30 affordable homes to be built on former council depot site

Katie Clark

30 affordable homes to be built on former council depot site

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PLANS to build 30 affordable homes on the site of a former council depot have been unanimously approved.

The scheme from Spectrum Housing Group for the Grange Road Industrial Site will see 10 flats and 20 houses built on the site of the council depot.

Bought by the council in the 1980s, the site has been vacated by Dorset Waste Partnership and is currently being used by the council's ground maintenance team.

The valuable employment land would be lost, if the application was to be approved, something which goes against the council's own core strategy.

Natural England initially raised concerns about the development's proximity to protected sites, calling on the council to provide "appropriate mitigation" due to the number of houses proposed.

The site also falls within two flood zones - with a low risk of surface water flooding and a medium risk for river and tidal flooding.

Dorset County Council's flood risk management team put in a holding objection to the plans, pending "an adequate surface water scheme", the planning report stated.

Residents in Grange Road also objected to the plans, criticising the scheme for overdevelopment and light, dust and noise pollution.

They have also called for the Conservation Trust and history society to be allowed access to record a nuclear bunker on the site.

The report from the planning officers says: "Given that in general the buildings and structures on the site are poor in quality and offer limited flexibility and are of limited interest to modern business and industry it is considered that the loss of the employment land is acceptable.

"Furthermore to replace the units with more modern facilities would be unviable."

It adds that although the housing is of "a relatively high density...the scheme is considered to make best use of the developable area within the site."

The development was recommended for approval, subject to 18 different conditions, including a mitigation plan for protected species and contributions to compensate for the impact on Dorset Heathlands.

It was approved by the planning committee in a unanimous vote.