Work to start on 348 homes in landmark Ocean Views development

NEW HOMES: From left: Comer Homes Group project manager Jack O'Brien, Coun Ray Nowak, Coun Gill Taylor and Coun Jeff Cant at the Ocean Views site on Portland

NEW HOMES: From left: Comer Homes Group project manager Jack O’Brien, Coun Ray Nowak, Coun Gill Taylor and Coun Jeff Cant at the Ocean Views site on Portland

Work is due to begin on the second phase of the landmark Ocean Views development to build 348 new homes on Portland in Dorset.

Landowner the Comer Group and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have been working closely together to take the £25m project forward.

The Comer Group has already redeveloped one of two former naval accommodation blocks at the site in Castletown with 206 flats in its Atlantic House scheme.

Now developer Fulca Ltd, a Comer Group company, is set to transform the remaining building into 157 apartments.

It will also develop 191 new build homes at the rear of the site. The company is investing more than £25m into the project.

The progress comes after a planning application to alter some elements of the internal layout, façade and balconies gained consent from the council.

It also follows a successful preliminary bid through the council’s Opening Doors programme seeking £2.8m of Government Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) money for land stabilisation work at the site.

With the 157 apartments in the former naval block and the 191 new-build properties, the new developments will result in 348 new homes.

Added to the 206 flats already completed in Atlantic House, the site would provide a total of 554 properties when complete.

Work is due to begin in the next month with site clearance, surveying, some demolition work, the creation of compounds and opening of offices.

Construction work will begin after detailed exterior designs are finalised with the first residents due to move in by late 2019/early 2020.

The progress comes as Weymouth & Portland Borough Council recently launched its Opening Doors campaign with West Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council to secure 20,000 new homes for the combined areas by 2033.

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s briefholder for environment and sustainability, said: “We are very pleased to see progress on this site.

“Development will not only bring much needed housing but will also represent a major step forward in the regeneration of Castletown.”

Cllr Gill Taylor, housing briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “This is a major boost following the launch of our Opening Doors campaign.

“New housing will help more people into homes of their own and also support the growth of the local economy not only for Portland but for the rest of the Borough as well.”

NEW VISION: Comer Homes Group block at Ocean Views on Portland where work is due to start

NEW VISION: Comer Homes Group block at Ocean Views on Portland where work is due to start

Cllr Jeff Cant, who is council leader and briefholder for finance and assets, said: “The partly completed Comer homes site overlooking Castletown has been a problem for several years.

“There has been a resurgence in investment in this very run down area over the past several years lead by a prominent Portland businessman Derek Luckhurst.

“Castletown has great potential and we are delighted that the company has worked through all the obstacles with us over the last two years to achieve such a positive outcome.”

Full planning consent for the Ocean Views site – the former MOD Hardy complex – was granted in 2004 and remains in place. The majority of homes in the second block will be for rent at local, open market rates.

PHASE ONE: Atlantic House, with 206 flats, a swimming pool and fitness centre

PHASE ONE: Atlantic House, with 206 flats, a swimming pool and fitness centre

Robert Sheppard, Head of Portfolio (UK) for the Comer Group, said: “We are delighted to move forward with the second phase of Ocean Views.

“We have worked very closely with the council and appreciate its support and assistance to progress this site.

“The active engagement and support of the council has been pivotal in securing the additional opportunity presented by HIF funding; illustrating quite markedly how the commitment of local councils can influence central Government decisions positively to the benefit of their community.

“Ocean Views has the potential to deliver a significant number of properties to help the council meet need locally and reach its housing targets. We are very much looking forward to getting started.”

Opening Doors has also launched a Home Ownership Register to provide information for househunters and to gauge demand for the different types of properties in the area.

Contact account director James Tourgout on 07827 806400 and james.tourgout@deepsouthmedia.co.uk for more details.