TOWN councillors have expressed concerns over the proposed development of part of Dorchester’s Stratton House site.
Developers Culverdene Properties purchased the former West Dorset District Council offices last year for around £1.5million and are using a phased app-roach to develop the site.
A planning application for the north west of the site was considered by members of Dorchester Town Council’s planning and environment committee, who expressed a number of concerns about the approach being taken and the application itself.
The committee was told that much of the works, which will see offices converted into nine houses and one flat along Glyde Path Road and Colliton Street, where efforts would be made to ensure it remains in keeping with the surrounding area.
However, Councillor Vivienne Allen questioned the lack of parking designated for the site, with only one space per dwelling planned.
She described it as ‘completely inadequate’ and added: “There is very little parking in that part of town anyway and they are all terraced houses.”
Councillor Molly Rennie also raised concerns that the phased approach could see the developers circumvent the need to provide affordable housing on the site.
She said: “If we had the whole application we would be able to achieve some affordable units in the town centre through this application.”
Committee chairman Susie Hosford said: “I personally find it extremely difficult to consider this in absence of everything else.”
She added: “It looks incredibly tight.
“The whole thing looks squeezed in and overdeveloped.”
The committee was also told by Len Heath from Dorchester Civic Society that the group felt it was important that a full archaeological assessment of the site was carried out before any development began.
David Kelleway from Culverdene Properties has previously told the Echo that up to 40 homes could be built on the site but the phased approach was being taken as other elements of the site would take longer for plans to be drawn up.
He also said that Glyde Path House, where plans for 11 flats have been submitted, could be an ideal location to provide affordable housing but it would be up to the district council as to whether it would require the developers to provide social housing on site or off site.