Versant acquires historic waterfront site in Weymouth

Developer plans a significant mixed-use heritage scheme for Brewers Quay

Winchester-based property developer Versant Developments & Homes has completed on the purchase of the Grade II listed Brewers Quay site in Weymouth, with pretty grand plans to deliver 31 apartments as part of a mixed-use scheme.

The site, acquired from Brewers Quay Investments LLP, includes a Victorian former brewery and its adjoining Coopers Building, which span 50,719 square feet combined. Planning permission is already in place for the 35 resi units along with commercial and events space. There will also be a new heritage museum at the heart of the scheme, occupying four floors.

Brewers Quay has had a fairly eventful ride since it ceased to operate at as a brewery back in 1985 (beer had been produced on the site since the 13th century). It’s been a theatre, a shopping centre and an antiques emporium, has housed a museum, was earmarked for 2012 Olympic stuff, and has had various plans drawn up including for a hotel and pub. We’ve lost track of how many times the site has changed hands over the last 25 years, but it’s at least six…

Now Brimelow McSweeney Architects has been brought on to revise the existing plans; the aim is submit tweaked ideas to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for approval in early 2017, with a phased build schedule kicking off in Q3 2017.

Versant’s got quite the back catalogue of prime resi projects, including the recent 31-apartment office-to-resi development of Compass House, 50 Kensington Gardens Square; a seven-unit scheme at 6 Grosvenor Gardens, and three “stately” contemporary country houses near Winchester. There’s also a big £65m project underway at Manchester Airport.

Frank Mountain, Managing Director of Versant Developments & Homes: “We are aware that the site has changed hands a number of times in the past and has not been brought to fruition, to the disappointment of the local community. The completion of this deal is positive news for Weymouth and we want to emphasise our commitment to ensuring the future of this historic site.

“The delivery of high quality new homes, commercial space and a new museum will help to reenergise this portion of the town, after a number of years of gradual decline.”

Cllr Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, and Briefholder for Finance and Assets: “We are thrilled to see this development take an important step forward. The Weymouth Museum Trust will be looking after the borough collection, which includes some unique items of great importance to the town’s history.”

Cllr James Farquharson, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Economic Development: “We’re confident this development will sensitively restore this Grade II listed building, re-establishing its status as a prime focal point within the resort’s historic waterfront.”