DECADES of history have come crashing down at a landmark site in Weymouth ahead of a new development.
Only the iconic tower remains at the old fire station on North Quay – but that too will soon fall.
The harbourside site at the bottom of Boot Hill is being cleared to make way for 43 new apartments for older people following a joint application between McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.
A spokesman for McCarthy & Stone said: “Demolition is well underway and we anticipate that the old training tower will be demolished imminently. We hope to begin work on the development within four to six weeks. We are due to welcome our first homeowners in July 2015.”
The fire station buildings date from 1939 and were not listed. The station became redundant when Weymouth firefighters moved to a new base at Radipole Lane in 2011.
A previous application for development at the old fire station ran into a lot of opposition and was thrown out at appeal.
It prompted a new approach and led to wider consultation with the community, the number of flats being scaled down and greater consideration given to homes in High West Street and the effect on the conservation area of old Weymouth. Architects Ben Penreath & Associates, who have worked on Prince Charles’s Poundbury estate, were appointed and a more sensitive and sustainable scheme was put forward influenced by Georgian Weymouth.
The plan was approved by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council last August with officers praising it as a ‘clever and imaginative solution to a difficult site, overcoming the problems of the last proposal and offering the prospect of a high quality development.’
Ward councillor John Birtwisle, said he was impressed with the plans adding: “My only concern is air pollution due to the traffic .”
However an air quality and noise assessment carried out on for the applicants concluded that air quality mitigation was not necessary, and that air quality’ does not provide any constraints to the development given recent changes to the traffic flow.