A new home for Dorset children
Plans for 45 Dorchester Road
We are creating a new home for Dorset children.
Why 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 we closed all our 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.
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 we're 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.
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.
Our planning application has now been approved.
When this could happen
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:
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Design plans for the Weymouth home for children
See the design plans for the Weymouth home for children.