A recent letter to the Echo commenting on the proposals for North Quay, (February 2), ascribes far greater powers to Weymouth Civic Society than we possess.

Our Planning Committee consists of interested and concerned residents who meet monthly to discuss planning applications and developments affecting our town and the surrounding areas on behalf of the Society.

We have no powers, as implied, but we regularly comment on applications to compliment or criticise them and our suggestions have often been welcomed. At times, local residents, developers and others with similar local concerns, consult us to ask for our views on relevant issues.

Civic Society members hold a range of opinions about modern and traditional architectural styles, but we are united in trying to assess proposals on their merits. Our Annual Awards have recognised modern designs like the Community Fire Station, awarded one of our top accolades - a Certificate of Merit in 2011.

We described it as a ‘striking new building of innovative modern design, built to house the new Fire and Rescue Centre’ also commending it for providing an educational function and facilities for community use, but we also praise buildings in traditional styles, such as the attractive Windmill development on Portland and even ‘pastiche’ architecture where we think it may be appropriate.

We also try to recognise individual householders who restore or refurbish their buildings to a high standard. Our awards, often decided after several hours of strongly argued debate, have usually been warmly welcomed.

We all aim to support projects which will enhance the local environment, respecting the context in which they are to be built, and which will maintain and restore historic buildings.

This is, of course, only one aspect of our members’ work.

The Society has supported the restoration and maintenance of the Nothe Fort for the last 40 years and has owned Tudor House for much longer.

Operating these historic buildings as visitor attractions and museums for the benefit of the public takes up much of our efforts.

We welcome to the Society any members who care about Weymouth and the surrounding districts whether they are modernists or traditionalists.


Weymouth Civic Society