Whitecliff Recreation Ground Pavilion development

Whitecliff Pavillion View 7
Whitecliff Pavillion View 2

We are exploring opportunities to modernise, develop and remodel Whitecliff Recreation Ground Pavilion.

The pavilion, situated on Whitecliff Recreation Ground, affords spectacular, picturesque views across Poole Harbour. It also has on-site parking and good cycle and walking access to Poole Quay and Town Centre.

The pavilion hosts sports teams, and the recreation ground accommodates more than 200 sporting fixtures a year. The recreation ground has a children’s play area, outdoor fitness equipment, large open space and is a site for outdoor community events.

Whitecliff Recreation Ground is a public open space and protected by a Fields in Trust designation. This means we need approval from Fields in Trust to develop here.

Benefits of the development

The proposed development of the pavilion would provide:

  • a modern sports and community hub
  • park café
  • public toilet facilities

We aim to completely remodel and modernise the pavilion, and add a predominantly single-storey extension to the rear of the building.

The development proposal includes a requirement for a multi-functional facility which is accessible to community groups and casual users, including sports clubs/organisations that will benefit from modernised changing facilities.


The project would be mainly funded through private investment, supported by Planning Obligations Funding (S106). We may also use some council funds to enable the project.


After consultation with the local community and businesses, we made an application for outline planning permission in August 2017.

Outline planning permission was granted in October 2017. You can see all the documents to do with the application via the planning portal reference APP/17/01146.

The outline planning application follows consultation with the local community and businesses. Full and detailed designs will be developed with a commercial partner which will require further assessment and permission from the local planning authority.

Disposal of open space

In line with the proposals above, we will be undertaking a tender exercise to seek a concessionaire develop the pavilion to include a cafe, sports changing provision and public toilet facilities.

We are considering offering a long lease to the concessionaire who will take on future responsibility and maintenance of the pavilion. We would retain the freehold for the land at all times.

Because the term is greater than 7 years, we have advertised our intention to lease the site and invited members of the public to comment. This advertisement was called a "disposal of open space notice" (the "notice"). No objections were made to the Council during this process. 

Next steps

Appropriation of land

An advert giving notice of the following appeared in the Bournemouth Echo on Friday 25 July and Friday 2 August 2019:

"In accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 Section 122 and Section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, BCP Council intends to appropriate for planning purposes the land it owns freehold which forms part of the land registered at the Land Registry under title number DT383043 known as Whitecliff for the remodelling, refurbishment, extension or redevelopment of Whitecliff Pavilion to establish sports changing facilities, publicly accessible toilets and a cafe. No objections were made to the council during this process and we are expecting to conclude the appropriation by March 2020."


The tender to find an operator, to remodel, refurbish and extend the Pavilion was published on Monday 3 February 2020. The council are seeking offers from experienced, imaginative and prospective tenants who can deliver our vision to provide a vibrant, comfortable and modern commercial cafe and sports pavilion that compliments the park.

Full information and instructions about this opportunity are available on the Supplying the South West website, where registration is free.

Tender and expected completion 

Following a successful tender, the expected timeline is:

  • detailed design in Spring/Summer 2020
  • construction in Winter/Spring 2020/2021
  • opening expected by Summer 2021

Additional information

A planning application submitted by Mr Mitchell from Elite Skills Arena surrounding the development of this facility is not linked to our proposal. It does not reflect our aspirations for this facility. The outcome of this application will not influence a prospective procurement exercise.

We operate in a fair, open and transparent way, offering both fair opportunity for all bidders, and obtaining best value for Poole residents.

For more information, read our pavilion development feedback document, email the Recreation Development team on l.recreationdevelopment@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or phone 01202 123888.

Page last updated: 20 April 2021
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