Ambitious ideas have been put forward for the redevelopment of a town centre site which 'has had question marks over it for many years.’

West Dorset District Council, which owns Bridport’s bus station site, behind Tannery Road, is said to be looking at ways to redevelop it.

Bridport Town Council has made it clear it would like to be involved in the early stages of any proposals so it can put forward ideas it feels Bridport residents would like to see included.

These include: a new indoor skate park, transport hub, appropriate car parking provision, a café, public conveniences, pannier market, affordable rented accommodation and a leisure facility aimed primarily at younger people.

A report which went before the town council’s finance and general purposes committee states: ‘There has been little apparent movement towards redevelopment of the bus station site, a key development for the town.

‘One approach to initiating some progress is for the town council to agree some outline proposals for the site, and to submit these to WDDC for discussion. This approach would also aim to ensure that the town council is properly engaged in the redevelopment project, when it is taken forward by WDDC.’

Previous applications for the site have been refused by the town council as it felt the planning authority did not listen to residents’ needs.

Discussing the ideas, Cllr Maggie Ray said the project was ‘very ambitious’ and would put the town in the spotlight.

Councillors expressed a keen interest in a pannier market similar to Tavistock, and felt the location would be ideal for the indoor skate park campaigners in the town have long been hoping for.

Cllr Sarah Williams said it was a ‘very good scheme for lots of reasons’ and the town council should approach the district council with the proposals ‘immediately.’

Cllr Sandra Brown agreed, saying the site has had a question mark over it for many years and that the ideas should got to WDDC now before the new unitary authority takes over.

Campaigners behind a long-running campaign seeking to resurrect an indoor skate park in the town say the site has been a ‘primary target for a long, long time.’

The Trick Factory, which was based at St Michael’s Trading Estate, had no option but to close in 2016 following 17 years of voluntary service to young people.

Since then, young people, their parents and even grandparents have been working hard to try and bring the indoor skatepark back to life at a new location.

Arthur Woodgate, chairman of the skate park steering group and Bridport Young Persons Acton Trust (BYAT), said: “We are very pleased the town council is taking a pro-active stance on this.

“The site has ample space to accommodate the skate park and the other proposals. It would be ideal as an indoor safe area which could be controlled. It’s perfect in many ways.

“The town council’s support is invaluable.”