Local community site for Broadstone, Dorset, since 1999

Council won’t drop plans to use green for housing – and residents are fuming


Residents protest about possible loss of open land at Lytchett Drive, Broadstone. Land identified as ‘possible’ site for housing by Borough of Poole.

Residents protest about possible loss of open land at Lytchett Drive, Broadstone. Land identified as ‘possible’ site for housing by Borough of Poole.

Broadstone residents are fuming after Poole council failed to drop plans for development at a popular green – despite the recommendation of a call-in committee.

The land at Lytchett Drive was one of five identified as ‘suitable for deliverable development’ although no official plans have been lodged at this stage.

But neighbours and ward councillors battling the move insist the council is bound by a 1978 agreement to maintain the Broadstone land as public open space.

The decision was called in by Councillor Mike Brooke, and the call-in committee recommended that the area should be formally designated as public open space in the forthcoming review of Poole’s Core Strategy.

But when the matter came before cabinet on March 22, the cabinet voted to continue to investigate the status of the land – prompting calls of ‘shame’ from several residents who had attended to hear the matter discussed.

Cllr Mike Brooke told the Echo residents had been treated with ‘contempt’ and left the meeting in “a very angry mood.”

“Head of Planning Services Stephen Thorne confirmed the original agreement was still valid and that the land had in effect been treated as designated amenity space for the past 37 years,” he added.

“It is absolutely clear the land is amenity open space and that the legal agreement is still valid. This decision will waste officers’ time and tax payers’ money. They should accept what the agreement states – ‘no buildings, houses or flats can be built on the land’.

“It should have been dropped there and then.”

Feeling has been running high among residents. Some 150 posed with Save our Green banners following the shock news, and a petition signed by 192 people opposing any development has been handed in at Poole Civic Centre.

Father-of-two Duncan Gooch, a resident of Lytchett Drive for 10 years, told the Echo a “legal agreement” was in place to keep it as a public amenity/play space and the land was “still being used daily” for that purpose.

“For them to simply brush that aside and carry on regardless to my mind shows the system is broken
“What’s the point of having a call in process if they can just dismiss it and rubbish the chairman’s report? There is a lot of discontent from that meeting. Residents are strongly against this.”

Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Borough of Poole, said: “While we acknowledge the recommendation of the Call-In Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet wish to clearly establish the provenance of the informal space at Lytchett Drive before any further decisions are made about its future use. This would include reviewing any relevant documentation before the matter is returned to Cabinet at a later date for consideration.”

Published in Bournemouth Daily Echo 01/04/16


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Latest news for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset, New Forest and Purbeck from the Bournemouth Echo.

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