Weymouth Civic Society
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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Planning News & Notes
May - June 2020
Click HERE to download the original PDF version of these notes
(text only) for printing.
As reported in our last March/April News, the Society’s Planning and Environment Committee members have been in contact via email. By this means we have been able to give our individual opinions on all issues, which then form the basis for a Committee-wide conclusion on each topic.
OLD CASTLE ROAD
Probably everyone will have seen about the potentially disastrous landslip close to Old Castle Road, which could cut off up to 90 homes as well as the Sailing Club and Sandsfoot Castle and Gardens, and which puts into jeopardy the vital mains services for all that area. The land in question, immediately above Castle Cove, has been the subject of constant planning applications ever since 2002, to develop large luxury houses, which we have consistently opposed.
While one of our main concerns is the intrusion of built development into this most attractive area of Castle Cove, our other fear has always been the risk of landslips on this highly unstable land – a fear also voiced throughout this period by many local people.
A plan to re-route the road may be an emergency measure, but we feel strongly that Old Castle Road must be safeguarded so that it can continue to be the main route through. An Old Castle Cove Residents’ Association has been formed, and we have written to them in support of their cause, and similarly to Dorset Council, who have the daunting task of finding some solution to the problem.
(Click HERE to view more about this issue)
CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE
Ship Inn, Custom House Quay - Signs.
We are pleased at the outcome of proposals for the Ship Inn. We had been concerned at a plan for a large image of a ship covering much of the main wall of the historic part of the inn, dominating this ancient building; also that both it and the existing ship image on the side wall were to be painted a very dark blue, far more conspicuous than at present. Weymouth Town Council were of like mind. Dorset Council has instead negotiated the replacement of the proposed new ship image by lettering, which, although still covering a large area, would be far more suitable, while the image on the side wall is to keep its more muted colour.
This is all a case of deja vu: in 2011 an application was submitted to the Council for the same ship image (as well as the large image on the west wall), and similarly we objected and it was later omitted from the application.
498 Littlemoor Road – Former New Inn - Conversion to three Dwellings
A further set of revised plans for the New Inn (see March/April News) has now been approved by the Council. While we are glad that the historic inn is to be kept, with its low profile, we are still concerned at the proposed extension, higher than the line of cottages and over-dominant. We had also noted that only one parking space per dwelling was to be provided, and this has been altered to two, by means of a small readjustment of the rather limited space available.
Sign – Junction of Dorchester Road and Mercery Road
At this junction there is a tall free-standing sign advertising Sainsbury’s. Now there is a proposal for a further similar sized sign standing close by it, intended to advertise other businesses in the same ‘Weymouth Gateway’ area of Mercery Road.
This seems an unnecessary duplication of advertising boards here, which would simply clutter up this otherwise well landscaped and maintained junction, and we have instead suggested a single comprehensive sign for all Mercery Road businesses to avoid confusion and overcrowding.
15 Park Lane – New Dwelling
These days many housing sites have become very small. A recent example is at No. 15 Park Lane, a narrow one-way lane runs along the rear of Dorchester Road buildings from the Conservative Club northwards. Planning permission was granted for an annex to the house, which would be feasible as part of the same property. However, this as-yet unbuilt annex is now planned to become a totally new house, but without any proper back garden and with limited space for parking for the two properties. Though we would not normally concern ourselves with relatively minor applications, we felt that this was an exception, so have written to the Council with our concerns about over-development on a very cramped site.
Scrap Metal Yard, Upway Street, Weymouth – Four Dwellings
This area behind a property on King Street has been a storage yard for many years. Last year a planning application proposed a tightly packed development of six houses in this extremely limited space surrounded by the back yards of houses. We objected to it, as being cramped and overcrowded, close to the surrounding properties, and with very poor access and parking arrangements. The Council refused it. Then a new application was submitted, for four units, with a different layout and design, and solving the parking problems by omitting parking spaces altogether! This did not alter the fact that it is a very small site, difficult to develop successfully at all, so once again we have written to the Council about the problems of cramming so much into such a limited space, with no car parking provision in this busy central area.
76 Wyke Road – Erection of 1 Dwelling to the rear.
This is a plan for ‘backland development’ in an area where the large rear gardens of the Wyke Road properties have for many years been gradually filled with new houses. In this particular case, the space available, though on the face of it not too dissimilar to other properties, is limited by the presence of mature trees in the adjacent Convent grounds. So for this reason we have expressed our concerns to the Council about the potential effect of the trees on the site, and conversely the damage that could be caused to the trees by any development.
Land North of Lorton Lane
Our January/February ‘News’ reported on a proposal for nine houses on part of the small field or paddock on the east side of Dorchester Road in the Lorton area. Our Committee members felt strongly about the prospect of this distinctive and well-loved little field being developed, and we lodged an objection.
Now we are pleased that the Council has refused the application, which goes against the policies for this Important Open Gap, described as a key characteristic of the Conservation Area, which we feel is particularly important as a remaining part of the countryside separating the built-up area of Redlands from the village of Broadwey. We have applauded the same developer for the quality of the new Lorton Park estate of houses on the land behind this field, where it sits well back from the main road, respecting its surroundings and leaving this small field intact; it would have been a pity for that careful planning to have been compromised by this proposed development.
Icen Lane – Five Houses
In our March/April News we reported the refusal of planning permission for five houses on a small bosky area by Icen Lane east of the railway line at Upwey. Now, as so often happens, the applicants have appealed against the refusal. We had opposed this as an incursion into the rural lands of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and potentially harmful to wildlife. It was refused on broadly similar grounds, and also that it lies outside any defined development boundary and is not included in the2018 ‘Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment’.
Martleaves House, Wyke Regis – Four Dwellings
The site in question is at the edge of Wyke overlooking the Fleet and Lyme Bay. We had been concerned at the proposal for housing outside the development boundary in this sensitive area of coastal fields. The appeal has been lodged following the Council’s refusal of planning permission, which was on similar grounds to our own concerns, including in particular the encroachment into the open undeveloped landscape of the Heritage Coast.
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