DECISION day looms on a contentious plan to designate 12 hectares of green belt land on the outskirts of Bournemouth as a public park – and it looks set for approval.

BCP Council’s revised proposals for a new nature park at Throop will go before planning committee members next week.

The local authority submitted a second set of plans for the Hicks Farm Sang (suitable alternative natural greenspace) after an initial scheme was rejected by the planning committee last year.

If approved, Throop Nature Park would “open up a substantial area of land to the public and deliver access to the southern bank of the River Stour”, the council said.

A spokesperson for the local authority said the proposal will offer a variety of circular walks, semi-natural spaces to explore and space for dogs to exercise.

Concerns raised about the initial plans have been taken on board, they added. And a report to the planning committee is recommending approval of the revised proposals despite 380 resident objections.

Cllr Mark Anderson, portfolio holder for environment, said: “I’m pleased that the application for a nature park at Throop will be considered at this month’s planning committee.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Mark AndersonCllr Mark Anderson

“Throop Nature Park will provide green space for local people to explore, whilst also protecting our natural environment and encouraging biodiversity.

“The nature park will help boost the local wildlife population by restoring lost hedgerows and improving habitats for small animals and birds.

“We want to help our residents lead active, healthy and independent lives. Providing dedicated green space, like Throop Nature Park, will help us realise this commitment.”

The council said it needs to create more green spaces across the conurbation in order to meet the local housing targets being set by central government.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader, said: “Our Big Plan sets out our ambition to lead our communities towards a cleaner, sustainable future that preserves our outstanding environment for generations to come. I believe that the creation of Throop Nature Park is step in the right direction in achieving this.

“We have a growing population, along with big ambitions for our area. Throop Nature Park offers the best location to mitigate future pressures on local heathlands.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Philip BroadheadCllr Philip Broadhead

“This really is a project that hits so many goals: it provides a wonderful new natural space for people to enjoy, it enables development to continue in our urban centres to ensure their regeneration, and in doing so helps to meet our housing targets there instead of opening up the green belt.

"It’s not often you can achieve so much with one project.”

The application will be presented to the planning committee on Thursday, August 12.