CONCERNS have been raised that plans for 32 affordable homes in Wyke Regis could block a wildlife corridor.

At a meeting of its Planning and Licensing Advisory Committee, Weymouth Town Council reviewed an application to build 32 affordable dwellings on a 'gap site' off Mandeville Road in Wyke Regis.

Objections were previously raised that the open field is needed to separate Wyke Regis and Lanehouse as part of a wildlife corridor.

A planning agent for Mr J.B George said the new proposal would not be an isolated or sporadic development but would in-fill the section between the existing bungalow and new homes on the Value House site to the northwest and Mandeville Close.

The agents claim the reduced number of homes would still maintain a ‘green buffer’ between the two settlements and respect the sensitive character of the landscape.

To achieve this, all of the new homes, in two rows, have been positioned backing directly onto Mandeville Close, leaving a large open space between there and the 40 homes recently completed on the former Value House site.

The land east of Mandeville Road forms part of a wildlife corridor between The Fleet and Curtis Fields.

The wildlife corridor is protected under policies in the Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan.

In the Neighbourhood Plan, it says: "Natural England has identified another corridor from The Fleet across Mandeville Road (Wyke Regis).

"Opportunities should be taken wherever development is proposed to ensure wildlife corridors are enhanced and included as an integral part of that site’s layout."

Cllr Lucy Hamilton said: “I am objecting with a heavy heart. We know we have a huge number of residents who need affordable housing but we have to preserve the wildlife corridor.

"We have to preserve the corridor from Fleet to Curtis Fields, we have objected previously to the use of land in this way.

"In any new development, we need to balance the needs of our residents today and the needs of our future generations.

"We have decimated the green space at Curtis Fields, we have to sustain this wildlife corridor."

Cllr Jon Orrell said: "I would welcome affordable housing but that is balanced by the loss of the green space.

"My fear is too many times we approve schemes with affordable housing and it then seems to vanish from the applications like a mirage.

"It is not persuasive enough to outweigh the loss of green space."

Cllr Matt Bell said: "Camp Road already struggles as a through road.

"I'm not sure whether that road has the capacity to add traffic to it."

The committee objected to the plans with a comment put to Dorset Council that it would block the Wyke Regis wildlife corridor under the Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan and concerns that Camp Road couldn't accommodate the extra traffic.

A proposal to object to the plans on such grounds was unanimously agreed by the committee.