A NEW low-carbon business park in north Poole could create up to 1,650 jobs and contribute an estimated £96million a year to the local economy, experts claim.

An outline planning application for the 17.6 hectare site off Magna Road is expected to be submitted to the council within the next couple of weeks and companies are already lining up to move in if permission is granted.

Chartered town planner Ted Bleszynski, of Canford Renewable Energy said results of a three-week public consultation exercise carried out in the Bearwood area had shown that 40 per cent of respondents were broadly in support of the proposed Magna Business Park.

“It’s encouraging and shows signs of realism. The fate of this land has been under consideration for 15 years. A planning inspector ruled it should be safeguarded for employment uses and not included in the green belt,” he explained. He said the site would accommodate medium-sized companies currently hampered by a lack of suitable sites in which to expand their businesses.

He pointed out that figures for the number of new jobs and revenue for the local economy came from independent economic analysis.

“If Poole loses a medium-sized company because it has nowhere to expand, it loses £20million a year, not including business rates.”

Corporate property adviser Simon West, partner at chartered surveyors Cowling and West and a past-president of Dorset Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that several companies had expressed an interest in the business park.

“We’ve got a local enterprise partnership keen to encourage growth in the area, but the first thing we need to do is ensure that companies here already have space to expand.

“If they can’t find what they want the options are to go elsewhere in the country or move abroad.

“I think local authorities are sleepwalking into a problem and not really wanting to recognise it.”