THE 'hideous eyesore' North Quay building on Weymouth Harbour will be demolished thanks to more than £2m of funding which will see around 200 homes built in the county.

Dorset Council has been allocated £2.13m from the government's Brownfield Land Release Fund, of which £943,255 will be used to demolish the landmark North Quay former council office site.

The funding will allow the council to submit a planning application for the demolition before inviting developers to tender early next year for the transformation of the land as the council's development partner.

The site has been the subject of debate for many years and, in 2018, a court battle was narrowly avoided after a buyer, who planned to convert the former offices into homes, threatened to sue the council for misrepresentation when the offer was rescinded.

Most recently the council published a proposal to demolish the site and build a 72-home complex in its place - plans which have not yet materialised.

The announcement has come as welcome news to residents, who will be pleased to see the back of the 'hideous' building.

One resident, who lives in nearby High West Street, said: "I am absolutely delighted to hear the North Quay building will be demolished.

"It is an eyesore which completely blights the landscape on a key gateway to Weymouth.

"We moved to Weymouth in 2018 and were promised that the demolition of this hideous building and the transformation of the site was imminent. Of course, we all know that nothing has happened with the site since then, despite seemingly never-ending talks about its future.

Dorset Echo: North QuayNorth Quay

"The site is covered in graffiti, the windows are smashed, it’s used as a congregation spot which can be intimidating for people living nearby – and it is costing a fortune of taxpayers’ money to keep it secure in its current state.

"This is prime land right on one of the most beautiful harbours in the country and this building has been a blot on it for far too long.

"Thank goodness the money has finally been allocated to get rid of it once and for all. It’s just a shame it has taken so many years to get to this stage."

Alongside the North Quay demolition plans, £775,000 is earmarked, subject to planning permission, to facilitate drainage and demolition work at the former East Dorset District Council officers at Furzehill, Wimborne, offering the potential for the residential development of the site.

Additionally, £385,000 will also be set aside to enable sites in the north of the county to be unlocked to allow for 40 homes, all subject to planning permission.

Councillor Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council portfolio holder for economic growth, property and assets, said:

"This grant funding is hugely important for Dorset and is something to celebrate. It will be used to deliver almost 200 new homes, open spaces, community facilities and new workplaces for residents of Dorset by allowing us to unlock the potential of our land and assets.

"The projects that this funding will impact will help us to deliver housing solutions on brownfield sites, which meet their needs."