Dorset

Weymouth North Quay: Council in new bid to demolish offices

North Quay offices Image copyright Google
Image caption Staff moved from the North Quay site (pictured) to smaller offices in the town centre in April 2016

Plans to demolish a former council office building which has been empty for three-and-a-half years are to be resubmitted.

Dorset Council had refused permission to demolish the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council offices, which it owns, to make way for homes.

Councillors had said options to reuse the block should be considered, in line with climate emergency measures.

The council said its revised bid would address sustainability concerns.

Planning councillor Tony Ferrari told a Dorset Council meeting on Thursday that plans for the harbour-side block were continuing, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Mr Ferrari said the authority had also held discussions with a registered provider of affordable accommodation about the site.

He said: "The council is not actively marketing the site at the moment. Unsolicited offers have however been received and acknowledgments have been sent to those who have expressed an interest."

In 2017, the £4.5m sale of the site to developer Acorn fell through after the borough council refused permission to convert the harbour-side block into 56 flats.

Dorset Council, which replaced the district council in April, had applied for a £2.5m Homes England grant towards the £3m cost of demolition and the creation of a temporary car park which was expected to be complete by spring 2020.

At a planning meeting last month, councillors raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers when there was no plan of what would replace the building and cited national planning guidance to convert older buildings where possible.

The district council had previously said it was spending about £10,000 a month maintaining the empty building.

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