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Controversial Charles Street Plans Backed by Council Committee


(Updated 10:11am 10th October 2012)

6:18pm 9th October 2012

An executive council committee has backed plans to overhaul the Charles Street Development and spend an extra 2 million pounds.

West Dorset Leaders agreed to scrap a planned hotel in favour for flats and to build a deck of car parking on top of the Fairfield Market site outside the Town Centre.

They'll also spend £2M on relocating Dorchester’s Family Church and securing land.

A FINAL decision on Phase 2 of the controversial development will be made by full council later this month.

A number of changes were made to the recommendations outlined in a report drawn up by developers Simons.

See the District Council's outline for Phase 2 of Charles Street in the paragraph below.

9.3 The second option would be for the Council to agree to the developer amending the current scheme to make it viable. This could be achieved by substituting higher value uses for low value uses in the scheme and by removing some of the more expensive elements of the scheme without reducing its quality. Simons have proposed a number of changes to achieve this. They propose substituting the hotel, which had a relatively low value, with 24 market flats. This could be achieved within the proposed building envelope and would make a positive contribution to viability. They also propose that the lower basement car park be omitted and substituted by a single deck of car parking on Fairfield, the total meeting the 484 spaces required by the Council. Deleting the lower basement would lead to a considerable saving in building cost due to the need to avoid expensive excavation and would avoid penetrating the layer of roman archaeology leading to a reduction in cost and reducing the time for excavation work. The current proposal is for 305 spaces on one floor with 179 spaces on a single deck on Fairfield. On market days the ground floor could be available as a covered market area. Development of the Fairfield site would require the agreement of the trustees of the market under the terms of the lease for this site. In addition to ensure adequate short stay parking in and close to the Charles Street site the developer has requested that the Council agrees to retain the Wollaston Fields car park as a short stay car park for the period of 25 years. This site already has a covenant on it restricting its use to car parking dating from when the site was acquired from the County Council. The developer is keen to progress the scheme and is reducing his costs by nearly £2m.



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