Charles Street developers accused of viewing Dorchester residents as 'country bumpkins'

CONTROVERSY: The Charles Street car park

MEETING: Tim Harries

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A DEVELOPER has been accused of viewing Dorchester residents as ‘country bumpkins’ it can take money from.

West Dorset District Council is set to give an additional £2million to Simons for the Charles Street development.

But town councillors are cross because they set up a meeting with the development company a few weeks ago – and the additional funding was never mentioned.

Nor, says town councillor Tim Harries, was the fact that Dorchester Community Church will be relocated from its current proposed site.

Speaking at full council, Coun Harries said: “I went away from that meeting rather happy and encouraged, which just shows how naive some people can be.

“A fortnight later, matters come to public notice which weren’t mentioned at that meeting.

“Number one, the church is not going where we thought it would be going – the ground is unsuitable.

“It’s going to an unknown location.

“Secondly, apparently Simons is suffering from a £2million financial shortfall – well we’ve all been there.

“In plain English, they are suggesting that they haven’t got any money.”

He said as a commercial business, Simons should borrow from a bank and not take from ‘country bumpkin’ taxpayers.

One of the changes in the scheme would be to move the proposed site of Dorchester Community Church.

Town councillors said they had been in touch with the church which was ‘not happy’ at the announcement.

Tim Westwood, part of the church’s building project group, said ‘various options’ for the new location are available but no decision has yet been reached.

The recommendations will now go before the district council’s executive committee on February 11 before a final decision is made at full council on February 25. Town councillors are to hold another meeting with Simons.

With Simons claiming the town centre scheme is not viable in the current economic climate, the district council’s efficiency and scrutiny committee agreed to underwrite half of the ‘financial gap viability ’– up to £2.062million.

It is part of a raft of recommendations.

A spokesman for Simons said: “Over the last 12 to 18 months Simons have been working on a number of options to ensure the delivery of the right scheme.

“These options have included looking at a reduction of on site car spaces, or as an alternative, a contribution towards a future park and ride. The financial aspects of these options were presented to the efficiency scrutiny committee and the officers made their recommendations.

These will be further considered at forthcoming executive and full council committee meetings.”

Comments (8)

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9:30am Sat 1 Feb 14

dontbuyit says...

Time to let these developers go into liquidation methinks. What a mess. If this was a private development the property owners would have fired them by now. So why do the council keep pandering to their demands for more of our money which in case they hadn't noticed is in short supply? And who are the clowns at Goulds folly who are driving this forwards? It's appalling that they are allowed to run a development in such a naive fashion.
Time to let these developers go into liquidation methinks. What a mess. If this was a private development the property owners would have fired them by now. So why do the council keep pandering to their demands for more of our money which in case they hadn't noticed is in short supply? And who are the clowns at Goulds folly who are driving this forwards? It's appalling that they are allowed to run a development in such a naive fashion. dontbuyit
  • Score: 19

12:10pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Get a grip says...

The development agreement is between the developer and WDDC not the town council.

So they would not involve the town in the negotiations
The development agreement is between the developer and WDDC not the town council. So they would not involve the town in the negotiations Get a grip
  • Score: 3

12:42pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Tinker2 says...

Sorry Town Councillors, I thought you had realised by now that it is Gould and his executive elite, that are in the loop and make all the decisions.
Dorchester Town Council are allowed very little power, or say, in their own town and it's affairs. If you wish it otherwise, you should campaign for abolishing the WDDC, the establishment of a Unitary Authority and affording more powers to the Town & Parish Councils so that they can be more democratic and represent the best interests of the residents.
Sorry Town Councillors, I thought you had realised by now that it is Gould and his executive elite, that are in the loop and make all the decisions. Dorchester Town Council are allowed very little power, or say, in their own town and it's affairs. If you wish it otherwise, you should campaign for abolishing the WDDC, the establishment of a Unitary Authority and affording more powers to the Town & Parish Councils so that they can be more democratic and represent the best interests of the residents. Tinker2
  • Score: 11

2:20pm Sat 1 Feb 14

portland rebel says...

Tinker2 wrote:
Sorry Town Councillors, I thought you had realised by now that it is Gould and his executive elite, that are in the loop and make all the decisions.
Dorchester Town Council are allowed very little power, or say, in their own town and it's affairs. If you wish it otherwise, you should campaign for abolishing the WDDC, the establishment of a Unitary Authority and affording more powers to the Town & Parish Councils so that they can be more democratic and represent the best interests of the residents.
the plastic plastic politicians strike again, playing monopoly with our money , because they think they know whats best, because they are the experts.
the only thing they are expert at is empire building.
[quote][p][bold]Tinker2[/bold] wrote: Sorry Town Councillors, I thought you had realised by now that it is Gould and his executive elite, that are in the loop and make all the decisions. Dorchester Town Council are allowed very little power, or say, in their own town and it's affairs. If you wish it otherwise, you should campaign for abolishing the WDDC, the establishment of a Unitary Authority and affording more powers to the Town & Parish Councils so that they can be more democratic and represent the best interests of the residents.[/p][/quote]the plastic plastic politicians strike again, playing monopoly with our money , because they think they know whats best, because they are the experts. the only thing they are expert at is empire building. portland rebel
  • Score: 2

3:07pm Sat 1 Feb 14

MaidofDorset says...

I don't think the developer considers the residents of Dorchester as country bumpkins, apathetic perhaps.

They do however take Mr Gould of Sherborne and his inner circle who make all the decisions to be yes men who meekly roll over and let Simonds dip into the public coffers again.
I don't think the developer considers the residents of Dorchester as country bumpkins, apathetic perhaps. They do however take Mr Gould of Sherborne and his inner circle who make all the decisions to be yes men who meekly roll over and let Simonds dip into the public coffers again. MaidofDorset
  • Score: 5

5:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

CoogarUK.com says...

I don't know about country bumpkins but all those who have remained in favour of the present scheme since the very beginning are certainly chumps in my view. Even now they simply won't be told. Reaping what they've sowed, I'm afraid.
I don't know about country bumpkins but all those who have remained in favour of the present scheme since the very beginning are certainly chumps in my view. Even now they simply won't be told. Reaping what they've sowed, I'm afraid. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 1

1:08pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

Look what happened after the South Walks House fiasco - They got back in at the election with an INCREASED majority
Apathy or what ?
Look what happened after the South Walks House fiasco - They got back in at the election with an INCREASED majority Apathy or what ? Dorset Guy1
  • Score: 1

4:08pm Mon 3 Feb 14

February1948 says...

CoogarUK.com wrote:
I don't know about country bumpkins but all those who have remained in favour of the present scheme since the very beginning are certainly chumps in my view. Even now they simply won't be told. Reaping what they've sowed, I'm afraid.
I think it is we, the council tax payers, who are doing the reaping! I'm one of many thousands in the WDDC area who are really struggling to pay the Council Tax and I deplore the way in which my very hard-earned money is being handed over in such a cavalier way to a developer! How easy it is to spend the money of other people. It's such a shame that local authorities can't be privatised and have a taste of the real world.
[quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: I don't know about country bumpkins but all those who have remained in favour of the present scheme since the very beginning are certainly chumps in my view. Even now they simply won't be told. Reaping what they've sowed, I'm afraid.[/p][/quote]I think it is we, the council tax payers, who are doing the reaping! I'm one of many thousands in the WDDC area who are really struggling to pay the Council Tax and I deplore the way in which my very hard-earned money is being handed over in such a cavalier way to a developer! How easy it is to spend the money of other people. It's such a shame that local authorities can't be privatised and have a taste of the real world. February1948
  • Score: 0

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