MORE than 70 apartments could be built if plans to develop a landmark Dorchester building and the surrounding site are approved.
The scheme would see The Maltings, a Grade II listed building on the Brewery Square site, renovated to provide the apartments, as well as a ‘community’ space.
Meanwhile, Maltings Muse – a new, five-storey residential building containing 30 apartments and associated parking – would be built alongside.
The applicants, Brewery Square Development Company and Halo Developments, have been involved in previous work at the Brewery Square site and say they ‘seek to ensure the proposed development builds on the success of Brewery Square’.
On plans for The Maltings, the application said: “The proposed development repurposes the vacant Grade II Listed Building, The Maltings.
“This is key to the proposed development as it symbolises the past use whilst utilising the building for modern use.
“The development also incorporates high quality landscaping.”
It added: “The proposed development includes a flexible space that can be used for community or commercial purposes.
“After discussions with local residents, the applicant recognised that there was a lack of a community space within the wider Brewery Square masterplan.”
This would be in the form of the basement floor being available ‘as a community centre or other meeting/activity place’.
The ground floors to the fifth floor would be for residential use, with 46 apartments being built; 21 one-bed, 24 two-bed and one three-bed.
Parts of the building would be demolished, with alterations made and extensions built.
Maltings Mews would be a new, rectangular building on the same site, including parking on the ground floor.
Floors one to five would house 30 apartments; four one-bed and 26 two-bed.
However, the scheme has been criticised by the Victorian Society, which says the loss of parts of the Maltings building and alterations to the internal structure would make it seem the structure was ‘lost’.
Conservation adviser, Connor McNeill, said: “The loss of substantial parts of the historic structure and subdivision of significant internal spaces would harm understanding the building as a historic maltings.
“Its substantially intact exterior would be disfigured by alterations – especially inserting new windows and roof lights.
“Ultimately, this intensive development would mean the Maltings was, in essence, façaded.
“The new buildings would hem in the listed buildings, increasing the impression that the historic buildings are lost within a new development, rather than forming the focus of it, as they ought.”
Connor said Dorchester ‘must protect its listed buildings and conservation areas, which make historic places unique’.
“The new block of flats should be able to fund redevelopment of the Maltings themselves in a much less intensive way for commercial or community re-use which would not require such a high level of intervention,” they added.
For more details on the plans, log on to dorsetcouncil.gov.uk and search for application reference P/LBC/2022/05474.