Council company finally delivers big development plans - but you can't see them
THE first set of development plans from BCP Council’s urban regeneration company are finally set to be discussed – but with the public excluded from the meeting.
FuturePlaces has prepared outline business cases for four key sites across the conurbation.
This includes Christchurch Civic Offices and Poole Civic Centre, while there is a draft project outline case for Poole Quay.
Documents explaining the current position with schemes for Chapel Lane and Constitution Hill in Poole have been published ahead of a special place overview and scrutiny committee meeting on February 2.
However, no publicly accessible material has been made available in relation to the Civic Offices, Civic Centre and Poole Quay schemes.
All of the scrutiny meeting is likely to be held with the press and public excluded, with the council citing that information relating to financial or business affairs of the authority will be discussed.
The published document on Constitution Hill features a record of the decision taken by BCP Council chief executive Graham Farrant.
The senior officer has already approved FuturePlaces’s outline business case and endorsed the option to progress the scheme through the local authority’s own housing development team.
The former Bournemouth and Poole College site is earmarked for 88 new homes with a small community facility, commercial space and 106 car parking spaces.
Some of the existing buildings would be converted to residential uses, with 10 houses and 57 apartments through new buildings.
St Andrews Hall is deemed worthy of retention for commercial use.
FuturePlaces would retain involvement in the design process to ensure placemaking and quality oversight, the decision record says.
The council will pay £42,000 to FuturePlaces for its outline business case work on the scheme, while a further £350,000 will be incurred by the authority to deliver a full business case internally.
The recommended option for the redevelopment of Constitution Hill is likely to require the council to fund the construction up to £24millon in total through borrowing.
At Chapel Lane, cabinet members will be asked to approve the outline business case from FuturePlaces and pay the company £31,000.
Councillors are also asked to commit £753,000 for the FuturePlaces to deliver a full business case.
The plans for the site including using the north part of the car park only, with 42 car parking spaces lost.
A build to rent mixed-use residential scheme is proposed with up to 27 homes and ground floor commercial space.
Once completed, the homes would be let by the council’s wholly owned company Seascape Homes and Property Ltd.
The recommended option in the outline business case is currently forecast to require the council to borrow £7.6m in total over 50 years using prudential borrowing to complete construction.
BCP Council confirmed no public reports would be issued on the Civic Offices, Civic Centre and Poole Quay items.
A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Consideration of the Poole Civic Centre and Christchurch Civic Offices draft business cases will take place at March’s Cabinet meeting. The accompanying reports will be made available nearer the date of that meeting.
“The outline business cases for both sites contain commercially sensitive information around values and construction costs, and therefore must remain confidential at this stage.
“Further development and funding solutions for Poole Quay will be brought forward in a future report. The Committee are asked to consider a project outline case for information only. No decisions will be sought at this stage.”
After discussions at the scrutiny committee meeting, all items will go to cabinet in either February or March.