Harlow property company apply to build seventeen flats in Dorchester

Planning / Sat 2nd May 2020 at 08:23am

A DORCHESTER site which has been an eyesore for years could be used for seventeen flats in two blocks.

The fire-damaged Old Gas Works in Icen Way is the subject of a new planning application to Dorset Council.

Developers, Kewmark Ltd from Harlow, are proposing 15 two-bed flats and 2 one-bed flats on the site, all for sale on the open market, together with space for cars, bins and bicycles. The existing building on the front of the site would be demolished, according to the application, with a new building on the same footprint, for four flats, with a second three-storey building set back on the site for the remaining 13 properties. Parking would be provided on the site for 17 cars with enough room for 20 bicycles. The area is first shown on map as a gas works in 1886, although there is an earlier historical reference to the town gas works being in the area in 1835. The site lies within the town conservation area and within the limits of the old Roman town although there are no listed buildings on the plot.

An agent’s report to the council argues that any change to the site would be an improvement: “The current appearance of the site is one of neglect and overgrown dereliction which has a negative impact on the character and appearance of the conservation are,” it says.

Adjoining buildings, to the rear of the site, which are not part of the application, are currently used by a local business and will remain. They were also previously part of the gas works site.

The report says that there is unlikely to be any Roman, or other historic remains, on the site because it was extensively excavated and disturbed during its time as a gas works, although the report acknowledges that some small areas may have remained relatively untouched and says that a ‘watching brief’ will be kept for any finds. Comments on the proposal can be made to Dorset Council until June 2. Full details of the scheme are available on the authority’s website. Dorchester town councillors are expected to discuss the application at their next meeting on June 1 although the final decision is expected to be made by a Dorset Council planning officer under delegated powers.

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