PLANS have been submitted to convert part of West Dorset District Council’s former offices at Stratton House into housing.
The district council sold the town centre office complex to Stratton House Developments (Bournemouth) Ltd, a subsidiary of Culverdene Properties, at a price of just over £1.5million.
The company has now lodged a planning application with the council for a scheme to convert part of the site into nine dwellings and one flat.
The application relates to buildings to the northern and western parts of the campus, fronting Glyde Path Road and Colliton Street.
Planning documents submitted suggest that, although the council expressed a desire for the whole site to be covered in a single planning application, the developers are looking at a phased approach and intend to bring forward planning applications for other parts of the site shortly.
A planning and access statement submitted by Stratton House Developments states: “The preparation of the drawings for the main listed Stratton House is a complex undertaking and it does not seem sensible to hold up the delivery of other parts of the site pending the outcome of the preparation of these drawings or indeed confirmation that they are acceptable.”
It adds: “The development strategy therefore is to sub-divide the main site into four constituent elements which will be dealt with separately although there is an acknowledged inter-relationship between all elements of the site.”
Dorchester town crier and district councillor Alistair Chisholm said that he had not viewed the plans but was not surprised that the site was being put forward for housing and similarly expected the rest of the Stratton House campus to be developed as homes.
However, he said he wanted to see the council ensure that permission was not granted for any development until it was established that sufficient affordable housing would be provided across the whole site, particularly with the affordable housing element possibly being removed from another town centre development at Charles Street.
He said: “For me affordable housing is the number one issue.
“I would want to know before giving planning permission for any of that site if it’s got its share of affordable housing.”
The application can be viewed online at dorsetforyou.com