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Council to examine buying former power station site

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is to look into buying a former power station site in order to kick start regeneration plans.

The unitary authority’s cabinet will meet on 12 July to discuss a report on buying the site in Holes Bay, Poole, which has remained undeveloped for more than 20 years.

According to the report, private attempts to redevelop the site have ‘stalled’ and instead it recommends the council pursue an ‘alternative approach’ with support from Homes England and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP).

The report recommends the council allocate £150,000 from Homes England capacity fund to develop a ‘site acquisition strategy’.

If approved, the acquisition strategy will be presented to council later in the year and members will be presented with a full business case for acquiring the site.

The site is currently allocated in the Poole Local Plan to bring forward 850 new homes.

In 2015, Poole Borough Council successfully applied for the land to be designated as a government Housing Zone and in 2017 allocated £5 million Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s grant funding for infrastructure, subject to due diligence.

‘We recognise that this is a very challenging site and the Council has, over many years, done everything it can to support the landowners in developing this site,’ said BCP’s corporate director of environment and community, Kate Ryan.

‘However, the most recent planning application has stalled and despite efforts from the government, Homes England and the council, the landowners have confirmed that they will not be proceeding with the £5 million funding agreement with the council and DLEP to deliver the infrastructure works.

‘As a result, it is now prudent for the council to consider an alternative approach to secure the funding and bring this site forward for development.’

Housing cabinet member, Cllr Kieron Wilson, added: ‘In Poole and throughout the wider area, housing demand outstrips supply so it is essential we look at every opportunity to deliver homes for people who need them.

‘The delivery of housing on this site is a key priority for the council. Bringing this major brownfield site into public ownership would enable us to provide sustainable good quality homes much sooner thereby supporting the wider plans to revitalise Poole town centre.’

Photo by Free-Photos (Pixabay)

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