DEVELOPERS are applying for permission to demolish the old fire station in Weymouth.
Planning chiefs backed plans for the ‘Poundbury’ approach to developing the site last August, Retirement living specialists McCarthy & Stone teamed up with Dorset and Fire Rescue Service to develop it.
But it went back to the drawing board when a previous application was fiercely opposed and thrown out at an inquiry for being too overbearing and affecting the character of the nearby buildings of old Weymouth.
Architects who have worked closely with Poundbury master planner Leon Krier were recruited and they have come up with a traditional scheme for 43 apartments, including communal facilities and parking, influenced by Georgian Weymouth and designed to blend in with historic buildings. Although it gives the impression of separate buildings, it is still a single block of flats.
Planning agent Alex Child told Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s planning committee that the developer had not only ‘gone back to the drawing board’ on the design but it had ‘thrown away its own rule book.’ Council planning officer Andrew Martin described it as a ‘fabulous scheme for a landmark site’ which addressed the misgivings the authority had before.
He added: “I think we can take reassurance from the detail that has gone into the drawings.”
The committee approved the scheme subject to conditions.
Councillor Margaret Leicester said the plan was a ‘vast improvement’ on the previous scheme but raised concerns about putting flats for the elderly in a high pollution area.
Now the committee is being asked to approve the demolition with compliance with a condition to allow for development to commence before the details required by the condition are submitted.