Future of Wessex Fields to be considered by BCP Council

Posted on Friday 20 September 2019

Plans for the future development of Wessex Fields will be discussed by BCP Council’s Cabinet Members on Monday 30 September 2019.

In response to the challenges set out in BCP Council’s Climate Emergency, councillors agreed earlier this year to review the plans to build a new link road and junction at Wessex Fields.

A report due to be considered by BCP Council’s Cabinet Members provides an overview of the current status of the Wessex Fields programme, including a number of recommendations on ensuring future plans for the site incorporates BCP Council’s ambition to put more sustainable travel options in place, and not just focus on increasing road-space for cars.

As part of the report Cabinet Members will be asked to approve plans to proceed with the building of the planned road from the A338 but only up to the Wessex Fields development site boundary line.

A public consultation event on the future development of the Wessex Fields site including access to and from it is also recommended as part of the report.

Councillor Mark Howell, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Culture, BCP Council, said; “We promised to carry out a thorough review of the plans that were developed under the preceding council to ensure the principles of any future development at Wessex Fields effectively responds to the commitment we have set out in the climate emergency motion. We have now completed that review.

“The recommendation is not to proceed with the construction of the part of the road planned to be built on the Wessex Fields site as construction may compromise the emerging masterplan, or encourage through traffic before environmental mitigation features are introduced to reduce the amount of vehicle journeys in the surrounding area.

“We have made it clear that as a Cabinet we want to see more emphasis on sustainable transport options and not just focus on increasing road-space for cars. We are conscious of the impact of transportation on the environment and reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible.

“It is vital that travel, transport and infrastructure developments in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole support clean economic growth, help to improve health and wellbeing and make the three towns a better place to live, work and visit. This will require more focus on delivering a high quality, integrated and low carbon transport system across the three towns not just for the immediate future, but for generations to come.

“We will engage the local community in exploring the potential of the Wessex Fields, in order to evolve the current vision and masterplan by holding a public consultation event.

“As proposals for the site are developed, we will explore ways to directly address the congestion on Castle Lane East and other roads surrounding the site, including working with employers on travel plans, and better joined up support for active travel.”

Currently earmarked for employment use, Wessex Fields is located near the A338 and Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Under the preceding council, plans had been approved to build a new link road and junction connecting the A338 with Deansleigh Road via the Wessex Fields site.

Additional government funding through the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the wider Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme had been secured to deliver part of the scheme, with further funding needing to be sought to deliver the entire link road and junction.

For more information, please follow the link to the Wessex Fields Cabinet Report.