By Jennifer Mulcahey

IT’S almost D-Day for residents as a controversial planning application for ‘the most significant development Bridport has ever seen’ is set to go before councillors.

Tomorrow, at a meeting of West Dorset District Council’s (WDDC) planning committee, an outline planning application for 760 homes, a care home and a school could be given the go-ahead.

Plans to develop the site, which lies within Symondsbury parish to the west of Bridport, come from developer Hallam Land Management and have been met with fierce opposition from residents in the area but have been recommended for approval by the council.

Campaign group Advearse, which has opposed the proposals since they were made in 2013, claims that should the development go ahead, it will lead to an increased risk of flooding, lead to ‘unacceptable standards’ for pedestrian and cycle links and place a strain on local services.

Campaigners have long had concerns about existing traffic issues along the B3162 into West Street and claim the proposed development would ‘exacerbate’ them.

In June, the Environment Agency – which had previously objected to the plans over flooding fears - reviewed revised plans for the site and withdrew its objections, subject to conditions being met.

Last month, Dorset County Council’s highways authority did the same - the U-turn came after the authority also received revised transport plans and a transport assessment which it deemed to be ‘safe and robust.’

In a report published ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, WDDC has recommended the plans for approval, subject to conditions that include affordable housing provision, the provision of a primary school and traffic-calming facilities on the B3162.

In a statement, Advearse said: “Local people should show how strongly they feel about this application. We urge you to attend on Friday. We wish to encourage members of the public to express their views at the meeting.

“WDDC has valid grounds for refusing this this application unless the developer can address the problems we have identifies here.”

The application had been due to be heard earlier this month but was taken off the agenda.

The delay was due to the district council’s planning department requiring time to agree the planning conditions and terms for the required legal agreement.

It will now take place at South Walks House in Dorchester at 10am tomorrow.