FORMER council offices will be demolished as part of a multi-million pound regeneration project.
A plan to knock down the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council base in North Quay, Weymouth, was passed last week (July 20).
The demolition marks the first phase of a regeneration plan for Weymouth’s waterside economy, using £19.5 million of Levelling Up Funding (LUF) awarded to the council in January this year by the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
However, the decision was not straightforward, tied at six votes for and six against with no abstentions. The chairman of the committee made the casting vote in favour of the officer recommendations.
North Quay is one of three key areas in the town selected for development. The others are the peninsula, the piece of land currently used as car parking beyond the Pavilion and the town centre.
The approval enables Dorset Council to prepare plans for its long-term future use and market the site to a development partner.
While plans for the site are drawn up, as a short-term measure the site will be levelled and used as temporary additional car parking spaces.
Demolition is expected to begin later this year and will likely take around 15 weeks to complete. The cost of demolition and creation of a temporary car park on the site is anticipated to be around £600,000 and will be funded through a government grant awarded to Dorset Council in 2021.
Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for property and assets, said: “The council has long held ambitions to kick start Weymouth’s economy, and the approval to demolish the building represents the first step in making those aspirations a reality.
“We can now press ahead to find the right delivery partner to help us develop plans for the future use of this key waterside location.
“Supporting the long-term vitality of Weymouth’s town centre is one of our key priorities. The substantial Levelling Up Funding awarded by the Government earlier this year will help us provide much needed homes for local people, create jobs in the construction industry, increase footfall and boost local shops, restaurants and businesses.
“While these schemes will inevitably take some time to come to fruition, I am delighted we are on the way to bringing them to life. I look forward to seeing the positive effect this will have on the town now, and for generations to come.”