A development of more than 200 eco-homes on the edge of town has received support from residents - but traffic concerns have been raised.

Smart Community Projects held an exhibition on Watton Village, a ‘pioneering’ development at the base of Watton Hill, off St Andrews Road.

The exhibition at Bridport Town Hall detailed that 82 per cent of the homes would be affordable and all would be eco-friendly and have their own PV panels, water conservation and heat recovery.

Town councillor Ros Kayes gave a talk at the opening night of the exhibition and has said the project is a ‘really positive move’.

She said: “Whilst I think there may well be some traffic issues that will need well thought through solutions, I think the aims of the project are laudable.

“We have a small hope of government funded social rented homes in Bridport so social investment by a private company that will build privately-rented homes at between 60 and 80 per cent of market rates and make them available to local people, seems a realistic and positive option. Over 200 such homes are much needed.

“It’s also a development that has really strong proposals in terms of green energy. There will, however, be a lot of landscaping to be done and it’s going to be hard to maintain a rural feel to the development.

“I really hope, however, that steps can be taken to address some of the concerns that people have. On balance I feel this is a really positive move.”

Comments from those who attended included that it was a ‘great project for the community’ and the directors were praised for ‘creating the possibility for affordable housing’ and ‘helping so many people have a home’.

Another said that they know there is a housing crisis, but the development is too big and will only add to the excessive traffic at certain times of the day.

Roy Mathisen, one of three project directors, said: “Our Watton Village exhibition exceeded our expectations. Over 800 people attended during the course of the weekend and at the official opening on Friday, it was standing room only.

“We gained a great deal of feedback from the visitors, most of whom were very supportive when they saw the comprehensive illustrations which were on view.

“It is very clear that a great deal of Bridport folk are very concerned about housing poverty and clearly want something to be done about it. There are close on 1,000 people on the Bridport Housing Register and to be on that register you must be either homeless or unsuitably housed. On top of that, I have calculated that almost 800 millennials in Bridport are still living with their parents because they cannot afford to move out of the family home. We are determined to do something about this.

“Of course, some people were not so keen on the Watton Village project for various reasons and we are taking their views into consideration. This exhibition is just the start of a through consultation process which will continue after our upcoming meeting with Dorset planners.

“There are concerns about the possible increase in traffic on the main road, and we are taking those concerns seriously.”

For more information about the development, visit smartcommunityprojects.org.uk