Charles Street, Dorchester
The redevelopment of the Charles Street car park in Dorchester is a key priority for the district council.
The first phase of the development includes the construction of new district council offices and a county council library and adult learning centre. Work on this part of the development started in June 2011. The offices opened on Monday 17 December 2012. The library and adult learning centre are due to open in July 2013.
The next phase will be a mixed-use retail development. This part of the scheme aims to enhance the vibrancy of Dorchester town centre and includes:
23 new shops
A new public car park
New public toilets
A public library and adult learning centre provided and paid for by Dorset County Council
Offices and separate parking occupied and paid for by the district council
The development represents approximately £60 million of private investment into Dorchester and will create around 600 new jobs (not including council jobs).
Background to the Charles Street development
A planning application (opens in a new window) for the comprehensive development of the site was received in April 2010 and determined in September 2010.
The site is at Charles Street in Dorchester, just to the east of the main retail area of South Street, the prime shopping area of this historic market town.
The site has been primarily used for public car parking and once the development is complete, will include a new 305 space car park. Plans are also being put in place to create a further 179 spaces within the county town.
The district council chose property development and construction group Simons as its preferred developer. Simons has worked up a scheme in consultation with the public.
Construction company Cowlin built phase one of the scheme (council offices and library). The district council's £9.7 million HQ has been rated "excellent" by BREEAM, the world's foremost environmental assessment method for buildings.
The new building in South Walks Road, Dorchester has also received the Secured by Design award, the official UK Police initiative supporting those who reduce opportunities for crime through design techniques.
You can see pictures showing how the development progressed on our Flickr page (opens in a new window) .
West Dorset District Council office relocation
In December 2012 West Dorset District Council downsized to smaller, greener and more modern offices at Charles Street, Dorchester. Read information about the offices and frequently asked questions here.
Arrangements are in place to minimise disruption to parking in Dorchester while changes take place on the Charles Street site.
Archaeology at the Charles Street site
Archaeology work has taken place at the site where phase one of the Charles Street development is being built.