OBJECTIONS have been put forward against plans for more than 500 homes and a new school in Chickerell – with one claiming the area is already victim of ‘destruction by development’.

The vast development is proposed for land off Chickerell Link Road at the bottom of the Granby Industrial Estate.

If approved, it will include 502 homes, a primary school, a field, football facilities, a skate park and changing facilities as well as a new main spine road which will connect School Hill, in the north, to the Chickerell Link Road to the south.

Persimmon Homes, which is behind the proposals, claims the development would be of ‘great benefit’ to the area.

But residents are objecting to the scheme.

In an objection letter to Dorset Council, which will decide on whether the scheme can go ahead, Esther Dadds – who has lived in Chickerell for around 25 years - said: “During the past two years, Chickerell has been subjected to the destruction by development of almost all of its surrounding green field sites”

She said hundreds of homes were already in the process of being built or planned for the area, adding: “The major, if only, benefit of this latest proposed development of 502 houses will be the desperately needed new primary school, but you can appreciate my amazement when according to this application, the school will be in the final phase of the development, with the total timeframe taking about seven years to complete.

“I would submit that all the above housing development is likely to have significant effects on the environment by factors such as nature, size and location on the area of Chickerell. This new development is on a significantly greater scale than any of the other recent developments and that there is huge potential for an increase in traffic, emissions and noise pollution.”

Penny Dewey said: “The very thought of more development in Chickerell is hugely offensive and worrying to those of us who live here. We have watched the town grow from a village and recognise that housing is essential but when will it stop?

“The Permisson plan is a step too far.”

In her letter of objection, Alexandra Bardswell raised the potential impact on the environment and added: “Weymouth and surrounds are turning into the sort of urban sprawl that is Poole to Bournemouth. Do we want that in our beautiful end of the county?”

Sport England – the national body which works to encourage people to take part in sport and physical activity - is also objecting to the proposed development.

A letter of objection to Dorset Council from Sport England’s South Team Principal Planning Manager, Bob Sharples, reads: “Dorset Council have worked with Sport England along with several of the National Governing Bodies for Sport in preparing a playing pitch strategy (PPS), which was completed last year.

“The applicants have proposed a single football pitch, with changing rooms, without any justification and any details shown on plans. It is also not clear who will be managing the facility and how the ongoing maintenance budgets will be managed.

“Single pitch sites are usually financially unsustainable. Therefore the upkeep of this provision should not be a burden on the public purse. We would recommend that the findings of the PPS for this geographic area are applied to ensure the right level and typology of playing pitches are provided for the new residents.

“Looking at the cramped school playing fields, I have concerns about what may be proposed. I note that there is no contribution towards ongoing maintenance, which is not accepted by many local authorities. In a number of local authorities there is a minimum requirement of 20 years maintenance towards playing fields, sports equipment and buildings.

“I do support the contribution towards Weymouth Swimming pool providing it is of a reasonable sum and is targeted towards increasing pool capacity. It should also be noted that there should be a ball strike assessment to ensure that stray balls from the golfing range do not cause bodily harm or damage to property to the new dwellings to the west of the range.

“In light of the above, Sport England wishes to object to this application as it fails to create a healthy and sustainable community. We would be willing to meet with the applicant and Dorset’s leisure officers along with Dorset Active Partnership to ensure that a correct and sustainable formal and informal sports provision is created for the new residents. Persimmon Homes held two consultations sessions last year where residents were able to express their opinions on the development.

Concerns were raised about the size of the development and its impact on green space and wildlife in the town, however, senior development planner for Persimmon Homes, Dave Buczynskyj, insists that residents realise the development will bring benefits.