Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has purchased the largest brownfield regeneration site in South West England, following a £5 million investment from Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The 40-acre site in Hamworthy, on the waterfront at Poole Harbour, has been vacant since the former Holes Bay power station closed in 1994.
The council now hopes to invest heavily to redevelop the site, building up to 830 new homes as well as unlocking office space that will create new jobs and commercial opportunities.
Jim Stewart, chair of Dorset LEP, said: “This is great news for the people of Poole and the wider community. Fulfilling a key priority for Dorset LEP, the funding that we have secured for the acquisition of this specific site will ensure the delivery of additional housing in Dorset, stimulate further investment in the region and breathe new life into the local area.’’
The site has long been earmarked for future regeneration and investment by BCP Council due to its proximity to Poole town centre, Poole Harbour and neighbouring residential areas.
The local authority now plans to proceed with its plans for redevelopment thanks to the investment by the LEP, secured from the government’s Local Growth Fund.
Cllr Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for housing, said: “I am delighted that the council can now move forward with delivering a vast number of new homes at this long derelict site.
“This will include high quality sustainable housing for the local community, which can be an exemplar nationally and be delivered in line with our agenda to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.”
Cllr Mark Howell, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, culture and economy, said: ‘’This is a huge step forward in our ambitious plans for Poole.
“We can now proceed in making a significant investment in a new community development which is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. This will contribute to the revitalisation of Poole town centre and Hamworthy’s local centre, as well as strengthen Poole’s tourism offer.’’
The project forms part of Dorset LEP’s wider investment in the region, such as its £21.8 million Port of Poole Programme of infrastructure works which aims to improve access to the area, including the port.