung' in the area.

A new application has now been lodged for the site by Palmer Homes Ltd  for eight semi-detached homes and parking space for 16 cars. The homes would be in pairs, four on either side of an existing footpath which connects Hetherley Road and St Andrews Avenue.

The developers say the 0.24 hectare field is not recognised in the Local Plan as open space and the path through the site is not a public right of way, factors which they say weighed in their favour at the appeal. The company has promised to protect the path with the new development.

Said the Inspector in his summary on the appeal for five homes: “I recognise that the proposal would result in the loss of this green space between communities. This would have a degree of harm on the users of this open space. However, this is not public open space, and the footpath through will be maintained.”

In their submission to Dorset Council for full planning consent Palmer Homes say that the proposed houses will be at a similar density to those nearby with half having three bedrooms and the rest with four: “This would provide a good mix of family housing and meet identified needs for these sized properties. It would also provide a much-needed boost to housing land supply, a benefit specifically cited by the inspector dealing with the previous appeal,” said the submission.

The homes are to be finished with a mixture of low walls and planting, along with off-road parking. Rear gardens would be laid to lawn, with existing trees retained where possible.

The proposed access to the site would be from the west, along Hetherly Road with the path already exists through the centre of the site, being retained, for pedestrians.

The previous scheme for five homes led to seventeen objections to the development including comments about an adverse impact on trees and nature conservation, the loss of what has been previously used as a community space and concerns about flooding and parking problems which residents say already exists in the area.

Former borough council planning committee members voted against the outline five-home scheme in February 2019, contrary to the advice of their planning officers. The recent planning appeal found in favour of Palmer Homes and awarded costs against Dorset Council which has since taken over as the planning authority.

The current application is open for public comment via the Dorset Council planning website.