Green light for Dorchester redevelopment plans

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By blacksteff0 | Thursday, September 30, 2010, 00:14

Planners have given the green light to a multi-million pound scheme to redevelop Dorchester’s Charles Street car park.

Councillors backed plans by Simons Developments for £60 million of private investment in the 2.5 hectare site.

The plans include:

• 23 new shops, including a Waitrose with twice the sales area of the current store

• A new underground car park with 485 public spaces

• Around 50 cycle parking spaces

• A 63-room hotel

• 18 affordable homes

• Public toilets

• Offices and separate parking occupied by the district council

• A potential library and adult education centre provided and paid for by Dorset County Council

• Landscaped lawns between the development and South Walks

Simons says the development will create the equivalent of 124 full

time jobs while the scheme is built and an extra 660 once the scheme is

up and running, excluding those in the offices.

Cllr Fred Horsington, Chairman of West Dorset District Council’s Development Control Committee, said after the meeting:

“We listened carefully to the many views for and against Simons’

redevelopment plans. The committee felt that the Charles Street site

offers the best option to expand Dorchester town centre. The proposal

meets Government policy of focusing new shops and offices in or next to

existing town centres.

“The committee concluded that the scheme presents a unique

opportunity to improve the special appeal of Dorchester and reinforce

its role as the county town.”

Mark Newton, Development Director at Simons, said:

“These proposals represent £60 million of future private investment

in Dorchester at a time when few towns in the UK are seeing this kind of

commitment from developers.

“The new retail, leisure and residential units will help to secure

the future of the town centre, benefiting existing businesses in

Dorchester as well as attracting other retailers into the town.

“We have undergone extensive consultation with the local community and now believe we have the right plans at the right time.

“Everyone in Dorchester will be aware of the long-standing desire to

redevelop this site. We now finally have the opportunity to make this

vision a reality.”

Cllr Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said:

“Dorchester and West Dorset is the ideal place for local and national

businesses to invest. With our population due to hit 100,000 in the

next year or two, we look forward to welcoming more small independent

and larger High Street names to the county town.

“We have that enviable combination – a historic built heritage and

exciting plans to redevelop key sites in the county town of Dorchester.

“The retail-led Charles Street and residential/leisure-led Brewery

Square schemes put Dorchester and West Dorset in an ideal position to

emerge strongly from the recession.”

Consent for the Charles Street scheme is subject to various planning conditions and legal agreements.

Fore more information contact West Dorset District Council

Stratton House, 58-60 High West Street, Dorchester DT1 1UZ

Or them at:

Source : West Dorset District Council



  • Profile image for alfiebass

    As I've said before, well what a surprise. I don't think there was any doubt this was going to happen when the councillors voting on it are those who are set to benefit to plush new offices. Two questions:
    1) do the councillors on the planning committee have to declare an interest? If not, they should do, as the scheme is totally in their interest.
    2) Have they had their existing offices valued? They should make quite a bit once done up and turned into flats. But how do they cope with the old Crown Court being part of the building?

    By alfiebass at 15:14 on 02/10/10

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