Car parking could be reduced in Boscombe under controversial new plans

Hawkwood Road car park. Picture: Lauren Joy
Hawkwood Road car park. Picture: Lauren Joy

CAR parking in Boscombe could be reduced under controversial new plans because the spaces are "underused".

Under the plans, which will go up for public consultation, half the car park in Hawkwood Road could be developed.

In a post on the Boscombe Forum Twitter page, a spokesperson said: "Boscombe has over 1100 public parking places and surveys show these are underused, under current plans we will see a large reduction in parking in the area which might be controversial."

Boscombe Forum chairman Harry Secombe, owner of Chaplin's, said: "They did a parking survey which found that in comparison to some of the other areas like Westborne and Winton, there is a massive over provision of parking in Boscombe.

"For the Neighbourhood Plan we obviously looked at all the sites available in Boscombe and one of the most controversial sites was the car park on Hawkwood Road where we put down a stipulation that half the car park could be developed.

"The plans as they stand now and they're being consulted on with the community, are that we massively reduce that car parking facility down and then they would potentially open up some of the Sovereign Centre car park where the top two floors are closed, so there's some potential for parking there and they're not looking at doing anything with that car park at the current time.

"There was a comment from someone and I think I share the same sort of fear that they're doing all this work to Boscombe to make it a nicer place to live and work and also to visit, so in the longer run surely we'll need these parking spaces. Currently Boscombe is probably at a low ebb, so there is a fear that if you take away too much parking you'll make it difficult to accommodate future visitors.

"The council say that Boscombe is one of the best served places for public transport in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, so they have these factors that are sort of justifying to some extent that they may be able to reduce parking but I think it's a complicated issue.

"When April comes they will be opening it up to more consultation and as a forum we will be revisiting it in three months time.

"Everyone should where possible try and get involved in any consultations, forums and activities, where they can have their say in Boscombe's future because right now, this has got to be the most amount of activity in terms of potential development than I think there's ever been and a lot of it is community led, so it's a good opportunity for people to get involved."