29 flats for derelict Ferrybridge Inn given go ahead

29 flats for derelict Ferrybridge Inn given go ahead

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 13th June 2020.

Development on the derelict Ferrybridge Inn site is to go ahead this year.

An agent, acting for the developers, said that the scheme was "one hundred per cent" on course for a start this summer.

Grant Leggett, head of Boyer, London, which is acting for Ferrybridge Developments, said good progress was now being made in getting the project off the ground, and he hoped to see work begin by the end of August.

Outline planning permission was first given to the 29-flat development, which also includes a replacement pub/restaurant, in October 2015.

Plans for Ferrybridge Inn

A full, detailed, consent followed which set a deadline of August 22, 2020, for work to start.

Doubts arose about the project recently when Mr Boyer asked Dorset Council for permission to change that start date, citing problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A letter to the council from the firm of London planning consultants said:

"The applicant is gravely concerned that the other pressures created by the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will seriously fetter their ability to implement the permission prior to its expiry. 

"In particular the pandemic has seriously hampered attempts to engage the necessary contractors to carry out the works necessary to implement, imperilling the much-needed redevelopment of the site and the 29 homes it will deliver.  

"The pandemic has also affected various agencies and business involved in the design and commissioning of the development, which together put it at serious risk of expiry prior to implementation."

Ferrybridge Inn

But within a few days of appearing on the Dorset Council website the application for extra time was withdrawn.

Mr Boyer said that it was removed by the council after its officers ruled that the legal case he had been attempting to make was not appropriate under planning law.

He described the attempt as a 'holding measure', should the worst happen, but said that since the application was submitted good progress was being made on all fronts and there was confidence now of a start within the next three months.

Outline consent was given for the site in October 2015 for the demolition of the pub and the building of 29 homes, including a communal courtyard and parking, with a new pub/restaurant on the site overlooking The Fleet.

This was followed in August 2018 by the council agreeing the details of the scheme, registered Ferrybridge Developments based at Melbury Sampford.

Part of that permission was that the scheme should get underway by August 22nd this year.

An earlier application for the site was rejected at appeal in July 2013 because of the size and scale of the proposal at the time, with a scaled-down application of four-storeys later being approved, although that attracted ten letters of objection from residents mainly concerned about the height and scale of the proposed building, as well as extra traffic and parking.

Mr Boyer said his feeling was that local people would welcome the fact that a start was to be made on the site.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter.