Dorset Council (Weymouth and Portland area): After a lengthy application process, Dan Wilden is pleased to have finally secured planning permission for the development of a key gateway site at Osprey Quay on the Isle of Portland.
The application site lies on the harbour edge at the northern tip of Portland adjacent to the start of the causeway to the mainland. This narrow strip of land between the waterside revetment and Hamm Beach Road has been earmarked for development for two decades as part of the Osprey Quay masterplan.
The proposal designed by Forum Architecture of Southampton, involves a drive-thru cafe on the west hand side of the site, adjacent to the roundabout on Portland Beach Road, with two 2-storey blocks of commercial units (total 18 units) on the waters-edge adjacent to the National Sailing Academy car park.
This site is located in a sensitive location with multiple constraints resulting in many planning issues to resolve including:
- Ecology: with Hamm Beach SSSI immediately to the north and Chesil Beach Special Area of Conservation very nearby – the key concerns were litter control and the prospect of increasing numbers of people walking across the sensitive areas;
- Visual impact: this was particularly important as the first site visible on arrival on Portland from the mainland;
- Proposed uses: the original masterplan envisaged only traditional employment uses but a much more varied selection of uses was proposed under new Use Class E as well as the drive-thru;
- Wind impact in relation to the sailing academy: the impact of a proposal on wind is rarely an issue in planning but in certain situations can be a material consideration – here the academy was concerned that the buildings might adversely impact the wind conditions for teaching sailing in the harbour (an expert report confirmed this was not the case).
Eventually with the various issued resolved, the application went to the planning committee recommended for approval. The committee agreed that the proposal would be of benefit to the local area and voted to approve the application.
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