A POOLE commercial property company has offered £¼million to buy land at Marshes End and prevent it being used as a summer transit site for travellers.
However Borough of Poole, which owns the land, has turned down flat the £250,000 offer from Forelle Estates for the site at Safety Drive.
The company says it could develop a landmark office building, creating up to 200 jobs – but fears jobs may be lost if the controversial plans for the 12-plot site goes ahead.
Forelle owns the office buildings WDS House and Phoenix House that adjoin the site at Creekmoor. They are occupied by WDS Xerox and Deverill, who employ more than 100 people.
In a letter to chief executive John McBride, Forelle’s managing director Michael Price said they had immediate cash resources to make the purchase and were fully aware of the ecological, contamination and flood risk issues of the site. The council has said it would cost £175,000 to provide the temporary stopping place (TSP).
“Our offer to purchase the site ... should therefore provide the council with more than enough funds to develop the TSP in an alternative location and not require use of council tax payer funds. We do, of course, object most strongly to the current planning application which will have an extremely negative impact on the companies that occupy our adjoining office buildings and will inevitably drive jobs away from the location,” he said.
The company has employed planning consultants Terence O’Rourke to make a formal planning objection.
“It seems unbelievable to us that the council should even consider the use of the Marshes End site for a TSP as it should be obvious that the site is significant as an extremely prominent piece of land at the western gateway into Poole,” he said.
A landmark office building of around 20,000 sq ft could provide up to 200 jobs, he said.
Borough of Poole chief executive John McBride confirmed that an offer had been received from Forelle to buy the land.
He said: “The council has no plans to sell the site and does
not consider that it would be in the best interests of local taxpayers to accept an offer for an important council asset without full and proper assessment of its market value.
“Establishing a temporary stopping place would help the council to manage this issue more effectively and enable the police to use their powers to move unauthorised encampments.
“Such action will enable us to minimise the impact that unauthorised encampments can have on our local communities.”