FIFTY-five locations across the BCP Council green belt have been put forward by land owners and developers as being suitable for homes – but civic chiefs are currently not including them in possible housing lists.

The local authority’s draft issues and options consultation for the Local Plan process includes details on a range of sites that have been flagged.

As reported, the government standard method has set BCP Council a housing target of 42,672 homes up to 2038.

Using all identified available land in the urban area of the conurbation still comes up around 9,000 homes short of this figure.

And releasing some land from the Green Belt is given in the consultation document as an option which could increase housing supply by 1,000 to 4,000 homes.

BCP Council is not currently including any of the 55 suggested green belt sites in its housing options figures.

Bournemouth Echo: Purple areas mark sites which have been suggested to BCP Council for housing by developers and land owners. Picture: BCP CouncilPurple areas mark sites which have been suggested to BCP Council for housing by developers and land owners. Picture: BCP Council

The draft consultation papers say: “If all the promoted sites in the green belt were considered suitable then together, they would deliver approximately 4,000 homes.

“However, we have not come to any conclusions on the suitability of any of these sites and it is unlikely that all of the sites would be suitable or achievable.”

Green belt planning designation checks the “unrestricted sprawl” of large built-up areas, assists in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment and preserves the setting and special character of historic towns.

Sites promoted to the council include in and around Holdenhurst village, Throop, Walkford, Burton, Winkton, Canford Magna and Merley.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader and portfolio holder for strategic planning, told the Daily Echo: “Many people are very concerned about releasing the green belt.

“Ideally you don’t want to release any green belt but actually with the housing numbers we have and the population growth that we are seeing, one of the ways we could protect the green belt is to regenerate our more urban centres and go a little bit higher than we have done before.

“It helps with providing housing for younger people, it helps with providing more people living in the town centre locations and it saves the green belt at the same time.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Philip BroadheadCllr Philip Broadhead

“It is an option, but do people want that? There is another version where people may go ‘I would prefer less density in the urban centres and I would prefer more family housing built on the green belt’.

“I don’t expect that to come out but it might well do and that is why you have to ask the question.”

As reported, BCP Council cabinet members are due to sign off on launching the consultation, which will run for at least eight weeks, at a meeting later this month.

The Local Plan process takes several years to complete. Once adopted, it will provide the basis for housing and development policy across the conurbation.