Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the scheme being changed from the original proposals?
New Look previously secured planning permission in 2007 from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for the redevelopment of its Mercery Road site. At the time there was insufficient demand from other operators for the scheme. In order to make the plans more commercially viable in light of the current economic climate, New Look is looking to put forward revised proposals for the site.
What are the main changes to the revised proposals?
The main change to the new proposals is the inclusion of a food retail unit in place of a non-food retail development.
How will the scheme contribute to the regeneration of Weymouth?
The redeveloped site will act as a “gateway” to Weymouth from the new relief road, providing a symbol of regeneration in Weymouth and also providing new facilities to local residents as well as tourists. As well as creating a substantial number of new jobs and retaining existing jobs, New Look’s new corporate office will act as a catalyst which could help attract other major employers into the town.
How many jobs will the scheme create?
As well as creating approximately 700 jobs during the construction phase, the site will provide more than 1,000 jobs when fully developed including: existing New Look jobs safeguarded, 400 new superstore jobs, 92 new hotel and pub/restaurant jobs with the remaining proportion comprising new office and light industry jobs. Most employees are expected to come from the local area.
Will there be more traffic in the area due to the development?
A new main entrance to the site will be created from the Relief Road to the North of the site, reducing the level of traffic in the surrounding residential areas. Additional access will be gained via the existing Mercery Road junction with Dorchester Road in the south-west corner of the site.
The use of public transport and cycling/walking to work will also be actively encouraged, facilitated by the neighbouring park and ride, onsite bus stops and improved cycling/walking access.
Will there be sufficient parking on the site?
Yes, the proposals include over 750 parking spaces for office staff, as well as ample parking for the hotel and pub/restaurant and the supermarket.
Can a train station be included as part of the proposals?
The inclusion of a train station on the site would be a policy initiative driven forward by Network Rail. Although there are currently no plans for the inclusion of a station, New Look would be happy to explore the inclusion of a train station if this was something taken forward by the relevant authorities.
How will cycle and pedestrian access to the site be improved?
Provision will be made for a cycle and pedestrian bridge to cross the existing stream along the southern boundary for the site, to link into the new extension of the Lodmoor Park Cycle path to the town centre – part of the Weymouth Relief Road Scheme.
How tall will the new development be?
The buildings will be between two and three storeys tall, with the tallest building being the New Look offices at 16m.
Does the scheme contain any sustainable features?
The scheme will be designed to the required government levels of sustainability, and will include a number of low carbon features such as natural ventilation systems, use of natural light, recycling of rain water, use of sustainable construction materials, and the potential use of renewable energy.
Will the construction period cause local disruption?
No, the standard working hours for all construction activities, to be confirmed in agreement with the local planning authority, are likely to be from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and 7.30am-1pm Saturday. No continuous 24-hour activities will take place and there will be no Sunday or Bank Holiday working.
All HGV construction traffic will be routed to access the site from the north via the Relief Road, in order to ensure there will be no HGV traffic in the main residential areas of the town centre.
What is the timetable for the proposals?
Public consultation: Summer 2010
Masterplan application submission: February 2011
Planning applications determined by Council: Summer 2011
Construction to begin: Winter 2011
First occupation: 2012