Pavilion plans go on display

MAKING THEIR POINTS: Investment director for Howard Holdings Geoff Sparrow, right, talking to Martin Hellier at the exhibition	Pictures: Brian Jung/bj5785

MAKING THEIR POINTS: Investment director for Howard Holdings Geoff Sparrow, right, talking to Martin Hellier at the exhibition Pictures: Brian Jung/bj5785

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

HUNDREDS of residents have turned out to have their say on the Weymouth Pavilion redevelopment.

Plans for the multi-million pound scheme went on show in the town centre, attracting more than 300 people within the first three hours of the exhibition opening.

Visitors were asked to rate their level of support for the scheme on comment sheets and detail features they liked and disliked.

They were also asked to vote for a name and symbol for the development from a choice of Pavilion Wharf, King George Quay, Pier 50 and Royal Peninsula.

Exhibition visitors learned that the development would include an entertainment quarter featuring public space, shops and restaurants and that it would bring more than 300 jobs to the area.

A 140-bed four-star Hilton Hotel - the centrepiece of the scheme - would create 120 jobs.

An extra 30 jobs could be brought to the 290-berth marina, which would require separate planning permission from central government.

Developer Howard Holdings also unveiled a proposed amphitheatre for outdoor performances and a World Heritage Centre celebrating Weymouth's Jurassic Coast.

A 400-space car park would also be built below the podium deck.

More than 110 affordable homes would be made available for local people, while around 340 waterside apartments will be constructed. The development also promises a new-look Pavilion Theatre, a new ferry terminal, renewed and strengthened sea defences and a public pier extending into the bay.

Architects Barlow Henley pitch the scheme as a green development - with 20 per cent of the site's energy to be generated by wood fuel from Dorset woodlands.

The exhibition references a Bournemouth University study that predicted Weymouth could benefit by £11 million a year as a result of the development.

Geoff Sparrow, investment director of Howard Holdings, said: "The purpose of the exhibition is that people who want to object will object on the facts, not upon hearsay or misinformation.

"This development is going to create 400 jobs and 120 affordable homes."

Mr Sparrow said talks had been held with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset County Council to develop traffic management plans for the scheme.

He added: "Unfortunately we have no say on the relief road.

"We've been working to come up with a solution and we'll be providing 800 parking spaces and only adding 300 or 400 cars to the town."

A formal planning application for the scheme will be submitted next month and councillors will vote on it in the autumn. At the same time a decision will be made about the marina.

Developers plan to finish building work by late 2011 in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Plans will remain on show at The Mulberry Centre in Commercial Road, Weymouth until Saturday and are available for viewing from 10am to 6pm.

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