Flats conversion in Weymouth could see families forced to move

Flats conversion in Weymouth could see families forced to move

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:23am 31st October 2019. (Updated at 11:24am 31st October 2019)

A block of flats in Grosvenor Road, Weymouth is expected to be converted for use by people with learning or physical difficulties.

Weymouth Town Council objected to the scheme claiming it would mean existing residents, mostly families, would have to move out. It also questioned if there was a proven need for the proposed use, but Dorset Council has agreed to the application.

Dorset Police did not object to the proposal but has asked that CCTV should be fitted inside and out when the changes are made to the block.

The application to Dorset Council said the changes were being sought because the un-named owner of the building wanted to sell and retire.

housing plan drawing

He, or she, now has permission to convert the property, 7 Grosvenor Road, into 13 one-bed flats and two one-bed maisonettes with a manager’s office and a communal room.

When the application was discussed by the town council Cllr Graham Winter said he was worried that six of the eight families on the site have children and would have to move.

The application sought to convert the building from the existing six three-bed apartments and two three-bed town houses.

Photo of Dorset County Hall night sign

It was submitted via a Bournemouth-based agent for Purpose Homes Ltd with the name and address of the current owner of the building redacted from the Dorset Council application form.

Agent, director of Pure Town Planning, Darryl Howells, said at the time that the planning consent and the tenancy arrangements were two separate issues. He said in a statement:

"The reason why the current tenants will need to move is due to the current owners’ decision to sell the property so he can retire, and not the planning application.

"This is evidenced by the fact that the original plan for the reconfiguration of the property didn’t require a planning application but still required vacant possession.

"Both seller and buyer will work empathetically with the current tenants to ensure that no one is unduly disadvantaged by the changes.  

"The planning application merely seeks to reconfigure the internal layout of the existing building…The proposed development fully complies with adopted planning policies."

Photo of House Keys

'Objections'

There had been several objections to the proposals including two people living in the flats, one of which describes it as a ‘lovely community where people get on well’.

Some of the objection letters claim the proposed new use will create additional noise and disturbance in the area.

A decision was made by a planning officer, under delegated powers, rather than a committee of councillors.

In agreeing the application the officer said the change was acceptable in its design and visual impact and would not result in an ‘significant harm’ to neighbours. 

It was said there were no valid grounds for an objection.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter