Coastguard training centre in Christchurch could close to make way for housing (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Coastguard training centre in Christchurch could close to make way for housing
A MARITIME and Coastguard Agency training centre in Christchurch could close to make way for up to 35 houses.
The MCA centre at Friars Cliff includes nine buildings and two smaller structures – an emergency flares store and a car park.
It was developed in 1943 as a signals research and development establishment operated by the Ministry of Defence developing radar, radio, night vision and optical fibre technology until 1980.
But due to the size of the centre, the MCA wants to relocate to a purpose-built facility near Fareham in Hampshire as the current training centre at Steamer Point leaves no room for expanding new facilities.
A planning statement said: “The current training centre buildings are old and small in size.
“By selling the existing site for development, the MCA hope to fund the new facility at Fareham which will consist of more efficient and modern facilities.
“Although not required, it was deemed appropriate to provide an opportunity for the public, specifically those living in close proximity to the site, to learn more about the proposal and have the opportunity to comment prior to submission of the outline application.”
Cllr Mike Duckworth, ward member for Mudeford and Friars Cliff, said a recent meeting attended by more than 50 residents heard concerns from people about the amount and type of houses being put on the site.
He said residents were in the process of setting-up their own committee as a way to respond to the plans.
“What really upset the apple cart was a drawing, only for illustrative purposes, which shows semi detached as well as flats and a four bedroom house” he said.
“There were also concerns about the potential loss of trees and the need to protect as many of those as possible.
“Ultimately this is a prime site and we are in a good position at the beginning of the process to make our feelings known.”
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