CONTROVERISAL plans to demolish part of St Michael's Trading Estate to make way for housing have been objected to "on flood risk grounds".

Hayward and Co has applied for outline planning permission to build 95 homes on the estate in the south west quadrant of Bridport. Last week, Bridport Town Council objected to the proposals. Developers have been dealt another blow after the Environment Agency officially objected to the scheme. During previous proposals for the site in 2012, the Environment Agency supported the plans.

Michael Holm, planning advisor for the Environment Agency, has called for more information to be submitted by Haywards.

He said: "We object to the planning application as submitted on flood risk grounds.

"We have a number of concerns over the development with regards to our flood risk responsibilities. Although this is an outline application, we will require more detailed information over a number of elements of the development proposals and we would ask to see these prior to approval of this planning application."

He added: "The Environment Agency’s Bridport Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) runs along the riverside boundary of this site.

"We do not consider that the developer demonstrates sufficient appreciation of all the elements of the FAS on the submitted masterplan or within the submitted FRA (flood risk assessment). All of our flood defence assets will need to be fully considered at all stages of this development.

"It is vital that this existing access route is not compromised by this development. We therefore require further details showing the proposals for the Red Brick Buildings themselves and for the land to the south and east of these buildings were our current access route exists."

Martin Ridley, representing Haywards said the objection from the Environment Agency could also put plans for a riverside walk in jeopardy.

He said: "It’s not really an issue about flooding per se.

"The issue is about flood risk alleviation which is concerned with the work that is required along the riverside to provide access for the Environment Agency to undertake regular maintenance. They are insisting they require a reinforced concrete roadway, eight metres wide.

"This is a problem not just for us but also for West Dorset as the planning authority in that we are committed to creating, as part of any planning consent, a riverside walk area."

Officers from West Dorset District Council are attempting to find a suitable venue in Bridport to consider the plans.