THE compulsory purchase of Poole’s 32 acre former power station site should be considered to build badly needed affordable housing, says the Mayor.
Cllr Phil Eades has proposed a motion to the next council meeting in May, calling on Borough of Poole to note with concern “the lack of any meaningful progress on development of the former power station site” in Hamworthy.
The site has lain vacant since the power station was demolished in the early 1990s. The Twin Sails Bridge, which was opened in April 2012, was expected to unlock development on the Hamworthy side.
The link road across the site is in use and Gallagher Estates submitted plans in December 2011 for a development of 1,350 homes, new public quayside, restaurants, shops and offices.
A council statement said: “We are liaising with Gallaghers on outstanding information in order to progress the application to a recommendation.”
Cllr Eades said: “I am becoming really concerned at the total lack of any progress on the development of the power station site.
“The council took a huge leap of faith in financing the Twin Sails Bridge without any legal safeguards to claim the loan repayments from the developers.
“The council is currently £2million in a hole when we were told that the bridge would never cost council taxpayers a penny.
“At the same time there is almost no affordable housing being developed anywhere in the borough.
“The council must now take some action – I would like to see the power station site compulsorily purchased and developed by ourselves,” he said.
Acting chief executive Andrew Flockhart said: “As and when full council considers such a motion members would have the opportunity to ask a committee to consider the proposal in detail.
“In doing so it is likely to consider the views of the landowners and whether or not there is a good case to seek a compulsory purchase.
“This will include assessing the implications of such action.
“For example, the costs to council tax payers, the realistic prospects of success and the impact any decision the council makes on a development that might otherwise have come forward for the land.”