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‘We don’t want your affordable homes plan here’

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Angry residents have called for planning officials to throw out proposals for a large affordable housing complex at Poole’s former Gravel Hill police station.

The plan, a joint project between Borough of Poole (BOP) and Poole Housing Partnership (PHP), is for 62 affordable one and two-bedroomed flats at the Canford Heath Road site.

If agreed, there will be three separate blocks – up to four-storeys high – including six flats for young people with severe mental and physical impairment.

There will also be 87 allocated car parking spaces onsite, should the scheme get the green light from BOP planners.

Dozens of nearby residents are opposed to the scheme. They argue it is too big and it will create dangerous traffic levels on already congested roads.

Neighbours are also concerned about the future of 67 protected trees on the proposed site.

Jackie Hawkins, of Terence Avenue, told the Echo: “Practically all of the neighbours I’ve talked to do not want this being built here. It is far too large for this area and the extra traffic will cause huge problems.”

Meanwhile, neighbour Nick Meaney, made a submission to the council which said: “The design of the block is totally out of keeping with traditional built properties in the area and resembles an institution.”

Greenhayes resident Joanne Dobson also objected to the scheme, describing the planned complex as “unsightly” and “out of keeping with the rest of the area.”

In a written objection to the borough, she also said: “There are two schools within the close proximity to the development.

“Montacute school provides learning and support for young people with severe difficulties or disabilities. The development will have a direct negative impact on the school.”

Neighbour Ken Deacon, of Greenhayes, said while he appreciated more affordable housing is needed in the area, the scale of the proposals were “unacceptable.”

A PHP spokesman said: “The closing date for comments for the development of the former police station site at Gravel Hill was 12 February 2016 and we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to date.

“We welcome residents’ views and will be considering all feedback carefully when the application goes before Borough of Poole’s planning committee.”

The Echo understands the scheme is likely to go before the committee before this summer.

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