Weymouth care home residents face uncertain future

Weymouth care home residents face uncertain future

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:19am 30th August 2019.

A Weymouth residential home for the elderly may be demolished – despite sustained local opposition.

More than 200 people have objected to the scheme which will result in most, if not all, of its elderly residents having to find somewhere else to live.

Talks about the proposed changes have gone on for three years – a process which has left many existing residents at Marchesi House: “very stressed and unsure of their future” according to the residents association.

Dorset Council is being recommended to approve the demolition of the residential home at Poplar Close – replacing the existing buildings with 18 houses and 13 flats, all of them described as ‘affordable’ with its new tenants being drawn from the housing waiting list.

new homes marchesi house

Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, which runs the site, says the current home, of 25 flats, is outdated and demolition and rebuilding is the best option for the future, but their plan has met with opposition from residents, Weymouth Town Council, and many neighbours.

The Dorset Council area planning committee will consider the application, with an officer recommendation to allow the demolition and re-building, when it meets in Dorchester on September 5th.

A report to the committee says the proposal is acceptable in its design and general appearance and there would be no ‘significant harm’ to neighbours.

But Weymouth Town Council disagrees with the proposals and says it will add to traffic in the area, believes the design is not in keeping with its surroundings and will result in overlooking and a loss of privacy for nearby homes. Its planning committee, which is only advisory, was also unhappy with the layout, design and density of the proposal.

Marchesi House plan

'Who's in favour'

Support for the application has come from the Dorset Council housing team which says the application for 13 one-bed flats in two blocks, 12 two-bed houses and 6 three-bed houses in a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership will help meet the local need for lower cost housing in the area where there are 1,650 households on the housing register.

Qualified support for the development has also come from the chair of the residents group who says that the existing building is ‘unfit for purpose’ and cannot accommodate wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter