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New plans revealed for Brewers Quay in Weymouth

brewers quay


11:58am 6th December 2018

New plans for the conversion on Weymouth’s Brewers Quay site include space for a cookery school and the town museum.

The application proposes that parts of the Listed Grade ll building, and the Coopers Building, will be converted to 47 homes – 12 more than a 2016 application for the site.

The site has seen a number of commercial uses, including the Timewalk and Excise House pub, since the Devenish Brewery closed in 1984, and has been almost empty for several years.

Brewers Quay

Versant (Brewers Quay) Ltd bought site in 2016. Frank Mountain from the company said earlier this year that the company remained committed to the development and was keen to progress the scheme.

The proposals will see changes to the existing Weymouth Museum space but will secure the building as the museum’s base, allowing it to apply for further funding grants. If approved, permission will be tied to a legal agreement which protects the museum’s future.

Changes are proposed in the new scheme to the existing layout for shops, restaurants and bars with a suggestion that some space could be used for a cookery school.

Previous applications for the site have included an 85-bed hotel which was dropped after being considered not to be viable. The existing developers have argued that they are unable to have any ‘affordable’ homes on the site because to do so would make the re-development untenable. After taking advice the council’s planning team have agreed with the view.

brewers quay

Planning officers say that, with the exception of the additional housing and some extension at roof level, the existing application is broadly similar to consent granted in 2016 for 35 homes with the new application including nine extra units in the brewery building and the conversion of the Coopers building to three homes.

Internal changes mean that some equipment previously used by the brewery, including a vertical conveyor and a mash tunn, will be accommodated within the museum space on the first floor. In all the museum has been allocated 1,250 square metres of space, compared to 1,100 in the 2016 permission.

The developers are proposing 38 car spaces within the Newberry Gardens car park for residents and 8 additional spaces along the western side of the Brewers Quay building – giving 46 spaces for the 47 homes. Spaces will also be provided for cycle parking.

A further floor is being planned by the developers on the side of the building facing into Hope Square, above the main entrance, with another floor added at the rear of the building. Extra height at roof level is also proposed to fit in a lift shaft to the fifth floor.

This element has been criticised by Historic England which says: “Anything more than fleeting visibility of the rooftop extensions would be highly undesirable within the Conservation Area.”

Borough planning officers broadly support the changes to the proposed development, sayin in their report: “The proposed mix of uses and the potential public benefits in terms of the restoration of the building and the provision of cultural facilities, restaurants and retail uses would be in the public benefit and outweigh any potential harm. Furthermore whilst the increase of residential units is not ideal, at the expense of one of the cultural spaces, the overall mix of uses is considered to be acceptable and would support the viability of the area.”

If approved the development will create 11 x 1 bed homes, 27 x 2 bed and 9 x 3 bed dwellings. Most are apartments but some are maisonettes across up to 4 floors in some cases.

Planning officers say not to approve the scheme would be a lost opportunity for the town: “The buildings have in the main stood empty for some years now and their condition has deteriorated over time. They are substantial buildings forming a key element of Hope Square and the area south of the harbour and for the buildings to deteriorate further and to remain empty would represent a real loss of opportunity.”

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter



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