residential use
Ref 12656

Dorchester Gaol

Dorchester Goal
DT1 1HY Dorchester

To buyPlease contact us
Size209,524 ft² / 19,466 m²


Exceptional residential development opportunity in the heart of historic Dorchester.

  • Detailed planning permission for 185 residential units
  • Conversion of existing buildings to provide 60 units
  • 125 new build units comprising both apartments and houses
  • Walking distance to Dorchester town centre
  • Site area of approximately 1.95 ha / 4.81 acres


The site extends to approximately 1.95 ha (4.81 acres). It is accessed from North Square via a drive and car park that is part of the development site that lies outside the prison wall. There are several modern houses that are to be demolished as part of the proposed scheme. The area behind the wall is accessed via a vehicle gate or the original gatehouse, which is the only listed building on site. The buildings inside the wall comprise a number of period buildings including the main Victorian prison building set out in a traditional wing layout. The existing buildings to be retained are up to 5 storeys with the upper storeys benefitting from excellent views over the town and surrounding countryside. A number of buildings within the walled area are to be demolished, creating areas for the new build development and open space. Existing buildings on site extend to approximately 10,654 sq m (114,680 sq ft). the proposed development extends to approximately 17,406 sq m (187,680 sq ft). Parking is provided at ground level within the walls. A basement car park is to be developed beneath units on the existing car park at the site’s entrance with access from North Square.


The residential led redevelopment of the former Dorchester Prison received planning and listed building consent by West Dorset District Council (ref: WD/D/16/002697 & WD/D/16/002698) on 16 February 2017 for the following:“Change of use of the main cell blocks & gatehouse to residential accommodation (use class C3) (60 units) with an interpretation space in the gatehouse. Construction of new residential blocks & residential terrace (use class C3) (125 units) & associated landscaping and car parking. Demolition of a number of non-Listed buildings. Alterations to public realm & highways in North Square and The Bow.”The site is within the Dorchester Conservation Area and contains one Grade II listed building (the Gatehouse). The decision notices include a number of pre-commencement and pre-occupation conditions and the permissions will remain live for three years from the decision date (16 February 2017).There is no Section 106 agreement and therefore no affordable housing is to be provided. The site is liable for payment of CIL. JLL acted as planning agent for City & Country. Any queries should be directed to:Kevin Hunt – Planning Director 928 1647

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Energy rating

Energy rating 0

Location and Transport

Dorchester lies at the junction of the A35, South Coast trunk road, and the A37, which leads north to Yeovil. It also has direct rail links to London and Bristol. The site is located in an elevated position to the north of central Dorchester, and is bounded by the Millstream to the north (which connects two branches of the River Frome), with the other three sides of the site being bounded by mainly residential properties. High Street East and Cornhill, which are two of the main retail thoroughfares in the town, are less than 100m to the South, providing easy access to local amenities.