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Poundbury-style scheme for former fire station in Weymouth
PLANNING chiefs have given the thumbs up to the ‘Poundbury’ approach of developing Weymouth’s old fire station.
The prominent harbourside site is the subject of a fresh planning application for 43 retirement apartments and is being backed by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council officers.
Architects Ben Penreath & Associates, who have worked closely with master planner Leon Krier at Prince Charles’s Poundbury estate, have come up with a scheme influenced by Georgian Weymouth.
It has been designed to blend in with the nearby historic buildings of old Weymouth and is a totally different approach to a previously rejected plan for the site which was heavily criticised and thrown out at an appeal.
A report to the borough council’s planning committee next Tuesday describes it as an ‘excellent scheme’.
Although it gives the impression of a series of separate buildings, it is still a single large block of flats.
The report adds: “Your officers consider this to be a clever and imaginative solution to a difficult site, which overcomes all of the problems exhibited by the last proposal and offers the prospect of a high quality development.”
The report says the applicants are unable to include affordable housing units. But they are offering the full requirement of almost £100,000 toward flood defences. Three people have written to the council broadly in support of the plan and seven are against it.
Pauline Swannie of High West Street appreciates the fact that the developer has kept residents informed but is still concerned about the height of the proposed building. Janice King of Chickerell Road said there were access issues as the site was ‘literally on top of what must be Weymouth’s busiest, most complex junction.’
CASH FROM SALE FACTORED INTO BUDGET PROGRAMME
THE plan for the old fire station at North Quay is a joint application between McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.
The fire station has been vacant since 2011.
Fire chiefs previously said they were counting on the money from the sale of the site to fund a road safety centre.
Asked about the current situation, Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter said: “Finances from the sale of the old Weymouth fire station at North Quay have been factored into our budget programme that includes paying for the Weymouth Community Fire Station on Radipole Lane.
“We are continuing to work with partners to look at ways of further financing a road safety centre.”
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