Major regeneration plans for town centre move forward

735px x 500px – Aerial photo of Poole.jpg
Aerial photo of Poole

Regeneration proposals that will help build 5,000 new homes and create 1,500 jobs in Poole have taken a significant step forward. 

Cabinet members in Poole have approved the creation of a specially focused regeneration team to oversee the council’s ambitious plans for the town centre and surrounding areas.

They also approved the submission of an outline business case to Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP) to secure £5 million for the delivery of infrastructure at the Holes Bay site (former Hamworthy power station site) which government has designated as a housing zone. This is the largest brownfield regeneration site in the South West and has the potential to deliver 1,050 new homes to help meet Poole’s housing need. The Local Growth Fund grant from the DLEP will help unlock the site and bring forward the housing development.

Cabinet members recommended the council accepts the £5 million funding, subject to DLEP’s approval of the outline business case. 

Cabinet welcomed the good news that significant progress has been made over the last year to support town centre regeneration, a key corporate priority, including: 

  • major investment from central government to now develop the former power station site, which has led to the landowners submitting a planning application for the creation of 850 homes, community facilities and commercial activity
  • the council’s submission of an expression of interest to the government to extend the current housing zone. If successful this nine-year plan would help deliver 5,000 new homes across 19 brownfield sites and create up to 1,000 new jobs as well as a further 500 jobs during construction
  • a recent agreement between the council and Legal & General unlocking £26 million investment in the town centre over the next 18 months
  • Empire Cinemas signing a 25-year lease with Legal & General to open a nine-screen multiplex at the Dolphin Shopping Centre in 2018
  • the council’s commitment to improve town centre parking and modernise the Dolphin Shopping Centre multi-storey car park with £1.5 million investment
  • initial work to create a viable masterplan that would transform town centre north through a major redevelopment proposal
  • continuing refurbishment of Poole Bridge and the major investment in Townside (area between Hunger Hill and the two bridges), as part of the £23.3 million Local Growth Funding allocation from DLEP to improve access from the port to the town centre
  • spending nearly £3.5 million on resurfacing and improving key access routes into the town centre

The Heart of Poole prospectus outlines the council’s objectives for the town centre and key next steps.

Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Borough of Poole, said: “The council is ambitious for Poole and wants to create a vibrant town centre where people want to live, work and play. 

“A lot of positive progress has been made recently such as multi-million pound investment in Poole from central government and businesses plus key planning applications to boost housing, jobs and economic growth in the borough. There’s still a lot of work to be done but we are pleased with the current progress which clearly demonstrates the confidence key stakeholders have in the future of Poole.” 

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: "The regeneration proposals for Poole town centre will provide significant benefits to local residents, businesses and visitors to the area. We will see the delivery of new homes, jobs and other facilities that will be required to help Poole prosper over the coming years.

"Indeed the area has already secured more than £120 million of business investment and with the development of further business improvement plans such as the Port Masterplan that looks to diversify into the cruise market, Poole has a very exciting future."

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