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Plans for the Charles Street Underground Car Park and Hotel are in Danger of Being Scrapped!


5:57pm 3rd October 2012
(Updated 9:10am 5th October 2012)

It could cost West Dorset District Council an extra 2 million pounds to carry on with Charles Street Development in Dorchester.

Plans to build a hotel and underground car park are now unlikely to happen!

Developers have made the U-turn, saying in a report that original plans for Phase 2 agreed upon back in 2010 are no longer financially viable in the economic climate.

The report warns the Council anchor tenants lined up for the scheme - Waitrose and Marks & Spencer - could withdraw if they go ahead with the original plan.

Developers, Simons, propose building 24 flats on the Charles Street site instead of a hotel, and are asking the West Dorset District Council to provide extra car parking spaces at the Fairfield Market Car Park, by building a single storey deck over the existing parking.

They've also suggested in their report that the Council fund the work that includes relocating Dorchester's Family Church from Acland Road to a new home on Trinity Street.

Speaking to Wessex FM Phil Gordon from the Dorchester BID says we shouldn't jump to conclusions; the big decisions haven't been made yet. Click the player below to hear more.

West Dorset District Council Technical Services Manager Steve Woollard says in the report: “The council has worked hard to achieve a town centre development on the Charles Street site for some 30 years. The current proposals which have planning permission are the closest that has been achieved to success.

“Waiting for the economy to improve could lead to the loss of key anchor tenants and it is therefore suggested that the option of accepting changes to the scheme is the best way of achieving a development and securing over 600 jobs.

“However, there are risks in this approach which councillors need to bear in mind when they make a decision.”

Any revised plans for phase 2 would be displayed in the centre of Dorchester so everyone can view them and ask questions.

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