Work on a controversial £ 4.5million new housing development in Southill in Weymouth will finally begin next month as bulldozers move in to demolish the former Marchesi House sheltered housing complex.
The building, off Radipole Lane, is due to be demolished after its elderly residents move. It will be replaced by social housing, the majority of its new tenants coming from the general housing waiting list, while seven of the properties will be sold in co-ownership.
It has been confirmed that demolition work ahead of the new development of the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA) will begin on September 13.
BCHA also announced that contractor Drew Smith has been appointed for the redevelopment, which when completed will include 13 one-bedroom apartments in two blocks, 12 two-bedroom houses, six three-bedroom houses and 38 parking spaces. .
The plans drew significant local opposition after being first unveiled in November 2018. More than 200 people opposed the program over fears about the risk of additional trafficking for children attending the nearby primary school and a new access from Rowan Close, as well as excessive traffic. development. When completed, there will be twice as many people living on the site compared to its previous use.
Others feared that some of the new residents would have additional drug and / or alcohol addiction needs, while concerns were also expressed about the removal of elderly residents from the Marchesi house – although it was It was agreed that the 40-year-old’s accommodation was no longer suitable for purpose.
Commenting in 2018, some residents of the Marchhesi House claimed that they had not been properly informed about the program.
One of them said: “At 87, I don’t want to move. I have been here for 18 years. All my friends are here.
Another was quite confident that he will find suitable accommodation after the redevelopment and added: “They have taken note of where I want to go. ”
Building permit was finally granted by Dorset Council in September 2019. The construction project will take around 18 months, BCHA has now confirmed.
Martin Lucas, Director of Finance and Corporate Resources for BCHA, said: “BCHA has appointed Drew Smith as the prime contractor for the redevelopment of Marchesi House in Southill, Weymouth. The site is now secure with palisades installed around the perimeter and demolition work is due to begin on September 13.
“This exciting project will see the construction of 24 social housing units and seven condominium units with associated landscaping and infrastructure to bring much-needed affordable housing to the region. Completion of development is expected to be in early 2023.