The official grant letter has been received. So what happens now?
Here are the first five things that will happen now. (Or why it will be at least a year before we see any building coming out of the ground on the Quayside)
1.Decide who exactly is going to do what? The ‘council officers’ who had worked with us to put the whole thing together had to be confirmed in their new jobs in the new Unitary Dorset Council and have their new bosses agree they could carry on with the project. At the end of April, just last week, the Project Delivery Team had just been agreed.
2. Planning Permission. Yep, even the Council has to apply for Detailed Planning Permission, and there are all sorts of checks and balances that have to happen to make sure they don’t abuse the fact they are applying to themselves, not to mention finalising some detailed plans. Then there is the Planning Committee of Councillors, who have only just been voted in (again last week). This is going to take a while.
3. Groundworks and Repairs. As many people in Weymouth, especially on social media, have pointed out, underneath the tarmac of the Peninsula and the Harbour Wall, there is an awful lot to be done before pontoons, landing equipment, or any new building can be started. The work to make the Harbour walls strong and true, the demolition of the old ferry buildings and stabilising of the Quay side has to happen before anything new can be built.
4. Stakeholders. What a great word that is. There are so many people with a ‘stake’ in this project. There are the members of the Coastal Community Team that made the application. The Harbour Management Committee, as the project is being delivered on Harbour land, which in turn is part of the Dorset Council. Then there are the Harbour users, the local businesses, residents etc etc. So how are all these stakeholders going to be heard, without it disintegrating into chaos.
The plan so far is, there will be an overall Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project Delivery Board with the partners on it that are ‘accountable’for the whole project delivery, the spend etc. There will be a Project Delivery Team, who are the people that do all the technical stuff, plans, regulations, applications, costings, exploring options, project planning and delivery. Both of those groups will be meeting constantly throughout the project.
Other stakeholders will be represented on the Coastal Community Team Project Board, organisations that represent business and community in Weymouth (see the About page on this site) and want to actively support ‘regeneration’ in Weymouth. They can keep the project rooted in the Town, act as a consultative group and also have an ‘overview’ of the whole project including the development of the Centre of Excellence for Small, Medium Enterprise. The Harbour Management Committee will also be involved with the Harbour users etc.
5. The Great Project Plan. So here is the first priority… anybody who doesn’t love a Gantt chart can look away now. (If you don’t know what a Gantt Chart is is, feel free to Google it, or just carry on having a life)
This is the first big job of the Project Delivery Team. Do you watch programmes on TV where people build their own homes, and they keep changing their minds about which builder to use, what wall to have where and what they want? Usually it is a couple…just two people..and we watch as their costs and deadlines go out of control. Imagine what it would be like for a project on this scale, with so many stakeholders, if there was not a clear plan.
This project has to take into account everything from climate change and rising sea levels to what colour paint to have the front doors. So the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Great Project Plan is first on the to do list. The grant makers say the project has to be delivered within two years, thats by Spring 2021.
So please excuse us, go to get on!