RESIDENTS have been giving their views on the potential for new housing on more than 150 locations across the conurbation.

The issues and options consultation for BCP Council’s Local Plan detailed the prospects to build thousands of homes on potentially suitable, available and achievable sites within the urban area.

Excluding the Green Belt, the document released by the council details where 12,264 new homes could be built.

If it was deemed appropriate to build at higher densities, this figure could be increased to 15,914 properties.

This included 23 sites that were listed as in a "future flood zone", while 22 were in conservation areas.

However, this leaves the local authority significantly short of the housing target set by central government – 42,672 homes up to 2038.

As reported, civic leaders are exploring the prospect of proposing a new target which factors in the specific circumstances in the conurbation – mainly that the government’s figure overestimates how man university students stay in the area after graduating.

One of the measures that the council could be forced to use is allowing development on the Green Belt.

The issues and options consultation has a separate list of more than 50 Green Belt sites had been promoted to the council for housing.

Twenty-four of these locations are listed without a number of homes proposed. The remaining 28 could provide 5,942 homes at low estimates and 6,177 homes at the upper estimates.

Discussing the housing need for the conurbation, the consultation document says: “We have a limited amount of land available, especially in the built-up area, to meet the standard method housing need.

“Using this figure would require us to examine all possibilities for providing new homes.

“This would include looking at building at higher densities across the existing built-up area, considering ways more homes could be built in heritage conservation areas and examining if the Green Belt boundary should be reviewed to allow for urban extensions.

“It would also require a significant step change in housing delivery, doubling our current rate of delivery.”

The council says its lower locally derived housing need figure would reduce the target to 25,600 homes up to 2038.

“A locally derived figure would still support local businesses and the economy, address issues with affordability and provide the opportunity for more people to have their own home,” the document adds.

“It would also allow us to focus a greater proportion of new homes within the existing urban area. This would follow the government’s approach to maximise the use of brownfield sites and building in the existing built-up area locates new homes near to existing services and facilities.

“We would still need to allocate a range of sites for new homes but could direct higher density development and taller buildings into suitable locations, such as those which are nearest existing services and are the most accessible locations.”

Pursuing a lower housing need figure would see the council scrutinised in detail by a government inspector when the Local Plan reaches the examination stage.

Sites in the urban area listed as at least potentially suitable, available and achievable include:

  • Sovereign Centre in Boscombe
  • Bath Road, Central, Cotlands, Park Road, Eden Glen, Glen Fern Road and Richmond Hill car parks in Bournemouth town centre
  • Bournemouth International Centre
  • Saxon Square, Two Riversmeet and The Lanes car parks in Christchurch town centre
  • Civic Offices in Christchurch
  • Magistrates’ court and surrounding area in Christchurch
  • Former power station in Hamworthy
  • Poole Stadium
  • Civic Centre and surrounding area in Poole
  • Thistle Hotel at the Quay in Poole
  • Barclays House in Poole

The BCP Council Local Plan issues and options consultation ends on Friday, March 25.

For more information, visit

Read more of our coverage on the consultation in the articles below. 

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