WHAT irony!

The front page of the Bournemouth Echo (February 3) expresses huge concern at the closure of so many shops in the town centre – over 50 empty units including Marks & Spencer and Monsoon; Beales in administration; House of Fraser and Debenhams very fragile.

Yet on page nine, planning inspector Steven Rennie has just just approved, on appeal, the building of 44 flats on the Durley Road car park, losing 119 parking spaces. He states that “the effects of parking provision should not have any significant impact on the vitality and viability of Bournemouth town centre”.

There was huge opposition to this planned development way back in March 2018, as parking in that region – particularly during the summer when visitors desperately search for spaces close to the beach – is virtually non-existent.

How many more car parks do the BDC and Morgan Sindall intend to build on? Surely parking for residents and visitors to help the footfall in the centre of town and bring business to the struggling shops, must be of major importance.

I find it very disturbing that the BDC and Morgan Sindall partnership appear to have worrying control over the BCP Council, leaving the councillors unable to make the correct decisions in the interests of the conurbation and its residents. The sooner this ‘partnership’ is dissolved and BCP can become truly independent, the better.

Incidentally, quite apart from the main shopping areas in the town centre, take a walk along Fir Vale Road, behind Christchurch Road, and on the side of the road where Maples used to be. Every single unit stands empty (apart from night clubs at Horseshoe Common)! Is this the dystopian future to look forward to for Bournemouth?


Wedgwood Drive, Poole