COUNCILLORS have voted to sell off part of a beachside car park – after a near 10-year campaign from residents against the sale. 

Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs Residents Association previously warned selling Beach Road car park in Poole would be “damaging”. 

But now more than 300 spaces at the south side of the car park will be put on the market after councillors voted in favour of disposing of them. 

Ward councillor May Haines, who wanted to keep the car park, said: “Many residents that live within the area have experienced frustration of inconsiderate parking on a busy day and the loss of a car park will add to this problem. 

Bournemouth Echo: Beach Road car park, Canford Cliffs

“[Residents] feel the car park should be retained. One of the primary reasons they have stated this is because Rockwater has arrived. Rockwater wasn’t there when the land was declared surplus in 2015. 

“The Branksome Chine car park is completely full most days during the day and evening and Beach Road would be the natural overspill car park to cater for the patrons that are attending Rockwater.” 

Cllr Andy Hadley, cabinet member for the environment, responded: “Despite their suggestion that they would support health and fitness there are an awful lot of people who drive there.” 

Meanwhile Cllr Marcus Andrews said the income is “very poor” for the car park. A report by the council said the gross income for the whole car park has “fluctuated” between 2013 to 2022. 

It added the average gross income over the past ten years was £25,500 per annum, or around £80.70 per space. 

Council leader Vikki Slade said the car park was supposed to be developed by FuturePlaces and has been earmarked for sale for nearly a decade. 

Bournemouth Echo: The Beach Road car park at Canford Cliffs..

She added: “I do understand the issues around Rockwater; I’ve had plenty of people lobbying about the impact of Rockwater on local parking facilities. 

“But this car park is closed from September to April anyway so all of those months this car park has been closed and people have made alternative arrangements to park. 

“With Rockwater and the beach in the summer this area is going to be more popular than before but I don't actually think that Rockwater will make a massive difference in the height of summer than in the depths of winter.” 

Finance portfolio holder Mike Cox said he sympathises with the residents but added it is a “tiny reduction” of car park space losses because the existing ones will be reconfigured.