THE controversial sale of a clifftop car park in Bournemouth has been finalised – paving the way for developers to build on the land. 

A contract between BCP Council and Vivir Properties has been signed for the sale of Southbourne’s Crossroads car park. 

BCP Council has said it will not reveal how much the car park was sold to the developers for, believed to be Vivir Properties, because of “commercial reasons”. 

An “exempt minute” from a cabinet meeting in June 2020 and published on BCP Council’s website said there was a revised price for the car park of £3.4m “plus uplift if a development of more than 27,200ft sq” is secured. 

This may not reflect the actual price the car park was sold for. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo: CGI of proposalCGI of proposal (Image: David James Architects and Partners Ltd)

But for now both parties are now contractually obliged to complete the transaction whatever it may be, according to Cllr Mike Cox, cabinet member for finance. 

Cllr Cox told the Echo: “The sale contract for the Southbourne Crossroads car park has been exchanged. Both parties are contractually obliged to complete the transaction.” 

Last week, the garden section of the car park – described by residents as “Southbourne’s garden” - was dug up. 

Digger marks were left in the mud on the now desolate section of the car park, much to the sadness of nearby residents.  

Southbourne resident Jon Nicholas said the “destruction” is “heartbreaking and depressing”, adding it had been a “haven for respite and bees and birds”.  

Meanwhile metal fencing was believed to have been put up around three weeks ago as well as boulders at the entrance/exit of the car park. 

And in mid-January, BCP Council closed the car park off indefinitely to residents and visitors wanting to use the car park. 

Bournemouth Echo: The garden nowThe garden now (Image: Daily Echo)

In 2017, the Crossroads car park was identified by Bournemouth Council as being “underutilised, operating at a loss and surplus to requirements”. 

Developer Vivir Estates has planning permission to build four apartment blocks comprising 27 flats at the site after one refusal and one non-determination – both of which were successfully appealed. 

Together with residents, Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood is trying to get the agreed planning application overturned by pointing out residents in the flats behind deserve a ‘right to light’ under the Prescription Act of 1832. 

Once the money for the sale has been exchanged, the Echo will ask the council how much the car park was sold for.