TOWN councillors have objected to plans to build a new housing estate in Weymouth on land designated to become a nature reserve.

As previously reported, Aster Housing intends to build 66 new homes at at land off Louviers Road, Littlemoor, which Dorset Council had previously earmarked to become part of a new Lorton Valley Nature Park.

The planning application was debated by Weymouth Town Council on Tuesday evening when concerns were raised about overdevelopment turning Littlemoor into a "concrete jungle".

READ MORE: Anger over plans to build major new housing estate on ‘nature reserve’

Littlemoor resident councillor Louie O'Leary attended the Planning committee meeting and said doctors surgeries and schools in the area are already struggling to cope with demand.

"Our roads and pavements require resurfacing, our parks haven't been updated for about a decade, our main road is without a safe crossing and our schools and doctors surgeries are under pressure," he said. "Whilst I'm not against this proposal in terms of the layout or access to the site I am concerned about further overdevelopment."

Dorset Echo:

There is already a new housing development on Louviers Road: Persimmon Homes is building 114 new homes at the Lodmoor Sands development.

Meanwhile, 500 new homes are being built north of Littlemoor; 18 on Beverley Road, two on Darwin Close; three on Louviers Road; one on Clivia Close and one on Kestrel View.

READ MORE: Plans for 500-home development north of Littlemoor approved

Another Littlemoor resident, Peter Smith, said developments are "nibbling away" at the green corridor, and described access to the Louviers Road site as "poor."

"There is a great deal of local objection to this," he added.

"The Dorset Local Plan designates that land to become part of a future nature reserve and specifically says that the only land off Louviers Road to be used for development is the current Persimmon site."

Councillor Jan Bergman raised concerns Littlemoor is becoming "a concrete jungle" due to overdevelopment. However councillor Gill Taylor welcomed the plan for affordable social housing, a key issue for residents.

She said: "If this was an ordinary developer I'd say 'no' - because it's Aster, and it is going to be an affordable site, I'm minded to think about supporting it."

READ MORE: Work begins on 114-home development (but there are concerns about the name)

But there was scepticism over the level of genuinely affordable homes. Councillor Ann Weaving is "very suspicious" about the issue, while councillor Lucy Hamilton said the plans indicate that only 35 per cent of the development is to become affordable housing.

Councillors voted to object on the grounds of pressure on local services, loss of green space, and increased traffic.

The town council's objection will be considered when Dorset Council makes the final decision.