WESSEX Water has been accused of treating residents “shabbily” with its plans to build a temporary compound on Winton Recreation Ground.
The water company wants to put a site office, welfare unit, two fuel stores and large storage container on the recreation ground while it carries out much-needed flood prevention works at Trafalgar Road, Alma Road and Stokewood Road.
The compound would use 50 square metres of the large sports field behind the children’s play area for six months, sparking concerns about the loss of open space, increased noise and the possibility it could set a precedent.
Winton East councillor Pat Oakley said that while he supports the flood alleviation scheme, he is concerned Wessex Water has not properly considered alternative sites and has not carried out prior consultation with residents.
Wessex Water has organised a drop-in session for residents but this will not take place until after their application has been considered by Bournemouth’s planning committee.
Cllr Oakley said: “Nobody wants to halt or hinder the flood alleviation works but I feel Wessex Water have treated the local people of Winton very shabbily. It falls below the standards we would expect from a major utility company.
“I don’t believe they have looked hard enough at some of the alternative sites for this – Meyrick Park is the most obvious.”
Wessex Water spokesman George Keast said: “A number of locations were considered for the location of the compound for the flood alleviation works.
“Due to various factors including the amount of space required, disruption to residents and significant health and safety issues, Winton Recreation Ground was deemed the most suitable site.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these essential works and would urge anyone who would like more information to attend our drop-in session at Winton Recreation Ground between 10am and 8pm on Wednesday, August 20.”
Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the application, which will be considered at the public planning meeting on Monday.