Weymouth’s Peninsula development 'under review'

Weymouth’s Peninsula development 'under review'

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:55am 27th September 2019.

The future of Weymouth’s Peninsula development, which has been opposed by some businesses in the town, is officially under review.

The news came in just one sentence in a report to this week’s Dorset Council harbours committee and was not commented on by any of the councillors at the committee.

It reads:

“The proposed Peninsula phases 1 and 2 are under review, as part of a wider review of the council’s key development sites in Weymouth town centre.”

Weymouth Peninsula WPBC

Phase one of the scheme includes a hotel, a pub with rooms and the walkway around the Peninsula site, with Peninsula Phase 2 listed as ‘further leisure units.’

Hoteliers and some restaurant owners in the town have opposed the development scheme claiming it will encourage trade away from them and ‘hollow out’ the town centre.

Around £6million of public money has been set aside for the initial phases of the Peninsula scheme – including a £3.9 million Coastal Communities Fund grant which has to be spent by the end of March 2021.

Weymouth harbour entrance

'Work already underway''

Work has just got underway on preparatory work to strengthen a section of harbour wall near the Pavilion which is part of the project, and several buildings on the site have already been demolished, including the former terminal building  – with the former quayside departures lounge the next to go.

Plans are being made to convert some of the land to ‘temporary’ car parking.

The long-term plan for the Peninsula is that annual rental income from it would eventually be enough to pay for the mounting maintenance costs of the town’s harbour, whilst also providing a new attraction for visitors to the area.

weymouth harbour walls work map

Finance portfolio owner for Dorset Council, Weymouth councillor Tony Ferrari issued a statement in response to a question about the review:

“As a result of local government reorganisation all programmes, projects and assets are being reviewed.  

This does not imply anything about any of the projects it is just to ensure that we get the best schemes for the residents of Weymouth and all of Dorset.

“This should be expected as good practice upon the formation of a new council.”

Weymouth Peninsula Plans Phase 1
Weymouth Peninsula Plans Phase 1

Added harbour committee chair, Cllr Kate Wheller:

"All major decisions made by the former authorities and by the shadow executive are under review as such the development of the reclaimed land around the pleasure pier falls into that category.

"However the scheme for regeneration development on the harbour side of the site has been approved and plans are currently being formalised. "

'Return of a ferry service to Weymouth?'

News of the review came as Weymouth town councillor, Jan Bergman, made a plea at this week’s harbours committee for the return of a ferry service to the Channel Islands.

He said that he believed the service could help the town’s economy in the long-term although said he would not expect it to be on the scale that it previously was.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter