The statutory consultation period for the Broadstone Draft Neighbourhood Plan has now ended and work is well underway processing the comments received. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the consultation. Over the 6 week period Forum members have spoken to many residents about the draft plan, both in the Library, where there has been a small exhibition, and at our Saturday stand in the Broadway. Overall the response has been very positive with support for all 14 policies including the development of a masterplan. To preserve the best of Broadstone in terms of open spaces and residential character is seen as a good thing. The provision of additional housing, especially if it can provide increased opportunities for young people, is accepted. It is of course necessary to manage any increased density that may result if the overall character of Broadstone is not to be seriously compromised. The policies related to land severance and increased building height appear to hit the right balance and provide an opportunity to improve some of the worst elements of design, especially within the “village” centre. Work is currently in progress to produce a detailed road by road characterisation study. As a supplement to the plan itself, this document will establish the design features to be followed in the event of any new build within the Broadstone plan area. Detailed comments from the consultation and the Forum’s responses will be published on our website in due course. They will also become part of the Consultation Statement which will be submitted to the Independent Examiner as part of the required documentation prior to a Referendum taking place.
There has been some misunderstanding around the potential development of a master plan for the central area. To clarify, there are two options. Without a masterplan any future development of Broadstone would be totally within the control of developers and the Borough of Poole’s planning department. Residents and local businesses would have little or no say in the decisions. On the other hand a masterplan created in partnership with the community would ensure future developments reflected any long term vision the community might have. As there is no masterplan at present there are no specific proposals, though some ideas, for example a multi-storey car park and pedestrianisation, have been suggested by both residents and members of the business community. As was to be expected these have stimulated considerable debate, and I am sure will continue to do so. However, it is clear from the responses received, there is strong support for the creation of a masterplan, albeit differing views as to the content. This can be thoroughly considered during the next phase of work.
The Forum has, from the very start of the Neighbourhood Planning process, stated that no change is not an option. The recent publication (13th June) of Poole Council’s Housing proposals confirms both this and the need for a masterplan. Site A28 in Appendix 2 suggests the possibility of building 20 houses over the Story Lane car park. It is also suggested that the area within which flats would be acceptable is extended significantly beyond the limits currently approved in the Core Strategy, Poole’s key planning document. All the relevant documents can be found on the Borough’s website at http://www.poole.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/ldp/local-plan-review/ and residents are being asked to send their comments to the Council. The consultation lasts from June 13th to August 8th. We would urge you all to check out the proposals and let the Council know what you think. The Neighbourhood Forum will be submitting a response in due course. However, these proposals have the potential to affect everyone so don’t leave it to someone else. Make sure you have your say.