An application to demolish and redevelop the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council headquarters at North Quay is expected in mid-December.

The news was given by borough council leader Jeff Cant to a meeting of the council’s management committee on Monday.

Cllr Cant told councillors: “It’s now looking much better than it did,” – although he was unable to offer further details.

A note in the committee papers says that “several versions of proposals to redevelop the site have been reviewed by the Council/PSP partnership.”

Controversy has dogged the redevelopment of the site, including public protests.

Initially it was hoped to keep the building largely intact and convert the former offices to apartments but many local people felt the building should be knocked down and the the area restored to what it once was with town houses.

There was also a dispute between the initial developer and the borough council which was resolved in February 2018.

A jointly agreed statement was issued by the council and North Quay Weymouth Limited (NQWL) which said an amicable settlement had been reached for a clean break, with NQWL retaining the undisclosed deposit it paid when contracts were exchange for the sale of the building, and the council making an additional £167,500 contribution towards the development company’s costs.

At the time the council said: “We continue to develop opportunities for the site to best enhance the south side of the harbour.

"This will involve demolishing the current building and developing the site to secure a mix of uses. We are considering a mix of residential, commercial and local parking.”

Cllr Cant also told councillors that a ‘sound proposition’ was now at an advanced stage for the nearby Commercial Road area.