A report outlining a proposed acquisition strategy to bring the former power station site in Holes Bay into public ownership will be considered by Cabinet members on 12 July 2019.
This key brownfield site is a significant regeneration opportunity to provide much needed housing and a new community in Poole. The site is allocated in the Poole Local Plan to bring forward 850 new homes, which plays a vital role in supporting the Council’s increased housing delivery levels of approximately 2,600 new homes every year.
The site has remained undeveloped since the authority allocated the site for development over 20 years ago.
The Council has supported this site with substantial investment in infrastructure, primarily the Twin Sails Bridge, and continuous efforts to secure grant funding to support the financial viability of the site. In 2015 it 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.
Kate Ryan, Corporate Director of Environment and Community, BCP Council, said: “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.
“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.”
Cabinet members will therefore be asked to approve £150,000 Homes England capacity funding allocated to bring forwards this site to be used to support the development of an acquisition strategy.
Cllr Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, BCP Council, said: “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.”
If approved by Cabinet members, 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.