Regeneration of St Michael’s; the planning saga continues
When our fourth outline application for the regeneration and development of the St Michael’s Estate was approved by West Dorset District Council’s planning and development control committee back in 2017, we were convinced that the scheme – 19 years in the making – had finally taken a major step forward.
Four years later though, it has become clear that is not the case.
In the interim, West Dorset DC has been replaced by the much larger Dorset Council unitary authority and it has proved difficult to engage officers in the new council on the economic and commercial constraints surrounding the scheme. Planning approval was subject to joint signatures on a section 106 agreement, a legal document signed by planning authority and applicant that in essence summarises the basis on which the scheme would be taken forward.
The plans as now approved are much changed from those submitted and initially approved in 2012 and in 2009, reflecting our commitment to meeting the requirements of all interested parties: English Heritage, the Environment Agency, town councillors, and other statutory consultees, in addition to the planning authority
Our commitment continues; we believe this scheme will finally give the local economy the shot in the arm it so badly needs – not only in terms of housing but in the provision of an enhanced environment, a much improved ‘public realm’,
an estate that will be more attractive to visitors and potential tenants alike and a scheme that will balance the best of the old (the heritage and the history) with the best of the new. Our challenge is to persuade Dorset Council of that view . . .
Uniqueness ? Diversity ? Nowhere Quite Like It ?
Its dangerous these days to claim something or somewhere is unique since someone will know better. So when we say there’s nowhere quite like St Michael’s Trading Estate here in our South West corner of Bridport, it’s because we do think there really is nowhere else quite like it!
Maybe it’s because of the history . . .
Stretching back more than 200 years and its role as a key part of the pioneering West Dorset net making and rope making industry, providing equipment for Nelson’s fleet as well as family owned early fishing vessels along the South West coast.
Maybe it’s because of the arrival of the Hayward family . . .
Who became owners in 1968 and have nurtured and managed the estate through many difficult and traumatic times. Without the Haywards, its fair to say the estate would not exist as when the Haywards first arrived planning permission already existed to turn St Michael’s into a housing estate. There’s more about the role of the Hayward Family on the Hayward Legacy page.
Maybe it’s because of the diverse mix of businesses . . .
That have helped the estate survive and grow – retail furniture, top spec bath and shower showrooms, the leading local school meals provider, textiles, car number plates, upholstery, stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery, tailor made garden furniture, glass and ceramic tiles, base for a local bus operator and even a wax work sculptor and a recording studio. Not forgetting the many antiques, collectibles, retro and vintage shops that add an additional unique flavour to St Michael’s.
All of these businesses and the many others not mentioned are listed on the Who’s Who at St Michael’s page with links through to the relevant web sites where available.
But its not all about history; we are planning an exciting future for St Michael’s a future that will carefully mix trading and work with living and home – just as it used to be in the traditional rope and net making industry of Bridport Gundry, Edwards Nets, and the family businesses of William Gale and Hounsell where some of the earliest examples of home working and out sourcing were seen.
Is St Michael’s unique?
There’s only one way to find out – don’t just visit the web site – come and see us. Just put DT6 3RR in your sat nav or follow the signs!