BCP Council launches new proposals to drive forward major investment across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Affordable new homes in vibrant neighbourhoods where local families have good livelihoods and where businesses thrive, are at the centre of a new approach to regeneration being driven forward by BCP Council.

11 regeneration sites with a gross development value of over £2bn, and with the potential to deliver 3500 new homes are being brought forward for investment under a new regeneration model which puts local communities at the centre of future development.

Schemes include the south west’s largest brownfield regeneration site at Holes Bay, the Wessex Fields Medtech Park, and proposals to replace the Bournemouth International Centre with a modern, state of the art facility.

Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of BCP Council, said; “We want the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole city region to be world class - one of the best coastal places in which to live, work, invest and play. As part of our Big Plan we are committed to delivering big changes across our whole area, supporting the creation of 13,000 jobs across all sectors of our economy, delivering new homes at the highest quality at all levels of affordability for local residents, and facilitating a thriving environment for our businesses.

“We promised we would move at pace with our Big Plan ambitions and within six months of setting the council’s budget - earmarking an additional £1.75million to drive forward regeneration - we formed an urban regeneration company and brought in some of the UK’s leading talent in development and placemaking to create the capacity and skillset needed to drive a major regeneration programme.”

Taking forward its regeneration plans the council is proposing to commit an additional £10.4million over the next five years into regeneration across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. This will establish the urban regeneration company to lead the development of council owned sites and drive the conurbation’s investment opportunities.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning, said; “We are taking a bold and unique approach to our placemaking role and responsibilities, by making sure we create future places with liveability and quality at the centre. We are determined to deliver economically vibrant but affordable places in neighbourhoods that are safe and attractive and offer a sense of belonging for local communities.

“This means we will see a shift from that exclusive focus of meeting housing numbers towards a qualitative target of delivering great places with homes and infrastructure that are beneficial and healthy for our local communities and the environment.

“By investing significantly in our new model, we are cementing a firm commitment which will provide confidence within the investment market, and give certainty to our local communities that they will be at the centre of positive regeneration.

“We are already starting to see the opportunities this approach is starting to unlock. For example, in Poole we have recently brought forward a scheme at Carters Quay which will deliver more than 160 new homes for local people, supporting the wider ambitions to rejuvenate Poole by bringing a vibrant, attractive, and sustainable mix of residency, business, hospitality, retail, culture and green spaces to the town.

“In Bournemouth, we have bolstered the £21.7m government backed Towns Fund programme by utilising the urban regeneration company to provide oversight and development management support ensuring the business plans are aligned with recent government guidance which places greater emphasis on the need for sustainable, dynamic, and better-connected places.”

Earlier this year the council commissioned an independent review to look at whether any improvements needed to be made to ensure the work of the Bournemouth Development Company (BDC) continues to help propel the council’s aims and objectives.

By expanding its capacity in regeneration, the council has enhanced its relationship with the BDC. Going forward the council will ensure that all developments it supports, whether delivered through the recently formed urban regeneration company, BDC or the Bournemouth Towns Fund programme are appraised and aligned to the council’s Big Plan ambitions and new approach to regeneration.

Councillor Broadhead added; “The independent review not only gives the BDC a clean bill of health but also recognised that it has provided good value for money and delivered on its original aims. The review made some sensible recommendations for the future, especially around ensuring we have a joined up approach to public car parking, which was already a workstream we were accelerating. We are a growing city region proud of our expanding visitor base and we recognise parking is important, which is why we have commissioned a feasibility study to look at our options for consolidating the car parking capacity so that we can determine the best location for this as we take forward our wider regeneration programme.”

In line with its new approach to regeneration the council is proposing to accelerate design work on major improvements to Poole Quayside as part of its seafront strategy, and carry out demolition on a number of properties on Exeter Road in Bournemouth to prepare the way for the redevelopment of the Winter Gardens site.

Details on the council’s regeneration proposals are outlined in a report due to go to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board on 20 September before being considered by cabinet on 29 September 2021. A copy of the report can viewed here.

Posted on Friday 10 September 2021