Residents start petition objecting to housing plans for former youth centre site

Bournemouth Echo: WORRIES: The former youth centre off  Chichester Walk in Merley. WORRIES: The former youth centre off Chichester Walk in Merley.

CONCERNS about building affordable homes on an open site at Merley have been raised by residents.

The former youth centre site off Chichester Walk is an area identified for residential development by Borough of Poole, which held a public consultation at Merley Community Centre.

Working in partnership with Raglan Housing Association, the proposal is for 13 two and three-bed homes using half of the field.

However there is a petition protesting about it in local shops and residents including Lynne Witt of Chichester Walk and Lorraine Mindelsohn are opposing the plans.

“People come from all over Merley to play in there because it is a safe environment,” said Lynne.

The open field could clearly be seen and parents felt safe letting their children play there, she said.

More housing would mean more traffic and would put pressure on the pre-schools, school and doctor’s surgery.

“It’s affecting the whole of Merley, not just people and children around here. The whole community,” she said.

Debbie Benjafield, owner of Down in the Woods pre-school which is next door said they would lose their car park to the development. “It’s a massive safety issue for us,” she said.

But the council has a significant shortage of affordable homes and says it is committed to help increase the supply using its own land and assets.

“These homes are desperately needed for families and will make a small but important contribution to helping local families have a secure home,” said Cllr Karen Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for housing and community services.

“We must consider all possible sites across the borough while balancing the needs of the local residents.”

Cllr David Brown, who represents Merley and Bearwood said: “It is important the council is committed to providing affordable housing in Poole but taking into account the views of the local community is equally important to make sure that any plans can be revised to address the views and concerns of local people.”

Anyone unable to attend can contact Raglan for further information on 02380 658838. A consultation page will be available at raglan.org

Comments (10)

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3:14pm Fri 11 Apr 14

60plus says...

I hope now that it has been raised there is a piece of land there the travellers don't move on .
I hope now that it has been raised there is a piece of land there the travellers don't move on . 60plus
  • Score: 1

4:32pm Fri 11 Apr 14

LisaCLuett says...

This has not been thought out properly at all. The access to this development is across a public footpath which is a main pedestrian route to school so will be extremely dangerous already highlighted by the safety markings just recently painted for the traffic that already goes through. As well as losing a well used recreation ground we would have major traffic problems!
This has not been thought out properly at all. The access to this development is across a public footpath which is a main pedestrian route to school so will be extremely dangerous already highlighted by the safety markings just recently painted for the traffic that already goes through. As well as losing a well used recreation ground we would have major traffic problems! LisaCLuett
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Fri 11 Apr 14

guisselle says...

Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices.
Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices. guisselle
  • Score: 3

6:57pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Mike Pickering says...

There is one guarantee - that the homes will not be affordable to buy for people on median wages - local jobs just don't pay enough for mortgages on local homes. Full stop.
These homes will be built and a small number of people will make a healthy profit - developers, construction companies, estate agents and the people whom buy them to let them out.
Everyone else will lose - the people will lose an invaluable piece of recreational land - forever, and the people who live in them will lose the ever-spiralling UNaffordable rent payments, which they really need to be investing for their futures, considering they'll not be able to put that money into a private pension, nor will there be any state pension by the time they're too old to work.
This country is an effing toxic dustbin for dreams, we've been burned to the bone by those with the money and influence to rig the game for their unending pathological need to acquire more and more at the expense of the needs and abilities for everyone else to provide for themselves, of which this shameful and egregious transfer of public resource into private hands is but another example.
Screw the lot of them - time will run them off the hill when the next generation of these miscreant swine come along and inherit their wealth, not accumulate it - it takes as much cunning and psychopathy to hold onto fortune as it does to acquire it, our only hope is that our grandchildren will be receptive enough to learn that the workhouse they inherit from us isn't the only way it has to be, and that if they fight for the rights that our grandparents fought for, there might be some hope of righting the wrongs we have allowed to happen.
There is one guarantee - that the homes will not be affordable to buy for people on median wages - local jobs just don't pay enough for mortgages on local homes. Full stop. These homes will be built and a small number of people will make a healthy profit - developers, construction companies, estate agents and the people whom buy them to let them out. Everyone else will lose - the people will lose an invaluable piece of recreational land - forever, and the people who live in them will lose the ever-spiralling UNaffordable rent payments, which they really need to be investing for their futures, considering they'll not be able to put that money into a private pension, nor will there be any state pension by the time they're too old to work. This country is an effing toxic dustbin for dreams, we've been burned to the bone by those with the money and influence to rig the game for their unending pathological need to acquire more and more at the expense of the needs and abilities for everyone else to provide for themselves, of which this shameful and egregious transfer of public resource into private hands is but another example. Screw the lot of them - time will run them off the hill when the next generation of these miscreant swine come along and inherit their wealth, not accumulate it - it takes as much cunning and psychopathy to hold onto fortune as it does to acquire it, our only hope is that our grandchildren will be receptive enough to learn that the workhouse they inherit from us isn't the only way it has to be, and that if they fight for the rights that our grandparents fought for, there might be some hope of righting the wrongs we have allowed to happen. Mike Pickering
  • Score: 2

7:35pm Fri 11 Apr 14

bh21spider says...

guisselle- that's not true. There are plenty of young families living in Merley, which is part of the reason that our green spaces need to be protected. I agree it may seem expensive compared to some areas, but Sanbanks is expensive when compared to Merley. Peoples perception of an area dictates the house price differential, and one reason for people choosing the area is access to safe green spaces.

We all understand the reasons for the housing shortage, but just because it is an issue, dose not mean that established community cohesion should be compromised.
guisselle- that's not true. There are plenty of young families living in Merley, which is part of the reason that our green spaces need to be protected. I agree it may seem expensive compared to some areas, but Sanbanks is expensive when compared to Merley. Peoples perception of an area dictates the house price differential, and one reason for people choosing the area is access to safe green spaces. We all understand the reasons for the housing shortage, but just because it is an issue, dose not mean that established community cohesion should be compromised. bh21spider
  • Score: -3

8:57pm Fri 11 Apr 14

navisco says...

guisselle wrote:
Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices.
One thing is certain, the local Liberal Democrat Councillors will be out of a job at the next election.
[quote][p][bold]guisselle[/bold] wrote: Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices.[/p][/quote]One thing is certain, the local Liberal Democrat Councillors will be out of a job at the next election. navisco
  • Score: 2

9:04pm Fri 11 Apr 14

navisco says...

I think the point about affording to live in Merley, is perhaps related to the potential cost of getting a mortgage for a percentage share of a home AND paying the upkeep and maintenance of the property, aside from living expenses. 2 bedroom terraced houses are on the market for £240k in Merley, which is high, but not an unreachable price if the market keeps moving the way it is.

Buying a 50% share at £120k+ is probably beyond what someone would expect to pay in an 'affordable home' area.

It may be better to build the same house in a lower market price area to actually have maximum impact benefit for the people it is aimed at.
I think the point about affording to live in Merley, is perhaps related to the potential cost of getting a mortgage for a percentage share of a home AND paying the upkeep and maintenance of the property, aside from living expenses. 2 bedroom terraced houses are on the market for £240k in Merley, which is high, but not an unreachable price if the market keeps moving the way it is. Buying a 50% share at £120k+ is probably beyond what someone would expect to pay in an 'affordable home' area. It may be better to build the same house in a lower market price area to actually have maximum impact benefit for the people it is aimed at. navisco
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Fri 11 Apr 14

bh21spider says...

navisco wrote:
I think the point about affording to live in Merley, is perhaps related to the potential cost of getting a mortgage for a percentage share of a home AND paying the upkeep and maintenance of the property, aside from living expenses. 2 bedroom terraced houses are on the market for £240k in Merley, which is high, but not an unreachable price if the market keeps moving the way it is.

Buying a 50% share at £120k+ is probably beyond what someone would expect to pay in an 'affordable home' area.

It may be better to build the same house in a lower market price area to actually have maximum impact benefit for the people it is aimed at.
I agree with your comment, I also understand that the Borough of Poole has made it a priority to to look at developing council owned land, in order to tackle the shortage of "affordable" homes. Presumably, it must look at all land and not just the land located in lower market price areas.

However, the several hundred people in Merley that have now signed a petition against the proposal, now have months of added stress and inconvenience in order to fight the plans, even before a planning application is submitted. However much people would like the chance to live in one of the proposed houses, it does not detract from the argument that the site is unsuitable.

One thing is for certain though, when the majority of an established community is not happy with a situation, it makes that community cohesion much stronger, which is what happening now. And that is a positive.
[quote][p][bold]navisco[/bold] wrote: I think the point about affording to live in Merley, is perhaps related to the potential cost of getting a mortgage for a percentage share of a home AND paying the upkeep and maintenance of the property, aside from living expenses. 2 bedroom terraced houses are on the market for £240k in Merley, which is high, but not an unreachable price if the market keeps moving the way it is. Buying a 50% share at £120k+ is probably beyond what someone would expect to pay in an 'affordable home' area. It may be better to build the same house in a lower market price area to actually have maximum impact benefit for the people it is aimed at.[/p][/quote]I agree with your comment, I also understand that the Borough of Poole has made it a priority to to look at developing council owned land, in order to tackle the shortage of "affordable" homes. Presumably, it must look at all land and not just the land located in lower market price areas. However, the several hundred people in Merley that have now signed a petition against the proposal, now have months of added stress and inconvenience in order to fight the plans, even before a planning application is submitted. However much people would like the chance to live in one of the proposed houses, it does not detract from the argument that the site is unsuitable. One thing is for certain though, when the majority of an established community is not happy with a situation, it makes that community cohesion much stronger, which is what happening now. And that is a positive. bh21spider
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Fri 11 Apr 14

bh21spider says...

navisco wrote:
guisselle wrote:
Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices.
One thing is certain, the local Liberal Democrat Councillors will be out of a job at the next election.
Unfortunately, the council as a whole have signed up to support this, but I do know of at least two people that are considering standing as independents in Merley. The next few days will help them decide. I would predict that if they do, they stand a good chance of upsetting the balance.
[quote][p][bold]navisco[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]guisselle[/bold] wrote: Young families can't afford to live here with the exorbitant house prices.[/p][/quote]One thing is certain, the local Liberal Democrat Councillors will be out of a job at the next election.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, the council as a whole have signed up to support this, but I do know of at least two people that are considering standing as independents in Merley. The next few days will help them decide. I would predict that if they do, they stand a good chance of upsetting the balance. bh21spider
  • Score: 2

8:34am Sat 12 Apr 14

ABCD1 says...

Why would you want to build affordable houses for families that probably have a minimum of 2 or 3 children in an area where the local school is already over subscribed? Pointless, whilst it may help towards resolving one problem for the council it will only create another but that would be for another council department but as we know two departments within government don't communicate at the best of times!!

Every year we have issues in Poole & Corfe Mullen with travellers taking over open spaces, build the houses on all or part of that open space for god sake, that would help resolve two problems! More houses and less costs having to clean up after the filthy travellers and lets not forget the police costs for all the hassle that they have to sort out.

Merley is a wonderful community I have lived here for 11 years, we already have a mix of small - large houses, bungalows etc we don't need anything else.

As a previous person has already pointed out, the doctors will be affected, sometimes now you have to wait too long for an appointment but we can't take the risk of making this worse!

Reducing the car park at Down in the woods will just be a health and safety nightmare! it is a very popular preschool and after school club with children and families coming and going all day, we certainly can't cope without this facility and they won't be able to cope without their car park and let's not forget the amount of enjoyment that the young children get out the open space.

Think again BoP, there are plenty of other open spaces where you can build!
Why would you want to build affordable houses for families that probably have a minimum of 2 or 3 children in an area where the local school is already over subscribed? Pointless, whilst it may help towards resolving one problem for the council it will only create another but that would be for another council department but as we know two departments within government don't communicate at the best of times!! Every year we have issues in Poole & Corfe Mullen with travellers taking over open spaces, build the houses on all or part of that open space for god sake, that would help resolve two problems! More houses and less costs having to clean up after the filthy travellers and lets not forget the police costs for all the hassle that they have to sort out. Merley is a wonderful community I have lived here for 11 years, we already have a mix of small - large houses, bungalows etc we don't need anything else. As a previous person has already pointed out, the doctors will be affected, sometimes now you have to wait too long for an appointment but we can't take the risk of making this worse! Reducing the car park at Down in the woods will just be a health and safety nightmare! it is a very popular preschool and after school club with children and families coming and going all day, we certainly can't cope without this facility and they won't be able to cope without their car park and let's not forget the amount of enjoyment that the young children get out the open space. Think again BoP, there are plenty of other open spaces where you can build! ABCD1
  • Score: 0

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