All change at controversial Dorchester development

UP to £2 million of taxpayers’ cash may have to be spent on Dorchester's controversial Charles Street development if it is to go ahead.


West Dorset District Council faces the stark choice of sticking with the current scheme, which it admits is not viable in the current economic climate, or amending the details of phase two of the development at considerable cost.

The amended scheme proposed by developers’ Simons would see the planned hotel scrapped in favour of 24 apartments and the basement car park axed while a single-deck facility was built on the Fairfield market site instead.


The report warns if the council does not take action the two anchor tenants lined up for the scheme, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer, could withdraw.


The report also recommends that preparatory works costing up to £2 million are funded by the council. This includes relocating Dorchester Family Church from Acland Road to a new home in Trinity Street.


And despite calls for wider public involvement, the district council will not hold a public consultation before the decision is made.Instead, plans will be put on display at a venue to be confirmed, with staff on hand to answer questions.


In a report, council officers said that no public funds would be needed if the current development is supported by councillors, but this may lead to the loss of businesses who have already signed up to the scheme.


The report said: “The council has the choice of either waiting for the economy to improve, or accepting that changes be made to the scheme to achieve viability.


“Waiting for the economy to improve could lead to the loss of key anchor tenants and it is therefore suggested that accepting changes to the scheme is the best way of achieving a development and securing over 600 jobs.”


The £2million would come from the corporate priorities reserve fund, it is suggested.
Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years.
Councillors will discuss the options at a meeting of the executive committee on Tuesday. (oct 9)

Comments (40)

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3:07pm Wed 3 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

I told you so years ago! As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it who’s bothered eh? Will anybody lose their cushy jobs and healthy index linked pensions over this fiasco.....I seriously doubt that too. This lot wouldn’t last 5minutes in the real world, remind how much these excessively remunerated council mandarin executives are getting for taking no fiscal responsibility, poor decisions and lack of business acumen.
I told you so years ago! As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it who’s bothered eh? Will anybody lose their cushy jobs and healthy index linked pensions over this fiasco.....I seriously doubt that too. This lot wouldn’t last 5minutes in the real world, remind how much these excessively remunerated council mandarin executives are getting for taking no fiscal responsibility, poor decisions and lack of business acumen. cj07589
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Wed 3 Oct 12

bnaty12 says...

Oh look a council getting estimates to go way over original, incompetence and more brown envelopes I suspect.

Will the echo delete all the comments from this article as it has those questioning the "dubious" financial goings on over WPBC and the Quay?
Oh look a council getting estimates to go way over original, incompetence and more brown envelopes I suspect. Will the echo delete all the comments from this article as it has those questioning the "dubious" financial goings on over WPBC and the Quay? bnaty12
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Simon 1965 says...

Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales).

The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h
otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built.

Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues!

Cheers
Simon N.
Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales). The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built. Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues! Cheers Simon N. Simon 1965
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Mr Frible says...

So we have to pay another £2million so that the developers do not lose 2 anchor tenants. For this we lose the hotel and the jobs that would generate and get an ugly deck added to the market. I assume the 600 jobs would be mostly shop work which would be part time and given the state and trend in high-streets probably not viable long term.

Why not use the £2million on attracting real businesses rather than service jobs, that way the service jobs will come anyway if the businesses thrive and we won't have to pay-off a developer/speculator out of the public coffers.

If the project is not viable for private money why is it viable for public cash???
So we have to pay another £2million so that the developers do not lose 2 anchor tenants. For this we lose the hotel and the jobs that would generate and get an ugly deck added to the market. I assume the 600 jobs would be mostly shop work which would be part time and given the state and trend in high-streets probably not viable long term. Why not use the £2million on attracting real businesses rather than service jobs, that way the service jobs will come anyway if the businesses thrive and we won't have to pay-off a developer/speculator out of the public coffers. If the project is not viable for private money why is it viable for public cash??? Mr Frible
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Fred Kite says...

Gould should resign and Clarke sacked
Gould should resign and Clarke sacked Fred Kite
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Moreton Magpie says...

So Simon's are saying that the current project won't deliver enough profit for them? Tell them to bugger off and find somebody who will create something that will be for the good of the town not just their bottom-line profit.
So Simon's are saying that the current project won't deliver enough profit for them? Tell them to bugger off and find somebody who will create something that will be for the good of the town not just their bottom-line profit. Moreton Magpie
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Moreton Magpie says...

The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years"
.
Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath.

These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term.
The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years" . Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath. These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term. Moreton Magpie
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Wed 3 Oct 12

CoogarUK.com says...

Well, well, well. I hope all those who voiced support for this scheme are today hanging their heads in shame.
Well, well, well. I hope all those who voiced support for this scheme are today hanging their heads in shame. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Wed 3 Oct 12

marabout says...

As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics. marabout
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Wed 3 Oct 12

marabout says...

Moreton Magpie wrote:
The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years"
.
Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath.

These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term.
Errrr ... There is a reason we buried those relics. Let the past rest where it is and leave it alone. We don't want that here
[quote][p][bold]Moreton Magpie[/bold] wrote: The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years" . Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath. These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term.[/p][/quote]Errrr ... There is a reason we buried those relics. Let the past rest where it is and leave it alone. We don't want that here marabout
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Wed 3 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

marabout wrote:
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
Are you a comedian by any chance? There is more democracy in China....there was alot of protest around the cost and timing of this project and the business case was weak at best. I personally do not see why we need so many councils to cover Dorset they should be combined, it's completely surplus to requirements. Jobs for the boys.....
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.[/p][/quote]Are you a comedian by any chance? There is more democracy in China....there was alot of protest around the cost and timing of this project and the business case was weak at best. I personally do not see why we need so many councils to cover Dorset they should be combined, it's completely surplus to requirements. Jobs for the boys..... cj07589
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Wed 3 Oct 12

bnaty12 says...

marabout wrote:
Moreton Magpie wrote:
The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years"
.
Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath.

These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term.
Errrr ... There is a reason we buried those relics. Let the past rest where it is and leave it alone. We don't want that here
Sounds like you shoudl be buried as a relic. To not exploit such treasures from a tourist/business standpoint alone is daft. We are one of the only countries who are so backward or self loathing, we want to bury out heritage.
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Moreton Magpie[/bold] wrote: The saddest sentence of this article comes in the final paragraph: "Within the changes, the district council have also been asked to agree to retain short stay parking at Wollaston Fields for 25 years" . Underneath Wollaston Fields car park lies some of, if not THE, best roman remains outside of Bath. These remains offer a far greater opportunity for Dorchester than any shopping centre would, but once again the council lack the foresight and ambition to do what is best for the town over the long term.[/p][/quote]Errrr ... There is a reason we buried those relics. Let the past rest where it is and leave it alone. We don't want that here[/p][/quote]Sounds like you shoudl be buried as a relic. To not exploit such treasures from a tourist/business standpoint alone is daft. We are one of the only countries who are so backward or self loathing, we want to bury out heritage. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Wed 3 Oct 12

snowleopard says...

So Echo how come you have nothing from Cllr. Chisholm on this?
So Echo how come you have nothing from Cllr. Chisholm on this? snowleopard
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Wed 3 Oct 12

alan_h says...

Quite outrageous. If WDDC were to fall for this, and the lack of any public consultation is very worrying, how long will it be before Simons come back for even more of the taxpayer's cash?

And how can the town possibly survive the loss of all parking at Charles Street and, while construction is carried out at Fairfield, the loss of most, if not all, parking there as well?
Quite outrageous. If WDDC were to fall for this, and the lack of any public consultation is very worrying, how long will it be before Simons come back for even more of the taxpayer's cash? And how can the town possibly survive the loss of all parking at Charles Street and, while construction is carried out at Fairfield, the loss of most, if not all, parking there as well? alan_h
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Wed 3 Oct 12

dkh says...

I was under the impression West Dorset were going to rent these offices. if they are renting why are they paying to build it, otherwise WDDC could not have voted for the development to happen
I was under the impression West Dorset were going to rent these offices. if they are renting why are they paying to build it, otherwise WDDC could not have voted for the development to happen dkh
  • Score: 0

10:12pm Wed 3 Oct 12

banknote says...

Let's go back around three decades.

The Charles Street development was mooted when I first came to live in the lovely town of Dorchester. The economic climate was very different then. But no, WDDC completely messed-up the project by appointing a development company that were little more than crooks. Of course, the project foundered and appears to have do so several times since.

The problem appears to be that councillors and officials of WDDC have little or no commercial sense. Dorchester deserves a good new commercial centre.

Amazing WDDC can afford a new office block - a blight on The Walks - but cannot market a new shopping area.
Let's go back around three decades. The Charles Street development was mooted when I first came to live in the lovely town of Dorchester. The economic climate was very different then. But no, WDDC completely messed-up the project by appointing a development company that were little more than crooks. Of course, the project foundered and appears to have do so several times since. The problem appears to be that councillors and officials of WDDC have little or no commercial sense. Dorchester deserves a good new commercial centre. Amazing WDDC can afford a new office block - a blight on The Walks - but cannot market a new shopping area. banknote
  • Score: 0

10:14pm Wed 3 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

alan_h wrote:
Quite outrageous. If WDDC were to fall for this, and the lack of any public consultation is very worrying, how long will it be before Simons come back for even more of the taxpayer's cash?

And how can the town possibly survive the loss of all parking at Charles Street and, while construction is carried out at Fairfield, the loss of most, if not all, parking there as well?
Agreed the loss of convenient parking has definitely changed where I shop now. Ive tended to go to yeovil, it's a bit further and it's not so scenic as Dorch but the parking is handy and free. I think there are some very serious issues that need to be published on this development in particular the lack of public consultation. I'm not anti-change but alot of the concerns raised have been seemingly swept under the carpet. It does not instil confidence in their ability to work in the publics sole interests. Cynical from experience perhaps but i remain to be convinced of the real agenda.
[quote][p][bold]alan_h[/bold] wrote: Quite outrageous. If WDDC were to fall for this, and the lack of any public consultation is very worrying, how long will it be before Simons come back for even more of the taxpayer's cash? And how can the town possibly survive the loss of all parking at Charles Street and, while construction is carried out at Fairfield, the loss of most, if not all, parking there as well?[/p][/quote]Agreed the loss of convenient parking has definitely changed where I shop now. Ive tended to go to yeovil, it's a bit further and it's not so scenic as Dorch but the parking is handy and free. I think there are some very serious issues that need to be published on this development in particular the lack of public consultation. I'm not anti-change but alot of the concerns raised have been seemingly swept under the carpet. It does not instil confidence in their ability to work in the publics sole interests. Cynical from experience perhaps but i remain to be convinced of the real agenda. cj07589
  • Score: 0

12:37am Thu 4 Oct 12

lostnfound says...

banknote
Why single out councillors and officials of WDDC as having little or no commercial sense?
There is another group a little south of Dorchester who also share the same traits (leaving a ferry terminal to degrade with the subsequent commercial loss to the town, for instance).
banknote Why single out councillors and officials of WDDC as having little or no commercial sense? There is another group a little south of Dorchester who also share the same traits (leaving a ferry terminal to degrade with the subsequent commercial loss to the town, for instance). lostnfound
  • Score: 0

10:14am Thu 4 Oct 12

banknote says...

lostnfound,

I totally agree and have stated that on the appropiate page.
lostnfound, I totally agree and have stated that on the appropiate page. banknote
  • Score: 0

10:18am Thu 4 Oct 12

Share Truce says...

Isnt it about time a good investigative reporter looked into the councils of dorset? maybe the truth will shock people into wanting to make a stance and actually change what happens and who these backhanded council paid people are.
Isnt it about time a good investigative reporter looked into the councils of dorset? maybe the truth will shock people into wanting to make a stance and actually change what happens and who these backhanded council paid people are. Share Truce
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 4 Oct 12

GrumpyGoat says...

I read this article last night and have just done so again as I did not believe it. Several points come to mind.
1.Exactly where is the Dorchester Family Church going to move to in Trinity Street - I certainly do not know of any suitable site .
2.Why should the provision of flats instead of a hotel require the loss of 480+ town centre parking places.
3.Why the council will not be holding a Public discussion on this issue.

The whole affair has been going on for far too long with huge amounts of money being squandered on the typical indecision of WDCC. As for Councillor Chisholm, he is no doubt banging his head on a wall somewhere of learning "wallspeak" -- ie how to talk to, and get a response from a brick wall.
Dorchester will never progress unless the District Council are brought to task for their inefficiency.
I read this article last night and have just done so again as I did not believe it. Several points come to mind. 1.Exactly where is the Dorchester Family Church going to move to in Trinity Street - I certainly do not know of any suitable site . 2.Why should the provision of flats instead of a hotel require the loss of 480+ town centre parking places. 3.Why the council will not be holding a Public discussion on this issue. The whole affair has been going on for far too long with huge amounts of money being squandered on the typical indecision of WDCC. As for Councillor Chisholm, he is no doubt banging his head on a wall somewhere of learning "wallspeak" -- ie how to talk to, and get a response from a brick wall. Dorchester will never progress unless the District Council are brought to task for their inefficiency. GrumpyGoat
  • Score: 0

11:59am Thu 4 Oct 12

snowleopard says...

Maybe someone should talk to the producers of ITV's Exposure programme as from last night, they don't muck about in finding things out!
Maybe someone should talk to the producers of ITV's Exposure programme as from last night, they don't muck about in finding things out! snowleopard
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Thu 4 Oct 12

dontbuyit says...

Just flabbergasted at the inneficiency and stupidity of this council.And they refuse to have a public consultation, what arrogant pigs they are. If enough of us get together isn't it possible to recall them and kick them out. Do they really think that parking at the market will bring people to Charles St? Duh, they will wander across the road into the Brewery Development.
Just flabbergasted at the inneficiency and stupidity of this council.And they refuse to have a public consultation, what arrogant pigs they are. If enough of us get together isn't it possible to recall them and kick them out. Do they really think that parking at the market will bring people to Charles St? Duh, they will wander across the road into the Brewery Development. dontbuyit
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Thu 4 Oct 12

CoogarUK.com says...

GrumpyGoat

The proposed site for the new Dorchester Community Church (to give it its correct name!) is - wait for it - The (WDDC-owned) Trinity Street CAR PARK!

You couldn't make it up, eh?
GrumpyGoat The proposed site for the new Dorchester Community Church (to give it its correct name!) is - wait for it - The (WDDC-owned) Trinity Street CAR PARK! You couldn't make it up, eh? CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Thu 4 Oct 12

j.wheatley says...

marabout wrote:
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us!
That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well.
More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added!
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.[/p][/quote]We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us! That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well. More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added! j.wheatley
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Thu 4 Oct 12

imperial926 says...

It is very concerning that as shops close on an almost weekly basis around the town we are greeted by the outsized new council building which seems very out of place particularly because of its height in relation to the tree line in the Walks.

Then we have the Brewery Square and Charles St developments. I don't see how the people of the town will support all the proposed new businesses when shops and restaurants are already closing down.

Personally, I will be surprised if we see all the restaurants first listed for Brewer's Square or their arrival will lead to a complete decimation of the high street.

Even in good times where were all the new customers supposed to come from?
It is very concerning that as shops close on an almost weekly basis around the town we are greeted by the outsized new council building which seems very out of place particularly because of its height in relation to the tree line in the Walks. Then we have the Brewery Square and Charles St developments. I don't see how the people of the town will support all the proposed new businesses when shops and restaurants are already closing down. Personally, I will be surprised if we see all the restaurants first listed for Brewer's Square or their arrival will lead to a complete decimation of the high street. Even in good times where were all the new customers supposed to come from? imperial926
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Thu 4 Oct 12

marabout says...

j.wheatley wrote:
marabout wrote:
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us!
That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well.
More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added!
Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre.

Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building.
[quote][p][bold]j.wheatley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.[/p][/quote]We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us! That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well. More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added![/p][/quote]Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre. Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building. marabout
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Thu 4 Oct 12

Giblet says...

Somebody seriously needs to lose their job over this. And that person should be Robert Gould.
Somebody seriously needs to lose their job over this. And that person should be Robert Gould. Giblet
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Thu 4 Oct 12

bnaty12 says...

Share Truce wrote:
Isnt it about time a good investigative reporter looked into the councils of dorset? maybe the truth will shock people into wanting to make a stance and actually change what happens and who these backhanded council paid people are.
You are so on the pages of the wrong type of Newspaper to ask that !! They couldn't even spell that kind of real journalism and even if they could, someone down the Golf club would see it is spiked ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Share Truce[/bold] wrote: Isnt it about time a good investigative reporter looked into the councils of dorset? maybe the truth will shock people into wanting to make a stance and actually change what happens and who these backhanded council paid people are.[/p][/quote]You are so on the pages of the wrong type of Newspaper to ask that !! They couldn't even spell that kind of real journalism and even if they could, someone down the Golf club would see it is spiked ;-) bnaty12
  • Score: 0

11:29pm Thu 4 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

marabout wrote:
j.wheatley wrote:
marabout wrote:
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us!
That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well.
More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added!
Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre.

Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building.
I respectively disagree the new council office is over scaled and monolithic by design. It does not sit in it's surroundings comfortably also the finishes applied have little respect and sympathy with the local architecture all in all Im disappointed. Notwithstanding the loss of parking i think the development is sersiously flawed. You mention the kids down and skateboard park like it.....well they might as well say that since they will be saddled with the burden of paying for it in hiked council taxes. I'm very disappointed at the lack of public consultation undertaken heads should roll.
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]j.wheatley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.[/p][/quote]We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us! That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well. More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added![/p][/quote]Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre. Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building.[/p][/quote]I respectively disagree the new council office is over scaled and monolithic by design. It does not sit in it's surroundings comfortably also the finishes applied have little respect and sympathy with the local architecture all in all Im disappointed. Notwithstanding the loss of parking i think the development is sersiously flawed. You mention the kids down and skateboard park like it.....well they might as well say that since they will be saddled with the burden of paying for it in hiked council taxes. I'm very disappointed at the lack of public consultation undertaken heads should roll. cj07589
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 5 Oct 12

johninnis says...

cj07589 wrote:
marabout wrote:
j.wheatley wrote:
marabout wrote:
As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it


Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.
We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us!
That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well.
More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added!
Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre.

Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building.
I respectively disagree the new council office is over scaled and monolithic by design. It does not sit in it's surroundings comfortably also the finishes applied have little respect and sympathy with the local architecture all in all Im disappointed. Notwithstanding the loss of parking i think the development is sersiously flawed. You mention the kids down and skateboard park like it.....well they might as well say that since they will be saddled with the burden of paying for it in hiked council taxes. I'm very disappointed at the lack of public consultation undertaken heads should roll.
Overscaled is it?

Not what i've heard.
I've heard that because there is no loading bay, the old library is being retained so that books can be unloaded and loaded there and the mobile library can run from there.

I've heard that there isn't actually ENOUGH office space for all the staff from Stratton House and the plan is to retain space within that building.

And i've heard that the library area is too big and there aren't enough books to fill it.

All overheard during a lunchtime drink in the Colliton Club.
[quote][p][bold]cj07589[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]j.wheatley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: As long as the council have lovely new shiny offices whilst the rest of us mugs pay for it Errrr.... Who is supposed to pay for council offices? Its our community council - it belongs to us so therefore we have to pay for it. Thats Democracy. If you don't like it then there are plenty of places who do not practice democratics.[/p][/quote]We had a referendum and balloted in the polls on on this, there was overwhelming opposition by local people but the County council ignored us! That's not a democracy,they knew better and we will pay for it! It's an eyesore the top half resembling the hideous BT structurer opposite, it will not age well. More housing instead, oh great lets overburden the hospital, sewage works,schools and roads a little more shall we?Our money needs to go to the infrastructure of this town, which is struggling to cope now without more housing being added![/p][/quote]Its not an eyesore. The new Council Office building s fabulous. A great addition to the town centre. Go down to the Skate park and ask the youngsters what they think of it. They all agree that it is a great new building.[/p][/quote]I respectively disagree the new council office is over scaled and monolithic by design. It does not sit in it's surroundings comfortably also the finishes applied have little respect and sympathy with the local architecture all in all Im disappointed. Notwithstanding the loss of parking i think the development is sersiously flawed. You mention the kids down and skateboard park like it.....well they might as well say that since they will be saddled with the burden of paying for it in hiked council taxes. I'm very disappointed at the lack of public consultation undertaken heads should roll.[/p][/quote]Overscaled is it? Not what i've heard. I've heard that because there is no loading bay, the old library is being retained so that books can be unloaded and loaded there and the mobile library can run from there. I've heard that there isn't actually ENOUGH office space for all the staff from Stratton House and the plan is to retain space within that building. And i've heard that the library area is too big and there aren't enough books to fill it. All overheard during a lunchtime drink in the Colliton Club. johninnis
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Fri 5 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

Johninnis, if what you claim is true then it perfectly demonstrates that the building design and its planning is ‘not fit for purpose’
The building ridgeline completely dominates the surrounding skyline and its context in the historic towns urban fabric is flawed. A successful development seeks to reinvigorate the existing town linkages and fabric with the new and the old by strengthening pedestrian/public and customer access.
Why on this earth the offices were built on prime ‘high value’ land situated adjacent to the High Street when there are a quantity of far more accessible and suitable sites on offer beggars all belief! Its sitting will exacerbate vehicular congestion and is not in accordance with current sustainable planning policy and practice. A purpose built covered shopping centre incorporating mixed use facilities would have much better solution and commercially viable. Like I said years ago, this was a great opportunity to regenerate the town and it’s turned into a poorly considered extension of the councillors inflated egos.
A great example of how NOT to carryout urban regeneration, the writing is on the wall.
Johninnis, if what you claim is true then it perfectly demonstrates that the building design and its planning is ‘not fit for purpose’ The building ridgeline completely dominates the surrounding skyline and its context in the historic towns urban fabric is flawed. A successful development seeks to reinvigorate the existing town linkages and fabric with the new and the old by strengthening pedestrian/public and customer access. Why on this earth the offices were built on prime ‘high value’ land situated adjacent to the High Street when there are a quantity of far more accessible and suitable sites on offer beggars all belief! Its sitting will exacerbate vehicular congestion and is not in accordance with current sustainable planning policy and practice. A purpose built covered shopping centre incorporating mixed use facilities would have much better solution and commercially viable. Like I said years ago, this was a great opportunity to regenerate the town and it’s turned into a poorly considered extension of the councillors inflated egos. A great example of how NOT to carryout urban regeneration, the writing is on the wall. cj07589
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Fri 5 Oct 12

JamesYoung says...

cj07589 wrote:
Johninnis, if what you claim is true then it perfectly demonstrates that the building design and its planning is ‘not fit for purpose’
The building ridgeline completely dominates the surrounding skyline and its context in the historic towns urban fabric is flawed. A successful development seeks to reinvigorate the existing town linkages and fabric with the new and the old by strengthening pedestrian/public and customer access.
Why on this earth the offices were built on prime ‘high value’ land situated adjacent to the High Street when there are a quantity of far more accessible and suitable sites on offer beggars all belief! Its sitting will exacerbate vehicular congestion and is not in accordance with current sustainable planning policy and practice. A purpose built covered shopping centre incorporating mixed use facilities would have much better solution and commercially viable. Like I said years ago, this was a great opportunity to regenerate the town and it’s turned into a poorly considered extension of the councillors inflated egos.
A great example of how NOT to carryout urban regeneration, the writing is on the wall.
Couldn't have put it better myself. The value of that land lay in the PAYE, VAT, corporation tax and business rate that it would generate in private hands. Give prime land to wealth creators, relocate wealth consumers (council offices) to land which has no tax generating potential.
The writing is on the wall, but i'm not sure that democracy allows anybody to read it, let alone do anything about it.
[quote][p][bold]cj07589[/bold] wrote: Johninnis, if what you claim is true then it perfectly demonstrates that the building design and its planning is ‘not fit for purpose’ The building ridgeline completely dominates the surrounding skyline and its context in the historic towns urban fabric is flawed. A successful development seeks to reinvigorate the existing town linkages and fabric with the new and the old by strengthening pedestrian/public and customer access. Why on this earth the offices were built on prime ‘high value’ land situated adjacent to the High Street when there are a quantity of far more accessible and suitable sites on offer beggars all belief! Its sitting will exacerbate vehicular congestion and is not in accordance with current sustainable planning policy and practice. A purpose built covered shopping centre incorporating mixed use facilities would have much better solution and commercially viable. Like I said years ago, this was a great opportunity to regenerate the town and it’s turned into a poorly considered extension of the councillors inflated egos. A great example of how NOT to carryout urban regeneration, the writing is on the wall.[/p][/quote]Couldn't have put it better myself. The value of that land lay in the PAYE, VAT, corporation tax and business rate that it would generate in private hands. Give prime land to wealth creators, relocate wealth consumers (council offices) to land which has no tax generating potential. The writing is on the wall, but i'm not sure that democracy allows anybody to read it, let alone do anything about it. JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

11:36am Sat 6 Oct 12

LB5 says...

It seems to me that the Council are left with two options, one is to allow an extremely poor commercial development to proceed which has been scaled back to allow for the current financial climate, with absolutely no consideration about whether this development, with no underground parking, is right for the future of Dorchester. The development is being powered by the backing of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer on the basis of the number of jobs it can create but if these anchor stores move to the new development then they will gouge huge holes in the existing streetscene of South Street and Tudor Arcade - who exactly will fill the stores which they currently occupy, another Poundland? This isn't about job creation, I doubt even 50 jobs will be created as a result of this scheme let alone 600. As for the idea of sticking a single deck car park on Fairfield Car Park, I don't think I've ever heard anything more ridiculous in my entire life. This is a market town, that is the market place, why on earth would you forever scar Dorchester by plonking a single deck car park on the site, are the Council quite mad??? The correct course for the Council is clear, accept that this entire plan was flawed, don't try to save face with this poor development, accept responsibility for your actions and ditch this project now while it's still possible. Dorchester would be better served by leaving Charles Street as it is, a useful car park, until the economy recovers and a commercial development befitting Dorchester is viable again.
It seems to me that the Council are left with two options, one is to allow an extremely poor commercial development to proceed which has been scaled back to allow for the current financial climate, with absolutely no consideration about whether this development, with no underground parking, is right for the future of Dorchester. The development is being powered by the backing of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer on the basis of the number of jobs it can create but if these anchor stores move to the new development then they will gouge huge holes in the existing streetscene of South Street and Tudor Arcade - who exactly will fill the stores which they currently occupy, another Poundland? This isn't about job creation, I doubt even 50 jobs will be created as a result of this scheme let alone 600. As for the idea of sticking a single deck car park on Fairfield Car Park, I don't think I've ever heard anything more ridiculous in my entire life. This is a market town, that is the market place, why on earth would you forever scar Dorchester by plonking a single deck car park on the site, are the Council quite mad??? The correct course for the Council is clear, accept that this entire plan was flawed, don't try to save face with this poor development, accept responsibility for your actions and ditch this project now while it's still possible. Dorchester would be better served by leaving Charles Street as it is, a useful car park, until the economy recovers and a commercial development befitting Dorchester is viable again. LB5
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Sun 7 Oct 12

Kathy53 says...

Simon 1965 wrote:
Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales).

The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h

otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built.

Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues!

Cheers
Simon N.
Terry.
Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the carepark
[quote][p][bold]Simon 1965[/bold] wrote: Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales). The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built. Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues! Cheers Simon N.[/p][/quote]Terry. Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the carepark Kathy53
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Sun 7 Oct 12

Kathy53 says...

Simon 1965 wrote:
Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales).

The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h

otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built.

Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues!

Cheers
Simon N.
Terry.
Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the car park
[quote][p][bold]Simon 1965[/bold] wrote: Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales). The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built. Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues! Cheers Simon N.[/p][/quote]Terry. Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the car park Kathy53
  • Score: 0

9:57am Mon 8 Oct 12

westendcat says...

this whole sorry story need to be unpicked from day one starting from 2007. Had the Council been informed of the true and full facts and had a fully transparent business case been properly monitored before the council was recommended to proceed, then a far different situation would exist today.

Firstly, basic valuations were misunderstood by officers not properly qualified as property developers. The £3.5m valuation of Stratton House was not a formal valuation, only a 'guide price' - not a figure upon which to base a business case to support a scheme of this magnitude. Rumour has it that a late formal valuation only produced a valuation of £1m for Stratton House and that the best offer received barely exceeded that amount. Who is hiding what from whom?

Secondly, it does not appear that a formal valuation was ever made or re-assessment made of deteriorating market conditions being factored into an updated business case before a commitment to proceed was made. Were Councillors made fully aware of this?

Thirdly, what happened to the Chief executive's assertion that Simon would not get the new office project unless they committed themselves to proceeding with the remainder of the mixed use scheme? Was this statement not set in tablets of stone in the revised Development agreement withe Simons?

The whole sorry affair calls for an examination in public and some accountability owned up to.
this whole sorry story need to be unpicked from day one starting from 2007. Had the Council been informed of the true and full facts and had a fully transparent business case been properly monitored before the council was recommended to proceed, then a far different situation would exist today. Firstly, basic valuations were misunderstood by officers not properly qualified as property developers. The £3.5m valuation of Stratton House was not a formal valuation, only a 'guide price' - not a figure upon which to base a business case to support a scheme of this magnitude. Rumour has it that a late formal valuation only produced a valuation of £1m for Stratton House and that the best offer received barely exceeded that amount. Who is hiding what from whom? Secondly, it does not appear that a formal valuation was ever made or re-assessment made of deteriorating market conditions being factored into an updated business case before a commitment to proceed was made. Were Councillors made fully aware of this? Thirdly, what happened to the Chief executive's assertion that Simon would not get the new office project unless they committed themselves to proceeding with the remainder of the mixed use scheme? Was this statement not set in tablets of stone in the revised Development agreement withe Simons? The whole sorry affair calls for an examination in public and some accountability owned up to. westendcat
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Mon 8 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

westendcat well said! Sadly the only things the public can expect from our precious mandarin civil servants is they take no accountability or responsibility whatsoever!
westendcat well said! Sadly the only things the public can expect from our precious mandarin civil servants is they take no accountability or responsibility whatsoever! cj07589
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Tue 9 Oct 12

banknote says...

Strange... "South Today" tried to contact Robert Gould today for comment on this scheme - but could not contact him.

I wonder why....??
Strange... "South Today" tried to contact Robert Gould today for comment on this scheme - but could not contact him. I wonder why....?? banknote
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Moreton Magpie says...

Kathy53 wrote:
Simon 1965 wrote:
Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales).

The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h


otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built.

Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues!

Cheers
Simon N.
Terry.
Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the car park
Totally different Gould - and nothing to do with the store.

Westendcat's post however is one of the best I have read on this site (although, that's not hard, but bravo nonetheless.)
[quote][p][bold]Kathy53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Simon 1965[/bold] wrote: Its the same issue facing the developers of Brewers Quay and (not that its of any interest to this forum) what caused the downfall of the River Walk development Pontypridd in South Wales last week, as well as the continuing problems with plans for Newport (South Wales). The economy is so fragile that developers are finding it almost impossible to find finance packages at the right price to build in the first place and then finding it equally difficult to sign up sufficient tenants (shops/restaurants/h otels/office tenants/leisure busineses) in advance to make it viable when built. Please don`t blaim the local authority - you can however happily blaim them for the Condor harbour wall issues! Cheers Simon N.[/p][/quote]Terry. Council offices not a complete waste of time & money. Goulds store is only 50 yards across the car park[/p][/quote]Totally different Gould - and nothing to do with the store. Westendcat's post however is one of the best I have read on this site (although, that's not hard, but bravo nonetheless.) Moreton Magpie
  • Score: 0

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