WORK is due to start shortly on the next phase of the Brewery Square development in Dorch-ester town centre.

The first phase of the scheme has already finished and work to clear vegetation on the site of phase two has begun before construction begins in earnest.

Brewery Square co-director Andrew Wadsworth said apartments have pre-sold in three blocks and were almost all gone in a fourth.

He added: “Construction is starting very shortly.

“We have had tremendous demand for property at all levels, but especially for the large units and the penthouses.”

The first phase of the scheme took about 18 months to complete and includes a new health centre, the Eldridge Pope Building, the Weymouth Avenue Frontage and Eldridge Mews.

All eight apartments in the Eldridge Pope building have sold in the first phase.

All six flats have been sold in the Bonded Stores building and all 19 have been sold in Screen House, which will be next to the cinema, as part of phase two.

Most have sold in the Fairfield block – including a three-bedroomed penthouse for £595,000.

The apartments have been pre-sold from the plans with the deals done before they have been built.

Flats are also now on sale for two more buildings lined up for the development – Ammonite Apartments and the Cooperage.

Mr Wadsworth said: “The Cooperage’s penthouse is Dorchester’s first £1million apartment.”

Work on the second phase of three in the development will take about 18 months.

About a third of buyers of apartments are from Dorchester and Poundbury and a third are from the shire of Dorset stretching to Lyme Regis, Poole and Shaftesbury.

The other third is split evenly between buyers from the south west and rest of the country and the world. Some buyers, many with links to Dorset and England, are from Japan, Italy, Dubai, Australia, America, Cyprus, Spain and France.

The Eldridge Pope brewery was established on the Weymouth Avenue site in 1879 and stopped brewing in 2003.