Planning Inspectorate will decide on housing plans for Weymouth FC's stadium

Planning Inspectorate will decide on housing plans for Weymouth FC's stadium

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:11pm 13th July 2020.

A new entrance to Weymouth’s Bob Lucas Stadium site has been rejected by Dorset councillors in a unanimous vote.

But the decision over the entrance and a 170-home proposal for the larger site is already out of their hands – having now gone to appeal.

In a bizarre moment councillors were asked to indicate, had they voted back in February on the new entrance proposal, what they would have decided.

Their vote, at Thursday’s online area planning committee, came about because developers who want to build homes on the site have appealed the application for the new junction and housing claiming the council failed to determine it in time.

New entrance plan WFC stadium

A final decision on both the site entrance and the housing land will now be made by the Planning Inspectorate which had asked the council to indicate how the February vote would have gone. The vote was never taken because the item was deferred.

Councillors were told that the site entrance proposal sought to move the existing entry area 10 metres closer to the stadium roundabout, which the police had objected to at the time, but not the highway authority.

Owermoigne councillor Nick Ireland moved the vote to reject the application. He said that nothing had changed since February and he was unhappy at the time, and still unhappy, that for pedestrians to continue to use a pavement to get onto the site they would have to cross from the south side of the junction to the north, across the mouth of the entrance. The southern side pavement stopped as soon as it turned the bend.

He was also critical that the entrance design had no cycle paths.

Seconding the move Weymouth Cllr Pete Barrow said he thought the junction dangerous for pedestrian and would be too close to the roundabout, an area where many schoolchildren walked.

Weymouth FC Existing entrance

The committee voted unanimously to tell the planning inspectorate that they would have rejected the proposals for the new entrance.

In February the committee rejected a detailed application from Weymouth Community Sports LLP which proposed 170 homes with a mix of flats and houses together with ponds, play areas, allotments and areas of green space.

Most of the properties, 69, were shown as three-bed houses with 39 two-bed, 32 one-bed apartments, 19 two-bed apartments and 11 four-bed houses.

At the time several councillors were unhappy that affordable housing had disappeared from the project as originally proposed and were worried about having a single road in and out of the site. There was also concern with the design of blocks of flats which would have been built alongside Hampshire Road.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter