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Things have been rather quieter than usual recently.   The Local Plan Review is still being worked on by the Council following the public consultation, and most of the planning applications have been relatively minor, or involve fine details of already approved schemes.



LAND SOUTH OF NOTTINGTON LANE

The planning application for 340 dwellings on the fields south of Nottington Lane behind Dorchester Road has now been approved by the Council.  Our May/June News gives details of the circumstances in the run-up to this final decision.  The Local Plan of 2015 had already allocated the site for development, so it was only the layout and access which remained to be decided upon. Local people fought hard against the whole proposal, but it was too late to alter the principle of development, which was already set out.  Among other things, we are disappointed that the details of the access arrangements remain in our view most unsatisfactory, and we think they will lead to unfortunate congestion problems.   At least there is 35% affordable housing promised for this site.  We trust that the developers C.G. Fry will now withdraw their appeal against the refusal of the original application for this development, and avoid the costly process that would ensue.



23 OLD CASTLE ROAD

The latest planning application for three houses at 23 Old Castle Road above Castle Cove, referred to in the April/May ‘News’, has now been reported to the Council’s Planning Committee with a recommendation of approval – hardly surprising, unfortunately, as there is already a permission for three houses on the site.   The final decision has been deferred, awaiting clarification from Natural England.   The application for two houses at 27 Old Castle Road is still in the consultation stage.   Very many people have objected to both proposals, including ourselves.



UNDERHILL JUNIOR SCHOOL

The planning application for redevelopment of the former school for housing (see our April/May ‘News’) is still being considered by the Council.   We see that Portland Town Council have lodged an objection to the scheme as overdevelopment and out of character with the area.  They are also concerned about cliff stability, use of inappropriate materials and the impact on the Jurassic Coast landscape – matters which chime with our own views on these plans.  



23 GREENHILL

An unusual situation has arisen, in which an application for consent to demolish a house in a Conservation Area has been made without any plans for its replacement.  This is No. 23 Greenhill, a house with a corner feature in the form of a part-octagonal tower – specially noted as an ‘Important Local Building’ in the Council’s appraisal of the Conservation Area.  The only information given is that it would ‘be demolished for the possible redevelopment of 8-10 flats’.  This is highly unusual and not at all recommended:  demolition of buildings in Conservation Areas should generally not be permitted in such circumstances.   We have written to object to this application for these reasons, adding that in any case 8-10 flats would in our view be excessive and inappropriate in this important area of Greenhill.




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PLANNING APPEALS


BARRODENE, GROSVENOR ROAD.  
Two planning applications for a pair of houses in the back garden of Barrodene were both refused in February and November of last year.  We had expressed concern, as the relatively small space available is even more limited by reason of mature trees affecting it.  The applicants then appealed, and we await the outcome.

MOUNT PLEASANT CARE HOME – REDEVELOPMENT.
 We reported the refusal by the Council of the scheme for 18 houses on the site of the former care home.  It had been hoped that an improved, less dense development would be proposed.  However, the applicants have instead chosen to go directly to an appeal to the Secretary of State on the basis of the full 18-house development.

7 NETHERTON ROAD.   An appeal has also been lodged following the Council’s refusal of planning permission for the demolition of 7 Netherton Road and erection of eight houses in its place, which brought forth numerous objections including our own.  

53 RODWELL ROAD.  This house at the junction of Rodwell Road and Rodwell Avenue was the subject of an application to demolish it for a block of six apartments – to which we strongly objected as overdevelopment.  The Council refused, and the applicants appealed;  however, they subsequently withdrew their appeal, and we are pleased that the case is now closed.


CAR PARKING IN WEYMOUTH TOWN CENTRE

In June there was an article in the Dorset Echo in which Councillor Jeff Cant, Leader of the Borough Council, referred to a forthcoming review of hotels and car parks with a view to their possible sale.  We have written to him expressing our great concern at the possible implications of selling off the car parks, which could damage the very delicate retail economy of the town centre, including tourism and town centre businesses, and asking for the Council to plan for sufficient parking spaces for the needs of the town.



ANNUAL AWARDS

Suggestions for this year’s Annual Awards are invited.  Anyone can nominate a project which they consider makes a fine ‘contribution to the character and appearance of the built environment’.  It should be completed during this year up to October, and located within the general Weymouth/Portland area and immediate surroundings.  Last year’s award was for Harbour Lights Court on the old Fire Station site, with runner-up the Windmills housing development at Easton, Portland.  All the awarded projects can be seen on the Society’s website.  


Suggestions can be made by email to planning@weymouthcivicsociety.org, or by writing to 71 Roman Road, Weymouth, DT3 5JH, or phoning 01305 782116 (Secretary of the Planning and Environment Committee).


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WEYMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
NEWS

    June/July 2017