Delay for new homes at Dolphin Square

PUBLISHED: 07:28 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:44 09 January 2020

View of Dolphin Square Centre from sea front across Sands car park.

View of Dolphin Square Centre from sea front across Sands car park.

Archant

It could be another five years before homes are built on Dolphin Square in the final phase of the multi-million pound development.

North Somerset Council and Homes England are planning to build 180 flats on the site, which is next to the leisure complex.

The leisure complex, which includes restaurants, a cinema and gym, was opened in 2017 but the next phase of the development has been met by months of delays.

Plans have been unable to progress due to a large sub-station which 'severely constrains development' and will cost around £2million to relocate if a suitable site can be found.

More: New 'iconic building' mooted for Dolphin Square.

While permanent options for development are progressing, North Somerset Council is exploring the possibility of using the site for other purposes, including a cycle hub.

A report to the council's strategic planning and economic development and regeneration policy and scrutiny panel states: "The purpose of the project is to deliver innovative and interesting use of the space which complements existing town centre uses and links to emerging council priorities around culture, climate emergency, local economic growth and economic inclusion."

The council has revealed the site could be used for a number of different purposes if they encourage economic inclusion - particularly for families from deprived wards - if the town centre is thriving, and as long as Weston starts to be a year-round visitor destination.

More: Update on Homes England plans for Weston.

Homes England owns a number of other development sites in Weston including Locking Road, Sunnyside Road and the former Sweat FA site.

Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks are set to take 400 new homes.

Draft planning applications for the sites were prepared by Homes England but were not submitted due to concerns from the council the schemes did not live up to ambitions for landmark buildings as a 'gateway' into the town centre.

Plans for Locking Road are expected to be submitted to North Somerset Council in the spring, followed by Sunnyside Road.

Development plans for Weston Links have also been hit by delays.

The former landfill site is set to take 700 homes and commercial development, but plans have failed to progress as the costs of remediating the site are 'prohibitive'.

Discussions with specialists within Homes England are continuing with a view to finding a solution.

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