The site is located a short walk from the picturesque Weymouth town centre and harbour and can be found at the end of the historic Bincleaves breakwater, which protects Portland Harbour from Weymouth Bay.
To the north lies Newton’s Cove, Nothe Gardens and the Nothe Fort, a Grade II* Listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, which is accessed along the shoreline via the Newton’s Cove sea defences and Jubilee Walk which will extend along the front of the new development.
The waterside development looks out across Portland Harbour which features the world class sailing venue that hosted the Olympic sailing events in 2012 and views further across to Portland Bill. South along the coastline lies Portland House which is well set back from the cliff face within a dense tree-scape, and further south lie the remains of Sandfoot Castle, also a Grade II* Listed and Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The exceptional site location and stunning design make the most of the extensive sea views and is ideally situated close to Weymouth town centre, Brewers Quay, the Maltings and the Nothe Fort and Gardens.
The site comprises 4.8 hectares of made ground and reclaimed coast and coastal water. The existing developed area of the site extends over 1.9 hectares and comprises utilitarian and industrial style buildings and hardstandings, formerly used by the Ministry of Defence, presently not in use and owned by QinetiQ. The site is considered brownfield.
The site is protected by substantial rock armour sea defences along its north eastern and south eastern frontages extending from the adjoining breakwater. The Grade II listed breakwater structure comprises Portland stone blocks piled onto the seabed, concrete revetments and rubble infill and, whilst accessible through the site, is not part of the site or this application.
The southern part of the site comprises a small area of beach currently not easily accessible since the collapse of a stairway leading down the adjacent cliffs. The entire landward western boundary, approx. 250m long, comprises a steep, entirely inaccessible cliff face. This, in places densely vegetated, cliff face forms part of Portland Harbour Shore SSSI, which itself is part of the Dorset and East Devonshire Jurassic Coast World Heritage site ‘The Jurassic Coast’.
Above the cliff is an area of local informal open space with views out to Weymouth Bay, Portland Bill and the higher Jurassic coastal cliffs in the north distance. The site itself sits directly below, but has limited visibility from the open space because of trees, bushes and fence lines along the top of the cliffs.
The site comprises some 40 buildings of varying form, quality and age. It is densely developed and is surrounded by a high security fence along its perimeter.
The existing buildings are a mixture of single and two storey structures, constructed in a variety of materials with pitched and flat roofs, providing office, workshop, laboratory and storage facilities, together with associated areas of hardstanding.
Exposed vents, chimneys and storage vessels reflect the industrial nature of the site and, although building heights vary, the larger industrial buildings are the equivalent of at least three storey domestic structures.
The general appearance and character of the Bincleaves site is therefore comparable with a low grade industrial development. None of the existing buildings have any architectural value and, due to the relatively recent timing of the original site reclamation works, the area is considered unlikely to have any significant archaeological value.