Worried Broadstone residents have pledged to save two plots of popular open land threatened by development.
Around 150 neighbours came out in force, earlier this week, to pose with ‘Save our Green’ banners after Borough of Poole’s (BOP) cabinet approved the Lytchett Drive and Sandford Way plots as possible housing sites.
This followed an earlier ruling, which gave permission for council officers to ‘investigate using council-owned land and assets for the identification of sites for affordable housing on a ward-by-ward basis’.
However, ward councillors and neighbours insist the council is bound by a long-standing agreement to maintain the Broadstone land as public open spaces.
Cllr Mike Brooke, who wants both areas withdrawn from the list of proposed housing sites, said: “The council deemed it essential to have this public open space/play area in 1978 because of the density and volume of housing being built then. That need still exists today.”
Resident Steve Churchill, describing the threatened land as a popular children’s play area, added: “Open amenity space is very precious for the development of children and there are very few places within safe and easy reach of homes in the local area.”
“For this area of Broadstone both Broadstone and Springdale parks are too far for young children to safely reach without being accompanied by adults.”
A petition signed by 192 people opposing any development has also been handed in at Poole Civic Centre.
BOP says work has taken place across four Poole wards – Merley & Bearwood, Broadstone, Creekmoor and Canford Heath West – to identify possible affordable housing development sites, in a bid to address the borough’s social housing shortfall. Currently, there are almost 1,000 households on the housing register.
Out of 100 sites investigated to date, five have been identified as ‘suitable for deliverable development’. However, no official plans have been lodged at this stage.
The other sites identified are the former Merley Youth Club site, Chichester Walk; land at Northmead Drive, and land at Creekmoor Lane & Tarn Drive.
BOP housing and community services portfolio holder Cllr Karen Rampton said: “Enabling the development of affordable housing in Poole is a top priority for the council.
“It is important we investigate using council-owned land and assets to meet this commitment.
“The sites have been identified as being potentially suitable for deliverable development and we must now go through a process of exploring the type of development that might be viable.
“Should we decide that affordable housing is the best option we would then proceed to a formal planning application.”
From Bournemouth Echo 19/02/16