A revised housing proposal on the site of the former Crown and Anchor pub at Wimborne Minster been refused.
Dorset Council decided the site would be at risk of flooding, that the proposed homes are out of keeping with the area and the development would cause ‘harm’ to the historic setting – including Walford Mill and the river bridge.
Several objectors, including the Town Council, say it would be better to convert the former pub building rather than see new buildings on the ‘town gateway’ site.
The New Forest-based Caspian Developments had originally tried to persuade Dorset Council that seven homes would be acceptable, but later reduced the application to five and made changes to some of the proposed buildings.
The latest rejected application was for a pair of semi-detached homes and a terraced of town houses, each with three bedrooms, giving each a large rear garden with the site offering 11, separate parking spaces, close to the river.
Agents argued that if the site were to flood the only vulnerable area would be the car parking spaces and the rear gardens to some of the properties closest to the River Allen.
Wimborne Town Council were opposed to the amended plans for what they describe as “a gateway site” to the town from the Cranborne direction.
Said the town council in its objection: “We object as the street scene would be detrimentally affected by removing the old building and replacing with a featureless set of buildings… We are disappointed that a building of significance in Wimborne is being levelled rather than renovated or converted, which is also ecologically against the current drive for sustainability.”
The existing two storey block, believed to date to the 1880s in the arts & crafts style, is currently used as offices and prior to that was a Hall & Woodhouse public house.
Dorset Council’s conservation officer said that the current proposal could not be supported with nothing to outweigh the harm to the setting of the area, including the Mill opposite and grade 2 listed Walford Bridge; with the loss of the former pub which, although not listed, considered to be “an architecturally interesting non-designated heritage asset.”