A change in the way the former Portland Southwell School site is redeveloped is being sought.

Homes England is asking permission to allow the demolition of redundant, vacant, buildings in advance of a detailed application for the homes to be built there.

They say that demolishing the site will make it more attractive to developers and safer for neighbours.

The proposal for 58 homes on the Sweethill Lane site won outline planning permission back in June.

But now Homes England say they would stand a better chance of attracting a developer, and possibly speed up the process, if the site was cleared.

The organisation says: “Housing development on Portland of the scale proposed here will be challenging to many SMEs (small and medium sized builders), and Portland will not be attractive to national developers. In order to make the site as attractive as possible to SMEs we always intended to clear the site and remove the ‘abnormal’ development cost from demolishing the former school buildings. As well as making the site more marketable and developable to SME housebuilders, demolition in advance will speed up delivery.”

They say that demolition will also remove an unnecessary health and safety and security risk for neighbours as well as ongoing management costs of the site.

Homes England says, if approved, it would like to start marketing the site in December with demolition work taking place in February to March.

The application for the change is recommended for approval at the December 12th local planning committee.

The outline permission, already granted, is for21 two-bed apartments, 18 two-bed houses and 18 three-bed homes together with one four-bed home. which could mean 13-14 ‘affordable’ properties for the site.