I WRITE on behalf of the Society for Poole to open the debate further on the potential to increase the density of dwellings in Poole town centre.

Whilst we very much support the work of the Poole Quays Forum (PQF), the need for tall buildings in the centre of Poole is compelling if we are to both revitalize the quay, high street and town centre, but also to avoid the further development of our green belt and open spaces; a general policy recently stated by the Prime Minister.

We live in a time where our children are looking to us to create a place for them to live at a price which they can afford.

They are prepared to live in small flats and apartments if this results in more competitive house prices. It is also a reality that gardens are getting smaller, again whilst this may grate with many, this is an accelerating trend, driven by demand. We can kick against it meanwhile our housing crisis gets worse, our children have nowhere to live and prices rocket.

Poole has suffered from indecision and delay when considering the redevelopment of key sites. We are now on the cusp of the regeneration of the town with new investment in major housing sites across Hamworthy, West Quay Road as well as the Dolphin Centre and potentially the Poole Centre North sites. In short, for the first time in decades there is a real feel of excitement that things are changing for the good and Poole will again be a place to visit and enjoy.

Poole should never make the same mistakes of those of the 60s and 70s with the hollowing out of the town, the truncating of the top of the High Street and the creation of the monolithic Barclays building. However we need to accept that change can be good, high can be good and dense can be good. This does not mean that it is a free for all. The Draft Local Plan requires careful consideration and an agreed plan, as that presented and approved by the PQF, should be respected.

Therefore whilst the Society for Poole supports the creation of well designed, high quality and even high density homes in the centre of Poole, this should not be achieved without control and debate.

Poole’s planning committee has a great responsibility to act consistently, knowledgeably and to respect plans in place.

Inconsistent decisions raise concerns that weeks and months of debate can be overturned in a single meeting, as such, not withstanding the merits of the former Hamworthy steelworks site, there is concern that Poole’s new dawn will overshadowed by erroneous decisions that will be regretted by those who follow us.


Chairman, Society for Poole