Plans for hundreds of homes in Weston suffer delays with Dolphin Square a 'problem'

PUBLISHED: 07:45 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 05 July 2019

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

Images of the proposed redevelopment of Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks have been revealed. Picture: North Somerset Council

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Delays continue to mar plans to build hundreds of homes in Weston town centre, with blueprints unlikely to be finalised this year.

Dolphin Square.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONDolphin Square. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Government quango Homes England and North Somerset Council are working in tandem to create hundreds of homes at Dolphin Square and at the Locking Road and Sunnyside Road car parks, but the proposals are behind schedule - creating 'problems' for some neighbouring businesses.

More than 100 flats are due to be created at Dolphin Square, while the car parks will be transformed into approximately 400 homes - but it appears it will be a long time before the developments get off the ground.

The delay to the plans for Dolphin Square have been caused by an electricity substation, with Homes England bosses yet to decide how best to relocate it - despite negotiating with Western Power Distribution for more than a year.

Locking Road Car Park.Locking Road Car Park.

A Homes England spokesman said: "We are working through the proposals and expect to undertake public consultation later this year prior to submission of an outline planning application in 2020.

"The focus is on agreeing how the primary substation can best be accommodated within a development. This has required detailed technical investigation and discussions are ongoing."

A consultation was held a year ago on the plans for Locking Road and Sunnyside Road, with hopes of a planning application being submitted by the end of 2018.

Sunnyside Road North.Sunnyside Road North.

This target was not met by Homes England, which now hopes to finalise its plans 'in late 2019 or early 2020'.

Its spokesman added: "To maximise potential developer interest translating into actual starts on site further market research has been commissioned, and the results of which will be incorporated into the outline planning application plans."

Mark Canniford, the council's executive member for business, economy and employment, told the Mercury negotiations have been held with Homes England to unlock 'interesting' temporary uses for sites to 'generate more interest in our town centre' while designs continue to develop.

He said: "Dolphin Square is a problem and we do have to do something with it.

"Moving the power station, that's a £3million bill. That's putting a lot of value on that land before we can do anything with it."

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