Charles Street, Dorchester
The redevelopment of the Charles Street car park in Dorchester is a key priority for West Dorset District Council.
The first phase of the development is now complete. This included the construction of new district council offices and a county council library and learning centre. The offices opened in December 2012. The library and adult learning centre opened 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
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 district council has received an application for the renewal of outline planning permission for Phase 2 of the Charles Street development. View the latest planning application. (opens in a new window)
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 (opens in a new window) as its preferred developer. Simons has worked up a scheme in consultation with the public.
Construction company Cowlin (opens in a new window) 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
West Dorset District Council has downsized to smaller, greener and cheaper to run offices as part of phase one of the Charles Street development. Find out more about the new offices here.