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The Charles Street Development

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

After some delay and extensive public consultation, the planning application for the £60 million Charles Street Development has now been submitted to West Dorset District Council.

As part of the development there is likely to be

  • A range of new shops
  • A new public car park with 484 spaces
  • A 60-bedroom hotel
  • Affordable housing
  • New public toilets
  • Possible new library and adult education centre. This will be provided and paid for by Dorset County Council.
  • New council offices

It’s this last element that has attracted the most controversy.  The relocation of the WDDC offices are livened the discussion about the development as some see it as a waste of time.  A recent parish poll of over 2,000 residents overwhelmingly voted against the move.

Notwithstanding, the council are keen to move from their current offices based at Stratton House at a cost of £10.7 million.  The council claims the Stratton House complex is expensive to maintain and costly to heat and that total savings would be £145,000 per year.

The Council have tried to explain why the move is important and you can read further information here.

Amongst the retail outlets moving into the new development is Waitrose.  The supermarket chain, which is currently based at Tudor Arcade has agreed to the terms and will become one of the two anchor stores.

If the planning application is granted that work is expected to start on the project in 2010

Further reading

The Dorset Echo has published numerous articles on the subject.

Do you agree or disagree with the development?

I am fully supportive of this application and 100% against the campaign opposing this development. We do not want to wait another 30 years to see Charles Street developed. The proposal to build new civic offices and a library are economically justified and will lead to a very exciting development that will serve Dorchester for future generations.

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