Dorchester retailer issues Charles Street warning

Roger Gould

Roger Gould

First published in News

A LEADING Dorchester retailer has warned the county town could be ‘plunged into chaos’ if key questions surrounding the proposed Charles Street development are not addressed.

In an open letter sent to all local councillors, Roger Gould - deputy chairman and director of Goulds – says that the store has always supported retail led development on the town centre site to further enhance the shopping facilities in Dorchester.

However he says that the latest plans show some ‘serious inherent deficiencies’.

Mr Gould claims that the scheme lacks strong links with the existing town centre, something that was previously a crucial part of the planners’ brief.

He said: “This would seriously disadvantage existing retail units, including many small independent traders.”

Mr Gould’s other concerns centre around insufficient parking provided on the site and the location of the entrances and exits of the proposed new car park.

He said: “When we recently visited the exhibition in South Street, the plan for access to and from the car-parks was met with incredulity and described by one member of the public as ‘bonkers’ and he is right.

“Our other major concern is the lack of any credible plan for alternative parking whilst the archaeological dig and the development itself takes place.”

Mr Gould concludes: “The district and county planners need to make sure these concerns are addressed before it’s too late and Dorchester is plunged into chaos.”

The Dorset Echo has contacted Simons and is awaiting a response to Mr Gould’s letter.

Comments (7)

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5:31pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Dorset Boy says...

Read between the lines. Mr Gould is worried about losing trade as they were back in the 70's when the anchor store for Charles St would have been British Home Stores.
Read between the lines. Mr Gould is worried about losing trade as they were back in the 70's when the anchor store for Charles St would have been British Home Stores. Dorset Boy
  • Score: 3

6:07pm Fri 1 Aug 14

MaidofDorset says...

If the new development costs the closure of Goulds and the loss of many small independents due to the lack of parking and design flaws the development would suffer as well.

Lets get it right. I want to be able to get from South St to the new shopping area easily. And no zig-zag alleys where you can't see who is lurking around the corner.
If the new development costs the closure of Goulds and the loss of many small independents due to the lack of parking and design flaws the development would suffer as well. Lets get it right. I want to be able to get from South St to the new shopping area easily. And no zig-zag alleys where you can't see who is lurking around the corner. MaidofDorset
  • Score: 17

9:05pm Fri 1 Aug 14

TheNinjaPirate says...

It looks very imposing (you can check out the latest plans on the DorsetForYou website) totally dwarfing the existing buildings around it. It might work, but we need to know that those lost parking spaces for the three years it will take to build will be made available elsewhere in the town and the South Street area of town is promoted.

Three years is a long time, and many local businesses - in the arcades especially - could seriously suffer. Something tells me WDDC won't be offering any compensation to businesses that are hit by it. The first few months after the loss of the car park will be especially bad, as visitors get used to parking elsewhere and change their routine etc. But that's trade that the local businesses can't make back over a decision that is out of their hands. And the BID won't help because addressing the Charles Street Development isn't in their business plan.
It looks very imposing (you can check out the latest plans on the DorsetForYou website) totally dwarfing the existing buildings around it. It might work, but we need to know that those lost parking spaces for the three years it will take to build will be made available elsewhere in the town and the South Street area of town is promoted. Three years is a long time, and many local businesses - in the arcades especially - could seriously suffer. Something tells me WDDC won't be offering any compensation to businesses that are hit by it. The first few months after the loss of the car park will be especially bad, as visitors get used to parking elsewhere and change their routine etc. But that's trade that the local businesses can't make back over a decision that is out of their hands. And the BID won't help because addressing the Charles Street Development isn't in their business plan. TheNinjaPirate
  • Score: 8

10:07pm Fri 1 Aug 14

CoogarUK.com says...

It's all coming home to roost for WDDC, the BID won't do or say anything to upset them and so the stalemate continues. Don't expect any help from simons either, all they're interested in is money.
It's all coming home to roost for WDDC, the BID won't do or say anything to upset them and so the stalemate continues. Don't expect any help from simons either, all they're interested in is money. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 9

9:01am Sat 2 Aug 14

cj07589 says...

Well Mr Gould there used to be plenty of well located and affordable parking but some idiots went and built a council office on it at our expense!
Well Mr Gould there used to be plenty of well located and affordable parking but some idiots went and built a council office on it at our expense! cj07589
  • Score: 8

4:22pm Sat 2 Aug 14

TheNinjaPirate says...

Forgot to mention - they start the build in the autumn, right before the busiest time of year for retail through November and December. It will be a big change in the town right before a crucial time of year for these traders. The start date is very poorly judged. Why not Feb or March 2016?
Forgot to mention - they start the build in the autumn, right before the busiest time of year for retail through November and December. It will be a big change in the town right before a crucial time of year for these traders. The start date is very poorly judged. Why not Feb or March 2016? TheNinjaPirate
  • Score: 3

7:17pm Sat 2 Aug 14

arlbergbahn says...

We probably needn't worry, the developers will probably go bust again before they have a chance to get this pointless egotistical project off the ground.
We probably needn't worry, the developers will probably go bust again before they have a chance to get this pointless egotistical project off the ground. arlbergbahn
  • Score: -1

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