Dorset Council has published the results from its survey that asked residents about proposed plans for the North Quay and Weymouth Bowl sites.
The survey closed on 28 February, having run for four weeks. Dorset residents had their say on proposals from Dorset Council to redevelop the two sites in Weymouth. Over 340 people responded to the survey that ran earlier this year, and numerous comments posted about the proposals on social media were also reviewed.
Overall, the North Quay site proposal was popular; overwhelmingly respondents commented that the design was sympathetic to Weymouth’s heritage and the old High Street and they liked the aesthetic.
Proposals for residential use of the site were popular, but there was some concern about whether the units might be used as second homes, holiday lets or retirement homes. Another concern was the loss of parking space and that it would be insufficient for residents and for visitors using local amenities.
Survey respondents also showed a high level of support for the Weymouth Bowl site proposal. Respondents felt that it was a good use of a redundant site that needs regenerating and it would be a visual improvement, bringing more life to the area. Although the design was not as favoured as that of North Quay, the presence of residential units in the town centre itself was popular, as was the prospect of more affordable housing.
The project team notes these concerns and is reviewing the schemes for both sites, including consideration of any impact on the local area of any loss of parking space.
Dorset Council received several expressions of interest for use of the non-residential space on both sites from Friends of Weymouth Museum, the Nest, and a coalition of local environmental groups (the #WeymouthTogether network). These will also be carefully considered, alongside expected commercial bids for space.
The full report detailing the outcomes of the survey has been published on the North Quay and Weymouth Bowl page on the Dorset Council website.
Dorset Council intends to make a Planning Application for the North Quay and Weymouth Bowl developments in early summer. Decisions on both sites will be made in around a year’s time, including the allocation of the non-residential space and the details of the affordable housing components of the schemes. The buildings themselves are expected to be completed in summer 2023.
Councillor Tony Ferrari, Weymouth resident and Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property, said:
“I’m glad that our proposals for both North Quay and the Weymouth Bowl sites have been well received. I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey, including those who made expressions of interest for how the non-residential space could be used.
Given the failure of previous attempts to redevelop North Quay building, it is vitally important that Dorset Council develops a scheme with the broadest public support. We have listened to the numerous comments about the proposals and will incorporate as many improvements as we can into the final planning application.
We have taken the first steps in bringing this fantastic waterside location into use, with the archaeological dig on the site. We will keep everyone updated as we progress towards building the development these sites have deserved for a long time.”