Plans For The Future
Like anywhere else, St Michael’s Estate cannot stand still. To survive we must change; we must move the estate onto the next stage of its history. But in doing so we must build on the legacy of the past; we must develop the estate in a way that not only contributes to the economy of West Dorset, but also boosts St Michael’s and Bridport’s South West Quadrant – architecturally and environmentally as well as commercially and from a community viewpoint.
All parties appear to agree that St Michael’s does not have a sustainable future without considerable investment into its regeneration. There are already a significant number of buildings that have become ‘unlettable’ – suffering from water ingress, damp and unsafe roofing.
This reduces our letting options and the opportunities for new businesses to establish themselves in Bridport. Not only do these ongoing delays place the estate’s future in jeopardy but put at risk this one off opportunity to create an even more valuable asset to the town through the delivery of a mixed use regeneration scheme on a brownfield site, normally worth its weight in gold in town planning circles.
Mixed use schemes are seen as being key to the creation of a rural economy consistently creating and broadening employment opportunities.
When outline approval was finally received in 2017, we were encouraged by the response of our tenants; a letter from them was published in the local press stating they would wish to ‘work with Hayward & Co to forge forward with the development in a positive way,’ and describing St Michael’s as a thriving and inspirational place.
The challenge remains to persuade Dorset Council of that view and of the many benefits that regeneration of St Michael’s will bring to West Dorset and Bridport in particular.