New homes plan for land around Weymouth Football Club's stadium

New homes plan for land around Weymouth Football Club's stadium

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:51am 14th February 2020.

The future of Weymouth’s football stadium and a 170-home scheme on the site could be decided in the coming days.

Details of a £20million 170-home estate on land around the Bob Lucas Stadium are being recommended for approval next week.

The site was given outline permission for 150-170 homes in 2014.

One of the key points of that consent was that a replacement sports stadium should be built and ready for use before the housing scheme started – but a report says there is no planning application for a replacement stadium and without that little likelihood of one being built in the near future.

Despite this councillors at Dorset Council’s area planning committee next week (20th February) are being recommended to approve of the details of the housing scheme – including the layout, housing mix, new access road off Radipole Lane, parking and landscape details.

Housing plans for land near the bob lucas stadium weymouth
Housing plans for land near the Bob Lucas Stadium weymouth

'A new stadium?'

A separate discussion will be held over the provision of a new stadium with a compromise being proposed which may see the 35 per cent of affordable homes disappear from the housing scheme and other contributions also waived to achieve a new sports arena.

Developers say that without the concessions the housing project and new stadium will be unviable – a claim backed by a valuers report.

'What would the new development include?'

The housing site is to the north west of the Wessex Roundabout off the B3157 with the road from the roundabout also serving the Wessex Golf Centre and police station.

  • The detailed application from Weymouth Community Sports LLP proposes 170 homes with a mix of flats and houses together with ponds, play areas and allotments and areas of  green space.
  • The developers are proposing a mixture of apartment blocks, terrace, semi- detached and detached dwellings with parking to the front of properties, on private driveways and in parking courtyards.
  • Some houses are proposed to have garages.
  • In the centre of the development is an area of amenity space which would include a play area with two others planned – one near the entrance to the site and the other in the south west corner.
  • In the north west corner an area for allotments is shown.
  • The majority of the properties, 69, are three-bed houses with 39 two-bed, 32 one-bed apartments, 19 two-bed apartments and 11 four-bed houses.

'Reaction to the plans'

Objections to the scheme include claims that the proposed access to the whole site will be one junction close to the Wessex roundabout which will add to traffic congestion there.

Chickerell town council is recommending rejection of the scheme unless the original 35% affordable housing is delivered and is also unhappy with some of the design elements.

Weymouth Civic Society has asked that the football stadium stay on the site and claim that the area is not appropriate as the homes there will be ‘isolated’ by the main road system.

It is also unhappy about the single road access and says the sides of four blocks of flats facing Hampshire Road are ‘bland, plain and unimaginative’.

weymouth football club

'What planning officers say'

Officers are recommending that the scheme should be open market and the only financial contribution payable to be £200,000 for pedestrian and cycle enhancements at the Wessex Roundabout, given the requirement to provide a replacement stadium ready for use prior to the start of house building.

This would mean that there would be no contributions to community venues, education, parks and gardens, libraries, transport, waste management, allotments and greenspace.

No costs have been made public for a replacement stadium but previous discussions have centred on a 5,000-seat arena with a 3G pitch and associated buildings.

A valuers report, which has all the key figures redacted, concludes that it is “unlikely the developer will be able to make any additional contributions over and above the re-location of the football club,” adding that exact costs cannot be worked out without a specific location for the replacement stadium being identified.

 
Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter