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A new home for Dorset children

Plans for 45 Dorchester Road

Our proposal is to create a new home for Dorset children.

Why do we need a home for local children?

Dorset children need to grow up and be cared for in Dorset.

Some children are not able to live with their families and have to be cared for by the council. A shortage of accommodation means some Dorset children have to leave their schools, their friends and everything they know and be placed in care far away. This is not good enough for them. It's also very expensive as it means sending money out of the county instead of investing in skilled jobs locally.

Who will live at 45 Dorchester Road?

Children need to come into care for a range of reasons and in different circumstances. These children will be Dorset children, mostly from Weymouth, Portland and the surrounding area. 

This new home will mean they can stay at their school and keep in contact with their family and friends. At the moment most children in Dorset who need residential care will end up far from home in other parts of the country.

Why did you close all your children's homes if we still need them?

We had particular issues in 2 of our children's homes which concerned Ofsted. Closing them was our best option at the time.

We know that we need more children's homes in Dorset to provide for the needs of our children; both homes run by us, the council and homes run by other providers.

Why build the home in Weymouth?

We are very focussed on the issues that affect some people in Weymouth and Portland. We think the best way to improve things is to have an active presence in the area; to bring services and jobs into the area. The children's home will have round the clock staffing and will be regulated by Ofsted.

What's the plan?

We would like to build a home for up to 5 Dorset children and young people in the grounds of 45 Dorchester Road, Weymouth. The new home will give local children a better and more secure start in life. 

The new home we're proposing has been designed to be sympathetic to the architecture within the local conservation area. Professionally designed landscaping and planting will greatly improve the site and make it an asset to the neighbourhood.

Will there be noise and disruption during the build and refurbishment?

We hope there will be as little noise and disruption as possible. There will be some temporary road closures when we bring the modular build components on to the site but we will make sure we give notice to local residents in good time.

Why are you cutting down trees at 45 Dorchester Road?

We have to make some limited changes to the plants in the area so that we can create an outdoor play space. The changes will increase the biodiversity of the area. We will:

  • reduce the amount of tarmac
  • restore a substantial area to garden
  • install bat tubes, bird boxes, insect and bee brick

Will these changes cause more traffic congestion and parking problems to Dorchester Road?

There's parking on site for staff. We will encourage any visitors to use public parking facilities. There will not be any changes to the bus stop.

Changes at 45 Dorchester Road Weymouth

Under our proposals the existing building will be improved and transformed into a centre to help children as they first come into care.

Our team of dedicated professional staff will be based here to provide the support and care they need. They will assess the needs of children and young people with the aim of either reuniting them with their family or helping them begin a new life with a foster family.

Can I comment on the look of the new building?

We have liaised and consulted with the Conservation Officer and Planning Officers as part of the development of these proposals. We aim to complement and enhance the look of the neighbourhood.

The proposals are subject to a formal planning application. We have now submitted our planning application which you can comment on.

When could this happen?

If our proposals go ahead we hope to complete the project by winter 2021.

Next steps in the home for children project

Check back here for updates on the project's progress.

Have your say about our home for children project

Comment on the planning application for 45 Dorchester Road, Weymouth.

We held a live online Q&A session on Wednesday 1 July. Watch the recording of the event:

Recording of the live Q&A session on Wednesday 1 July 2020.
Recording of the live Q&A session on Wednesday 1 July 2020.

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Design plans for the Weymouth home for children

See the design plans for the Weymouth home for children.

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