Councillors have backed ambitious plans to breathe fresh life into the landmark Weymouth Peninsula site.
Members of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee voted in favour of progressing the regeneration scheme when they met today, Tuesday 18 September.
The project aims to turn the iconic site – home to Weymouth Pavilion and Jurassic Skyline – into a year-round destination for residents and visitors with upgraded tourism and leisure facilities.
A 100-room hotel, a pub/diner with rooms and improvements to public space and a walkway around the iconic site are all proposed in the first phase along with repairs to harbour walls.
Exciting scheme to regenerate the town centre
All-weather, year-round leisure attractions, marine facilities and restaurants are proposed in the next stage.
Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Leader and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said: “This exciting scheme is one of the most important elements in our masterplan to regenerate the town centre, improve the harbour and transform Weymouth into a year round destination.
“Redevelopment proposals have been considered over several years, including consultation events about our town centre masterplan, workshops and more recently a public exhibition specifically about the Peninsula proposals.
“WE’RE COMMITTED TO CREATING AN IMPRESSIVE LEISURE DESTINATION WHICH WILL STRENGTHEN THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND MAKE WEYMOUTH AN EVEN MORE ATTRACTIVE PLACE IN WHICH TO LIVE AND TO VISIT.”
Members of the management committee supported all recommendations – including approval for the business case, funding arrangements and demolition of the former ferry terminal building for car parking.
The scheme now goes forward to the shadow Dorset Council formal Executive Committee October 1 (and then the Weymouth and Portland full council on October 11 when the council, as Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) will formally consider the proposal.
If the financial business case proposals are supported, and assuming the outline planning application for regeneration is approved, then a detailed planning application for the first phase of works will be lodged later this year to get the scheme underway. People will be able to have their say at this formal planning stage.
52% of people say ‘very good’ or ‘good’
The overall cost of the first phase is around £14,445,000, including funds already committed for the repair of the harbour wall near the rowing ferry steps.
If approved, the council would seek to borrow £11,441,000 from the Public Work Loan Board to progress the scheme.
Source: Dorset Newsroom
More than 700 people – including businesses, residents and hoteliers – had their say about the proposals in consultation earlier this year.
Some 52 per cent of people felt that the proposed scheme was ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 27 per cent said it was ‘fair’.
The Council has worked with advisors at commercial property experts Cushman and Wakefield over the past year to test and refine its business case for the redevelopment.
The council’s Harbour Management Board has already supported the Weymouth Peninsula proposals.