High-denisty plan for coast site criticised

High-denisty plan for coast site criticised

newtons cove

Outline plans for up to 141 homes, a 60-bed care home and a gym, swimming pool and spa at a Weymouth beauty spot are going before planners after vehement objections from the town’s civic society among others.
Juno Developments has previously applied for permission to build at Newtons Cove, on the site of the former QinetiQ Bincleaves site, but the applications lapsed.
Now the firm’s new application – for 80 three-bedroom homes, 42 one-bedroom homes, 11 three-bedroom flats and eight three-bedroom townhouses – is causing deep concern. No affordable homes are planned, and the council intends only to ask for £45,000 towards mitigating this, saying the site will be expensive to develop given they will have to stabilise the cliff.
Pauline Crump, chairman of the civic society’s planning and environment committee, wrote: “We wish to register the strongest possible objection to this planning application.”
She says the development is inappropriate, does not adhere to the local plan, and that the scale of development is ‘overbearing and grossly excessive’. She adds: “In particular the seven-storey mass of the apartment blocks is totally out of keeping with this locality or indeed the whole of Weymouth, and is more akin to high density, heavily urban cities.”
The society and many residents fear the development would choke local roads around Hope Square and Boot Hill and say the design is just not high quality enough to be allowed on the Jurassic Coast.
They also say the homes would be most likely snapped up by second home owners.
They added: “The appearance of this vast development would have a most damaging effect on the area, forming a nearly continuous urban block in this most conspicuous location. It would have a major visual impact on the designated Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and its setting around Portland Harbour… It would harm the important local view across Newtons Cove from the Nothe Peninsula and the view outwards from Bincleaves Green above the site. It would be particularly prominent when seen from Portland Harbour… From here it would obliterate from view a length of the natural coastline fringing Portland Harbour, all part of the Jurassic Coast.”
However the council’s senior conservation officers have said the plan, which also includes offices, a restaurant and light industrial units, would cause ‘no harm’.
Weymouth Town Council is unhappy about the height of the buildings, and points out: “The care home will be a relocation so will not create additional employment.” And they pinpoint “a significant loss of employment based on 117 previously employed evidenced in 2000.”
Dorset councillors on the area planning committee will vote on the plans on Thursday, September 7.

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