Future still uncertain for old fire station site in Weymouth

Dorset Echo: VACANT: The old Weymouth fire station site VACANT: The old Weymouth fire station site

THE future remains uncertain for Weymouth’s old fire station which crews moved out of more than a year ago.

The building was used during the Olympics for storage but there is no long-term plan for the prominent harbourside site on North Quay.

Firefighters moved to a new £8.5m state-of-the-art base in Radipole Lane incorporating a community fire station and safety centre in July 2011.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) had been counting on selling the North Quay site to developer McCarthy & Stone which wanted to transform it into a retirement complex.

But the proposal, which was criticised by local residents, was rejected by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and subsequently thrown out at a planning inquiry.

In a move seen as a triumph for people power, planning inspector John Wilde agreed with residents that knocking down the 1930s fire station and building 52 retirement apartments in its place would overwhelm the nearby character buildings of old Weymouth.

Mr Wilde also expressed concerns about the living conditions of people housed in the block which would range in height from three to five storeys and have a five-storey block at its centrepiece.

Local councillors described the design of the complex as looking like a ‘prison ship.’ DFRS had wanted to use the money from the sale of the site to fund a new road safety centre.

Dorset’s Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter said brigade representatives had been meeting with planning officers at the borough council to discuss development options for North Quay.

He added: “We continue to work with planning officers to explore the best development of the site.”

Borough councillor Mike Byatt says he looks forward to something happening – but said the council should have a strategy for the development of the whole of the harbour.

He added: “Clearly it’s in everyone’s interests to see something progress at the old fire station.

“But it needs to be looked at as part of a joined-up strategy.

“We need to have a vision for the area and we need to engage with key players.”

Another borough councillor, John Birtwistle, said: “It’s such a prominent site and I would hope what is put forward is an asset to the harbourside.

“I would like to see the whole of the area around the inner harbour developed in a way that makes the town more attractive.”

Comments (18)

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5:17pm Sat 15 Sep 12

lostnfound says...

John Birtwistle, said:
“I would like to see the whole of the area around the inner harbour developed in a way that makes the town more attractive.”
Does he mean that the council offices as well could be removed from this prime site and replaced by an up-market hotel complex?
I expect that there could be a suitable building on the new Granby site for council officers to move bits of paper from one side of their desk to the other with just a small drop-in centre in town for the public.
John Birtwistle, said: “I would like to see the whole of the area around the inner harbour developed in a way that makes the town more attractive.” Does he mean that the council offices as well could be removed from this prime site and replaced by an up-market hotel complex? I expect that there could be a suitable building on the new Granby site for council officers to move bits of paper from one side of their desk to the other with just a small drop-in centre in town for the public. lostnfound

5:37pm Sat 15 Sep 12

monkeydog says...

lostnfound wrote:
John Birtwistle, said:
“I would like to see the whole of the area around the inner harbour developed in a way that makes the town more attractive.”
Does he mean that the council offices as well could be removed from this prime site and replaced by an up-market hotel complex?
I expect that there could be a suitable building on the new Granby site for council officers to move bits of paper from one side of their desk to the other with just a small drop-in centre in town for the public.
He's absolutely right. Almost every building around the marina is either ugly or out of place. Any town with a thought for the future would have developed this area with tourism in mind. As it stands it's a disgrace.
[quote][p][bold]lostnfound[/bold] wrote: John Birtwistle, said: “I would like to see the whole of the area around the inner harbour developed in a way that makes the town more attractive.” Does he mean that the council offices as well could be removed from this prime site and replaced by an up-market hotel complex? I expect that there could be a suitable building on the new Granby site for council officers to move bits of paper from one side of their desk to the other with just a small drop-in centre in town for the public.[/p][/quote]He's absolutely right. Almost every building around the marina is either ugly or out of place. Any town with a thought for the future would have developed this area with tourism in mind. As it stands it's a disgrace. monkeydog

5:53pm Sat 15 Sep 12

Presstostop says...

I'd like to see Asda moved from its present location and the site made into a harbourside park. Having a 24hour supermarket in a residential area is wrong. It provides its neighbours with continual noise and light polution. Its a drop in centre for gangs of scooter riders and boy racers and people who want five minutes of fame in the local press.Its only a dream so no silly comments please.
I'd like to see Asda moved from its present location and the site made into a harbourside park. Having a 24hour supermarket in a residential area is wrong. It provides its neighbours with continual noise and light polution. Its a drop in centre for gangs of scooter riders and boy racers and people who want five minutes of fame in the local press.Its only a dream so no silly comments please. Presstostop

6:01pm Sat 15 Sep 12

JoeyJo says...

Having a supermarket, though not necessarily 24 hour, in a residential area is right. By definition that is where people live and therefore want to shop.
Having a supermarket, though not necessarily 24 hour, in a residential area is right. By definition that is where people live and therefore want to shop. JoeyJo

6:16pm Sat 15 Sep 12

Presstostop says...

Hello JoeyJo.Small supermarkets in residential areas can only be good. Asda caters for people who live some distance away, note the large car park and recently added multi-storey. The added traffic movements only add to the already congested local roads.
Hello JoeyJo.Small supermarkets in residential areas can only be good. Asda caters for people who live some distance away, note the large car park and recently added multi-storey. The added traffic movements only add to the already congested local roads. Presstostop

11:53am Sun 16 Sep 12

ohec says...

The trouble is the council never saw the inner harbour/ backwater as anything useful in the way that most tourist areas would which is why you have things like a bail hostel St Johns and the social security offices surrounding it, when they developed the old council yard i thought that might have been the start of something big along the whole length of Westway as they have talked about scrapping the gasometer for years but no it wasn't to be and the way W&P.B.C.perform the whole town will just deteriorate more and more but as long as they have their little bit of beach the council will be happy.
The trouble is the council never saw the inner harbour/ backwater as anything useful in the way that most tourist areas would which is why you have things like a bail hostel St Johns and the social security offices surrounding it, when they developed the old council yard i thought that might have been the start of something big along the whole length of Westway as they have talked about scrapping the gasometer for years but no it wasn't to be and the way W&P.B.C.perform the whole town will just deteriorate more and more but as long as they have their little bit of beach the council will be happy. ohec

4:13pm Sun 16 Sep 12

ksmain says...

Presstostop wrote:
Hello JoeyJo.Small supermarkets in residential areas can only be good. Asda caters for people who live some distance away, note the large car park and recently added multi-storey. The added traffic movements only add to the already congested local roads.
And the evidence that a lot of local people use it is - what?

I would bet that a significant portion of their customers come from the Rodwell/Westham area and as such it makes it a local amenity. At what about those in Wyke who are a fair distance away from any large supermarket? I'll bet they use it.

Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment.
[quote][p][bold]Presstostop[/bold] wrote: Hello JoeyJo.Small supermarkets in residential areas can only be good. Asda caters for people who live some distance away, note the large car park and recently added multi-storey. The added traffic movements only add to the already congested local roads.[/p][/quote]And the evidence that a lot of local people use it is - what? I would bet that a significant portion of their customers come from the Rodwell/Westham area and as such it makes it a local amenity. At what about those in Wyke who are a fair distance away from any large supermarket? I'll bet they use it. Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment. ksmain

5:08pm Sun 16 Sep 12

Presstostop says...

Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is.
Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house.
Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is. Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house. Presstostop

5:59pm Sun 16 Sep 12

ohec says...

Presstostop wrote:
Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is.
Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house.
Was Asda their when you moved in or were you their first just out of interest, it was only supposed to be their on a temporary basis in the first place 10 years i think.
[quote][p][bold]Presstostop[/bold] wrote: Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is. Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house.[/p][/quote]Was Asda their when you moved in or were you their first just out of interest, it was only supposed to be their on a temporary basis in the first place 10 years i think. ohec

6:52pm Sun 16 Sep 12

ksmain says...

ohec wrote:
Presstostop wrote: Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is. Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house.
Was Asda their when you moved in or were you their first just out of interest, it was only supposed to be their on a temporary basis in the first place 10 years i think.
Well I would have thought it was an improvement on what was there before - a run down hall and run down football ground, which had a bar that was open late and pretty well used.

Neither would I guess that the supermarket was intended to be that temporary.

I wouldnt have thought that the area around where Asda is was ever that residential. Most of that back area of the harbour along Westway Road was factory and industrial use (I think a lot of it was in the hands of the Gas Board).
[quote][p][bold]ohec[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Presstostop[/bold] wrote: Sounds a bit of a NIMBY comment- You bet it is. Nobody should have to live next to a 24 hours supermarket of this size. Most people who use after midnight cause noise and litter. Supermarkets of this size should be outside of a town. I am looking forward to moving away but I do pity those moving in to my house.[/p][/quote]Was Asda their when you moved in or were you their first just out of interest, it was only supposed to be their on a temporary basis in the first place 10 years i think.[/p][/quote]Well I would have thought it was an improvement on what was there before - a run down hall and run down football ground, which had a bar that was open late and pretty well used. Neither would I guess that the supermarket was intended to be that temporary. I wouldnt have thought that the area around where Asda is was ever that residential. Most of that back area of the harbour along Westway Road was factory and industrial use (I think a lot of it was in the hands of the Gas Board). ksmain

8:16pm Sun 16 Sep 12

Presstostop says...

Dear ksmain. Try telling the residents of Marsh Road, Weston Road and Newstead Road that they don't live in a residential area. Back to the original story, I think that the Fire Station would lend itself to a new museum for Weymouth and Portland possibly with National Lottery funding.
Dear ksmain. Try telling the residents of Marsh Road, Weston Road and Newstead Road that they don't live in a residential area. Back to the original story, I think that the Fire Station would lend itself to a new museum for Weymouth and Portland possibly with National Lottery funding. Presstostop

8:39am Mon 17 Sep 12

billylovesweymouth says...

What's missing from the town is a good gym. Try flogging it to Virgin Active or another big company and turn it into a gym.
What's missing from the town is a good gym. Try flogging it to Virgin Active or another big company and turn it into a gym. billylovesweymouth

9:40am Mon 17 Sep 12

ohec says...

ksmain says Neither would I guess that the supermarket was intended to be that temporary.
Probably best not to guess then and rely on facts, when Asda took over the football ground it was on a temporary basis i am not sure whether it was for 10 or 15 years but that has obviously changed now, and i seem to recall something about the ground not being very stable, Asda wanted to move but the land they intended to move to comes under West Dorset Council and as always given the opportunity to limit Weymouth's progress they turned it down.
ksmain says Neither would I guess that the supermarket was intended to be that temporary. Probably best not to guess then and rely on facts, when Asda took over the football ground it was on a temporary basis i am not sure whether it was for 10 or 15 years but that has obviously changed now, and i seem to recall something about the ground not being very stable, Asda wanted to move but the land they intended to move to comes under West Dorset Council and as always given the opportunity to limit Weymouth's progress they turned it down. ohec

2:09pm Mon 17 Sep 12

maximan says...

" building 52 retirement apartments in its place would overwhelm the nearby character buildings of old Weymouth." ...yepp..would look really ugly between Asda and the council offices..Facing the "dole" office
" building 52 retirement apartments in its place would overwhelm the nearby character buildings of old Weymouth." ...yepp..would look really ugly between Asda and the council offices..Facing the "dole" office maximan

6:01pm Mon 17 Sep 12

Octave says...

I think its about time, that some affordable house's, apartments or flats were built on the site, for young under 35 Weymouth people only,Not for sale to London Investors, the town is full of homes for the Baby Boomer's, and the town is full of old money, give the kids a chance....Very strange external economy in Weymouth, give the young locals a chance...
I think its about time, that some affordable house's, apartments or flats were built on the site, for young under 35 Weymouth people only,Not for sale to London Investors, the town is full of homes for the Baby Boomer's, and the town is full of old money, give the kids a chance....Very strange external economy in Weymouth, give the young locals a chance... Octave

8:09pm Mon 17 Sep 12

ksmain says...

Octave wrote:
I think its about time, that some affordable house's, apartments or flats were built on the site, for young under 35 Weymouth people only,Not for sale to London Investors, the town is full of homes for the Baby Boomer's, and the town is full of old money, give the kids a chance....Very strange external economy in Weymouth, give the young locals a chance...
What do you class as affordable?

Good idea, but I see 2 problems with this:

1. Finding a builder prepared to limit his profit from the site.
2. Finding a bank/building society prepared to lend money and not ask for a thumping huge deposit.
[quote][p][bold]Octave[/bold] wrote: I think its about time, that some affordable house's, apartments or flats were built on the site, for young under 35 Weymouth people only,Not for sale to London Investors, the town is full of homes for the Baby Boomer's, and the town is full of old money, give the kids a chance....Very strange external economy in Weymouth, give the young locals a chance...[/p][/quote]What do you class as affordable? Good idea, but I see 2 problems with this: 1. Finding a builder prepared to limit his profit from the site. 2. Finding a bank/building society prepared to lend money and not ask for a thumping huge deposit. ksmain

9:37pm Mon 17 Sep 12

billylovesweymouth says...

I agree about the gym it is woeful that a town the size of Weymouth does not have an up to date to gym.
I agree about the gym it is woeful that a town the size of Weymouth does not have an up to date to gym. billylovesweymouth

5:10am Tue 18 Sep 12

EtaoinShrdlu says...

It would be an ideal site for a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, handy to the harbour for cooling water, close to the council offices in case of a meltdown, ready made tower for searchlights and armed guards. Why don't you guys use some imagination?
It would be an ideal site for a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, handy to the harbour for cooling water, close to the council offices in case of a meltdown, ready made tower for searchlights and armed guards. Why don't you guys use some imagination? EtaoinShrdlu

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