Plans to regenerate Bournemouth Town Centre have reached another major milestone as proposals for much-needed student housing and a public multi-storey car park are given the green light.
The Bournemouth Development Company’s plans to create three blocks of student housing at Madeira Road West Car Park, accommodating up to 378 students of the Arts University College at Bournemouth, and a 400 space car park were granted planning permission by the Council’s Planning Board on Monday August 20.
The circa £22 million scheme put forward by BDC (a public-privateregeneration partnership between Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd and Bournemouth Borough Council) will create profit for the Council to improve other parts of the town, such as Westover Road. Building work on the car park is expected to start this year, with work on student accommodation scheduled for the spring.
Speaking after the planning meeting, Duncan Johnston, of The Bournemouth Development Company, said: “We’re delighted councillors have recognised the vast benefits this project will bring. The universities and language schools are worth more than £200 million per year to the local economy and, with halls of residence for just 100 of its 1,000 first year students, this development will be a big boost for the Arts University College at Bournemouth. It will enable students to live in purpose built accommodation, reducing pressure on areas such as Winton and Charminster, generating trade for businesses in Old Christchurch Road and The Lansdowne and increasing safety at Horseshoe Common.
“As a long-term regeneration partnership our goal is to deliver attractive high-quality projects which boost trade, increase vibrancy and generate income to improve other parts of the town.”
Planning officer Charles Raven told the meeting: “The proposal would bring vibrancy and life whilst providing an economic boost to local traders without compromising the availability of public car parking.”
The proposals have been welcomed by representatives of Bournemouth Chamber of Commerce, Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association and Dorset Police.
Meanwhile, BDC hopes to begin construction work on 64 apartments and a commercial space suitable for a cafe or restaurant at neighbouring Leyton Mount Car Park before the end of this year.
Richard Guppy, head of facilities at The Arts University College at Bournemouth, added: "Knowing we'll be able to offer suitable town centre halls of residence to our first year students in the near future is a massive boost and will help us continue to compete with universities in other towns and cities. With competition high for places, we have some of the country's most talented, creative and hard working students. We've long hoped for a greater presence in the town centre and this development at Madeira Road West, together with the creation of new facilities at Bournemouth Pavilion, will help make that dream a reality and will bring very real social and economic benefits for local businesses and the community."