I WRITE in response to the article from Richard Carr about developments in Bournemouth and the Bournemouth Development Company (BDC).

Morgan Sindall do not pay Bournemouth any money to transfer land as Morgan Sindall never own the land. This is a complete misrepresentation. BDC is a partnership between the local authority and Morgan Sindall and development only goes ahead if both partners agree. Land may be transferred from the council into BDC for the development but this is matched by putting in cash or work to the equivalent value of the land by Morgan Sindall. As the land is only transferred as the development is about to start, we retain car park income for as long as possible and benefit from land value uplift during the development planning.

Any asset like a car park has to be assessed by the District Valuer to ensure we are getting fair value for it.

In respect of the comment “councillors will be unable to stop BDC building on land in Poole and Christchurch”, this is completely wrong as no development in BDC has ever gone ahead without councillors voting for the development.

Whist Mr Carr may question the “logic and business sense” of the partnership, it is in place and the logic and business sense is not up for debate. What matters is that we have a lot of people who are homeless. Bournemouth Borough Council get about 1,000 people per month turning up homeless or threatened with homelessness. If the land is sold to private developers, like Mr Carr, understandably their motivation is to secure the best financial return. If BDC do the development we have greater control. For example, look at Berry Court where 113 flats have been built and not a single one of them is a second home for someone living in London and left empty for most of the year. They are all occupied by local residents and in many cases by residents who cannot afford to purchase their own home.

Yes Morgan Sindall share in the profits, but they get no more than the council, as equal partners and the local area benefits from jobs, housing and regeneration. Currently 85 per cent of the money spent on development goes to businesses in BH postcodes, which in addition to the council's profit, means that the vast majority of the development money stays in the area for the advantage of local residents.

CLLR DAVID D'ORTON-GIBSON, ward councillor, Redhill and Northbourne (Conservative), Suffolk Road, Bournemouth