Dorset Echo - 04 November 2015
Dorchester Civic Society has vowed to take
a ‘positive and proactive approach’ to engaging with developers as proposals
emerge for town’s former prison site.
Last September the society published a
joint position statement with Dorchester Town Council, setting out their vision
for the future for the site.
Now, after developers City and Country has
held a number of public consultation events and met with stakeholders to
explain its outline plans for the site, the Civic Society has updated the
statement in light of the emerging proposals.
It says that it is happy the site is being
considered and planned in a comprehensive manner and welcomes City and
Country’s approach to consultation and community engagement.
The statement add: “We have benefitted from
meeting representatives of City and Country on October 6, when their latest
proposals were presented to and discussed with the society’s committee”.
The Civic Society say the balance between
retention of historic buildings and other buildings being proposed is
‘appropriate’ but says it does question the need to retail so much of the
prison wall and the visual impact this may have on views into and out of the
Other concerns include the inclusion of
only two non-residential elements, a museum interpretation space and commercial
frontage to North Square, in the mixed use scheme, with the society saying it
is ‘less than envisaged’.
It adds that: “An affordable housing
element would promote social diversity.”
In terms of access to the site, the Civic
Society stresses that it needs to be considered in terms of the wider impact it
will have on the town.
The statement says: “The scheme should not
be viewed in isolation from pedestrian and traffic movements and issued in the
historic core of Dorchester.
“However vehicular access to the site is
arranged traffic signage should be minimized, the scope for shared space should
be maximized, streets should be designed as a whole not a series of individual
and uncoordinated elements for the benefits of all users, pedestrians,
cyclists, people with disabilities as well as drivers.”
The society says it will continue to engage
with City and Country as the proposals for the site some forward.
It said: “The society is taking a positive
and proactive approach to engaging with City and Country.”
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