Reg Charity  1148603

2022-02

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Weymouth Civic Society

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Planning


These Planning Notes are prepared by the the
Planning and Environment Committee
who meet each month to discuss planning issues and review recent planning applications.

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Dorset Weymouth Portland Chickerell Dorchester


Council
News

Updated 10-03-2022


THE ANNUAL AWARDS


As a result of the disruption caused by Covid, the Society’s Annual Awards for 2020 and 2021 have been combined, with a total of 18 projects, in the four grades ranging from the two Award plaques to Letters of Appreciation.   A perceptible theme has been the renovation of existing buildings of historic interest, with new or revived uses found for them, offering a fresh lease of life and hope for the future.  This time, unusually, the very large majority are in Weymouth, with only three on Portland, which often accounts for a good proportion of the projects, including top awards.


The two plaques for the main awards of 2020 and 2021 were presented in December for conversion and restoration work to two important harbourside buildings – Deheers, and the Old Fish Market.

The Covid situation allowed for the brief open-air events on Custom House Quay, but the full Annual Awards Evening has been held back until May this year, in order to enable members and guests to enjoy the social event.  All have been notified of their awards, and the four Letters of Appreciation have been sent out in advance.  The full list of awards is on the Society’s website.  



PLANNING APPLICATIONS


Christmas is always a quiet time, lasting into January, but since then the numbers of applications have risen again, and include two major development proposals.  


Land North of Littlemoor Road (P/RES/2021/04983)

We have expressed three strong concerns at the detailed application for 500 homes on the fields to the north of Littlemoor Road.
 

 - We think the design is unimaginative and too cramped -  although permission for up to 500 dwellings has been granted in outline, the full amount should not be allowed if a satisfactory layout cannot be achieved.  

- We also support Weymouth Town Council in their view that there is a lack of community facilities for such a large number of new residents.  

 - We are concerned about safety aspects for pedestrians crossing the busy Littlemoor Road to access the shops and facilities, and consider that any crossing should be light-controlled as a minimum requirement.



Land at Newton’s Cove (Bincleaves) – Up to 189 Dwellings and a 65-bed Care Home, etc. -

(P/OUT/2022/00852).

This application for a massive residential development on the former Qinetiq Bincleaves site by Portland Harbour breakwater has finally been registered by the Council. An impression may be gained from the illustrations of a dense development of 7-storey buildings in a line facing towards Newton’s Cove, with blocks of seven, six, three and five storeys facing Portland Harbour. Also proposed in the scheme are a gym, swimming pool, restaurant and light industrial/office use.













This follows an earlier application for a care village, which was a similar sized development, but was based around somewhat different uses – 195 supported living units, a care home and respite hotel suites –  which gained planning permission in August 2016 (WP/15/00833/FUL).

Both the adopted Local Plan and the draft Dorset Local Plan state that any mixed use redevelopment should be to provide community benefits, should be of a high quality design appropriate to its waterside location and the unique history of the site, and will not be permitted if it would be at risk from coastal change.

The draft Dorset Plan adds that the high quality design expected should be appropriate to its proximity to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.  We hope that these stipulations will all be taken into full account in decision taking by the Council.  Any members who would like to let us know their views are welcome to email:  
planning@weymouthcivicsociety.org.


(If you would like to write directly to the Council on any planning application, the following is a very brief summary of how to get there.  Do let us know of any difficulties.

Go to the website www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk then ‘Search for a Planning Application’;  or -  

Search ‘Dorset Council Planning Applications’ and click on the appropriate website reference.

Then proceed, using the reference number or brief address.   Then under Documents, click on each in turn.   Then scroll down to click on ‘Make comments on this application’.)



 Land West of Putton Lane, Chickerell  (WD/D/20/003122)

In April last year, we wrote to Dorset Council strongly objecting to a proposal for five houses in a small, narrow paddock surrounded by mature hedges on Putton Lane, just north of Bennetts Water Gardens.   Now, that number has been reduced to three, but our objections remain the same – the site lies across an important open gap between Weymouth and Chickerell, which is a designated Wildlife Corridor;  moreover, there is a very clear Development Boundary separating Chickerell from this open land to the south, and there seems no justification in breaching it.  



UPDATES

Ferrybridge Inn, Portland Road.  (WP/14/00921/OUT and subsequent)

Everyone will have seen that the Ferrybridge Inn has finally been demolished.   It has been a long haul from the original application in 2011 (withdrawn), followed by a second (refused), but in 2015 outline permission for up to 29 residential units and a pub/restaurant was granted.   Since then the design has been modified, followed by a series of tweaks, but the basics have remained much the same.   Last-ditch attempts by people to save the historic inn were in vain, and it looks as if the development will now go ahead.  


Ferrybridge Boatyard and Billy Winters Bar & Diner  (WP/20/00560/FUL and WP/20/00366/FUL)


Planning permission has now been refused for enlargements of both these two businesses.  Together they form a rather haphazard small group of buildings off Portland Road, close to Portland Harbour.  At present they are a relatively modest size, and close together, but we feared that the enlargement of both of these businesses would have considerably intensified the built-up character of this site, making a major impact on their surroundings by the waters of the Fleet and Portland Harbour and the open maritime grasslands of the Hamm.  


Billy Winters is a single storey construct at the beachside, and it was proposed to add an upper storey consisting of several shipping containers.  Permission has now been refused three times, most recently by a Planning Inspector following an appeal.   The Boatyard proposal consisted of a totally new building, far larger than the existing, and sited in a most prominent position almost immediately by the main road, housing the boatyard business and the CrossFit gym.

We had strong concerns at the size and planned location for the new building, particularly bearing in mind the possible enlargement of Billy Winters, which at the time was undetermined by the Inspector, and which would also have become much more prominent if permission for both been granted.   If any redevelopment of this site were to be proposed in the future, we believe it should be on a smaller scale and of decent architectural quality.


Site P, Hamm Beach Road,  Osprey Quay – Drive-Through Coffee Shop and 9 Business Units.

(WP/20/00705/FUL)

This site is at the very edge of Portland Harbour, and is in effect a Gateway site to Portland, where the access to the Sailing Centre and Marina branches off from the main road.   Although this narrow strip of land was included in the original permission for development of the whole of Osprey Quay, we do not think that every last small space should be built upon.

Our chief concern is the proposal for a drive-through Starbucks restaurant, located in a most conspicuous position at this important junction.   Our main reasons are the effect of this very urban building and use on an open piece of harbourside land directly abutting the open sward of the Hamm, which is important for its ecological value, as well as the likely traffic generation so close to the main road junction.   


Concerns were expressed by the Council’s Landscape Officer on visual, design and related grounds,  and by Natural England in respect of the potential effects on the adjacent and nearby designated sites;  and there were also objections from a number of individuals.  Nevertheless, the Council’s Planning Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Head of Planning to grant permission, subject to a legal agreement and various conditions.


Waterside Holiday Park – Extension  (WP/20/00756/FUL)

We are disappointed that permission has been granted for 31 timber lodges on land in a valley to the east of Waterside Holiday Park.  Over the years we have seen this holiday park extended incrementally into open fields, of which this development is the latest.   In its original form the proposal was to cover an area twice the size, stretching the whole length of the open grassy valley, on land designated as of Local Landscape Importance, and highly visible from the Coast Path.  We wrote with our concerns to the Council, and following a large number of other objections, the applicants deleted the eastern half of the proposals.

Our concerns remain, however, especially as the applicants’ Planning Statement acknowledges that these ’lodges’ ‘technically comprise caravans’.  At least the decision notice requires that details of the materials of the ‘caravans/lodges’ must be submitted to the Council and agreed, and thereafter maintained in perpetuity.


Land by the A353, Osmington Hill (Northdown Farm) (WP/20/00672/FUL)

Planning permission has now been refused for a site half way up Osmington Hill, where a retail business was proposed, comprising a farm shop selling snacks and beverages, a car park for viewing the White Horse (although one already exists a little further along), and four polytunnels nearby.   We had written with our worries that this would be a sizeable development altogether, introducing a commercial use into the open countryside in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and potentially generating a considerable amount of additional traffic and turning movements on this already busy main road.

The Council’s AONB Landscape Planning Officer expressed a range of concerns as to its very prominent location within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Osmington Parish Council’s objection also cited its effect on the landscape. as well as safety issues, and several other objections were voiced by individuals.  The refusal is on the grounds of the visual prominence of the site, the incongruous development and its effect on the landscape, and that it would notably alter the character of the site.



LISTS OF LOCAL HERITAGE ASSETS


Around the middle of February the public were notified by Dorset Council of the intention to draw up lists of ‘Non Designated Heritage Assets’, and were invited to submit nominations.

These Local Lists mainly consist of historic or other major buildings or structures which are not considered of sufficient importance to merit full listing, but are of local significance.  They do not have the statutory protection afforded to Listed Buildings, but should be taken into account in decision taking by the Council.  


Already a large number of such buildings and other assets have been highlighted in local studies and reports, including all of Weymouth Town Centre, Sutton Poyntz, Portland and Chickerell, in ‘character appraisals’ for those areas.   It is stressed by the Council that they are keen for nominations by the public of assets which are not in Conservation Areas or already identified in Neighbourhood Plans.

Now the Civic Society is working, in the specified 8-week time frame from mid February, to put forward our nominations.   Anyone can make their own submissions to the Council, in the format prescribed, on the Dorset Council website.  This can be accessed via
www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk, (in the Search box write ‘Local List’ or similar, then click ‘Nominate a Heritage Asset’).   Society members may also like to email us their suggestions to planning@weymouthcivicsociety.org.


Below are two examples of Unlisted buildings in Conservation Areas














Planning News & Notes
January - February 2022