We are excited to share our proposals for new developments on the sites of the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council office, North Quay and the former MFA Bowl site in Weymouth.

The proposed developments will:

  • provide appropriate and aesthetically pleasing proposals, in keeping with the character of each area
  • deliver new housing, including affordable housing
  • addresses environmental concerns
  • offer community space
  • contributes to the wider regeneration of Weymouth.

You can now read a full report detailing the results of the survey we ran in January and February 2021 to gather views from local residents, businesses and communities on the proposals outlined below.

North Quay

The proposal for the North Quay site offers a fitting use for this prime harbour-side location, and is based on designs by Pentreath architects, originally produced several years ago.

The proposed scheme includes:

  • demolishing the existing building and rebuilding to reflect the historical character of the area and reinstate the old High Street
  • 72 housing units and 2 ground floor non-residential units
  • pedestrian walkways and garden areas
  • parking capacity for residents
  • an environmentally friendly scheme to minimise carbon impacts

Current site

Proposal

North Quay front elevation

Environmental impact

In 2020, we commissioned a review of the carbon impact of 2 residential schemes for the North Quay site, and compared the impact:

  1. Eco-refurbishment: change of use in the existing building
  2. New eco-development: new build of residential timber frame Passivhaus on the site

Both options offer significant improvements over the existing building’s operation and begin to show a lifecycle carbon payback after approximately 13 years.

Neither scheme is better than the other from a lifecycle carbon perspective on a per m2 basis. However, the eco-development approach offers significantly improved lifecycle carbon outcomes if it builds more and larger units than the existing building can provide.

Weymouth Bowl

The Weymouth Bowl site and car park on St. Nicholas Street was occupied by the MFA Weymouth Bowl, which closed down in April 2019. We own the freehold of the site and have the option to purchase the leasehold from the existing tenant. This site is in a Conservation Area.

The proposed scheme includes:

  • demolition of bowling alley building and comprehensive re-development
  • a scheme design in keeping with neighbouring buildings and the character of the area, including materials such as brick, stone and render
  • 4 non-residential units on ground floor for retail, commercial, workshops/studios or offices
  • residential accommodation of 59 flats above, offering affordable housing close to the town centre
  • parking capacity for residents
  • good use of valuable town centre land, providing mixed uses and regeneration of the area

Current site

Proposal

Next steps

Dorset Council will make a Planning Application for the North Quay and Weymouth Bowl developments in early summer. We will also consider the results of the archaeological survey report when reviewing our proposals for redevelopment.

The Dorset Council project team notes the raised concerns from the survey and is reviewing the schemes for both sites, including consideration of any impact on the local area of any loss of parking space. As the schemes progress through the Planning process, the council’s Highways department has a legal duty to consider any impact of the development. 

Dorset Council received several expressions of interest for use of the non-residential space on both sites. These will be carefully considered, alongside expected commercial bids for space. The project team is currently developing the selection process to determine tenancies. Decisions will be made in around a year’s time (Spring 2022), with the building schemes themselves expected to be completed in summer 2023.

Cllr Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property

With special responsibility for Regeneration and Development in Weymouth

"Over recent years a number of proposals have been brought forward in Weymouth which have not had broad community support and have failed to progress. The proposals outlined here are not firm plans and this is not a consultation in the formal, legal sense. They are deliverable schemes but more importantly they are a starting point for a debate. This is an engagement with Weymouth and Dorset's wider community about what is wanted on these sites. The comments will be considered and a firm proposal will be produced delivering the best possible scheme from all of the suggestions. That will be subject to the Planning Process with all of the normal opportunities for residents to comment on the final scheme.

The most important thing about these sites is that something is done with them. They have languished for too long, damaging Weymouth's future, not contributing to it. No scheme will ever satisfy everyone but the broader support the schemes have the more likely we are to be able to take these wasted sites and bring them back into use, contributing to a better future for Weymouth."

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