BOURNEMOUTH council has renewed its plan for tackling poor housing and related antisocial behaviour in Boscombe.

Since the Homes for Boscombe strategy was launched in 2012, the borough said, more than 2,000 homes have been inspected leading to some £460,000 being invested by landlords in response to council enforcement action.

At a meeting last week the cabinet approved the continuation of the strategy until 2020.

Councillor Robert Lawton, cabinet member for housing, said a survey among residents this autumn showed "strong support" for the programme, with 90 per cent of residents "agreed that the Homes for Boscombe strategy is needed".

"This underpins our commitment to try our best as far as we can to improve an area of the town we all recognise needs a great deal of help," he said.

Cllr Jane Kelly, cabinet member for regeneration and representing Boscombe West ward, said: "The work going on in Boscombe has been very successful so far.

"We need to continue to try and bring a sustainable profile of accommodation to Boscombe, and also to bring up the standard of accommodation for the vulnerable people living there."

Earlier this year the borough debated introducing a 'selective licensing' scheme whereby landlords in the Boscombe area would have been charged a fee which would go towards improving the area.

However the proposal was abandoned after a consultation revealed widespread opposition from landlords, who felt it unfairly punished all for a few bad apples, and residents who feared the extra cost would be pushed on to them via rent hikes.

Instead, the cabinet voted last week to continue with its 'Operation Galaxy' targeted enforcement programme, and indeed to roll it out over the rest of the town. Op Galaxy sees council enforcement teams inspect homes and issues notices to landlords where they are breaching regulations.

The cabinet also voted to incorporate new civil penalties for housing offences introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Other achievements as a result of its Boscombe strategy include the refurbishment of five empty former police houses in Gladstone Road, the construction of 11 family homes at Gladstone Mews and 11 shared ownership homes in Cherries Court, Palmerston Road, and creating an area lettings plan which excludes people with a history of drug abuse, crime and antisocial behaviour from the social housing waiting list.

Council leader John Beesley said: "There is absolutely no doubt that we have begun to make some really substantial progress.

"We always said it would take 15 to 20 years to turn Boscombe around in the way we envisaged."