Plans for police station site recommended for approval

BCP Council’s Planning Department has given Aster’s regeneration plans for the former police station and magistrates’ court site in Christchurch a resounding recommendation for planning consent.

Lindsey Aldington, Aster’s Senior Development Manager (Strategic) said: “We are delighted with the positive recommendation by BCP Council’s planning professionals. Following comments from the Council, consultee organisations and members of the public, we have worked hard to evolve and reshape our initial plans to respond to all feedback. It has resulted in a fantastic project, providing a mix of high-quality housing and flexible community space that the local community needs so much.

“A recent survey by Christchurch Town Council identified the lack of affordable housing as one of the town’s biggest problems. This development would deliver 53 affordable homes for rent and sale, in the centre of town, at a walking distance of shops, schools, bus stops and the railway station. We strongly believe our plans will revitalise this currently derelict part of town, adding a thriving new neighbourhood to the beating heart of Christchurch.

“Officers agree that our proposals meet all planning policies, having adequately addressed any outstanding issues. Aster would like to thank all who have participated in the process to come to the best possible plans to deliver for Christchurch.”

Overview of the proposed development:

  • 169 new homes in total: 130 new houses in a range of different home types and tenures, including affordable homes, such as discount/starter homes, and homes for affordable rent and shared ownership and 39 units of sheltered accommodation
  • 612m2 of flexible commercial/community space facing Fountain Roundabout: whereas ‘retail’ use is current policy which Aster has to adhere to, Aster has agreed with the Council to widen its possible use to include ‘community space’, opening a range of new opportunities such as a new location for the much-loved science museum and/or a community hub, uses that local community organisations have expressed an interest in
  • an ecological buffer zone of up to 14m wide between the back gardens of Twynham Avenue and the western side of the proposed development site
  • a new road connecting Bargates and Barrack Road – initially for pedestrians and cyclists only
  • new private and semi-private gardens
  • public open space
  • hard and soft landscaping
  • surface vehicular parking and residential garages