Let's talk about future of Bridport school site

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: SITE: The school SITE: The school

PARKING, a hotel, social services day centre and housing are among ideas for the Mountjoy School site in Bridport.

The special school has left the Flood Lane site for a new modern home on the Beaminster School campus.

Owner Dorset County Council says there are no immediate plans but that the future may involve some provision for older people.

Now Bridport county councillor Karl Wallace has called for a public meeting to discuss the options.

He said: “A budget hotel was initially talked about years ago.

“Car parking would be ideal. The car parking could be part of a small industrial or science park.

“We need to create more employment. Before the site is disposed of we need to have a public meeting to see what options are available.”

Mountjoy closed its doors after 45 years to move to the purpose-built site at Beaminster.

Pupils started at the new Mountjoy on November 5. It is designed for 48 pupils with physical and learning disabilities.

It will be four times larger than its predecessor. Facilities will include a sensory studio, a media studio, a soft play room and a sensory hydrotherapy pool.

Mike Harvey, who is president of the Bridport Business chamber of commerce, said that the site could be used as a car park.

He said that car parking for public could be made available on the site even if a private enterprise takes over – or a combination of public and private parking.

He added: “We expect them to do something that is going to benefit Bridport.”

Mr Harvey said that another potential site is an old works site in South Street.

He also said that a budget hotel could be successful in Bridport as it would be totally different to the quality accommodation on offer in the area at the moment. Accommodation in Bridport is fairly high level.

“It is totally different to a budget hotel.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “There are no definitive plans for the Mountjoy School site. Right now our priority is to move Mountjoy pupils in to their new building in Beaminster.

“We will be assessing the use of the old school site in the future, but this needs to be done in relation to our provision of services for older people in the area.”

Travelodge said it had no plans for the site or for the town.

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