New Council update

View of the recently installed Bike racks at the beach. Image: Jan Peters

On 1 April 2019 Dorset’s existing nine councils will be disbanded and two new unitary councils will be created.

The electoral review for Bournemouth Christchurch Poole (BCP) Council has drawn up wards that will be represented by 76 councillors. Christchurch area will be represented by ten Councillors in five wards.

Graham Farrant has been appointed as Chief Executive of BCP Council through a rigorous selection process, which goes live in April 2019. Graham has been Chief Executive at HM Land Registry and will take up his new role full-time from 1 January 2019. Further information available at:

Two new parish councils have been approved for Christchurch Town and Highcliffe. The election of Parish and Unitary Councillors will be on 2nd May 2019.

Click here for more information for standing as a Councillor

Highcliffe Castle and Zig-Zag path

Illustration of the new ZigZag path

Restoration of the East Wing by Greendale Construction is making good progress with opening to the public in early April. The £4million project is funded through a successful Heritage Lottery bid of £3.2m. Christchurch Council contributed £370,000. Other contributions have been received from the Wolfson Trust, Country Houses Foundation and Pilgrims Trust. The V&A Museum is working with the Castle to display items from their collection which were once part of the Castle furnishings. Over100 volunteers are being trained ready for the opening.

Work to reopen the Zig-Zag path starts on Monday 12th November by Earlcote Construction Ltd and is due for completion by April 2019.

The grounds of the castle have also been undergoing work to reinstate some of the former paths and create a child friendly environment.

What will the new path look like?

The replacement zig zag path is designed so that it will be accessible to as many people as possible. Appropriate handrails and seating will be installed along the path and the final decisions on the materials and specifications will take into account the community feedback collected by Dorset Coast Forum last summer.

The planned works for the replacement path are substantial and take into account the unique geology of the site. The new path will be created with a king post retaining wall, which will be clad with recycled groyne timber.

Who is funding this project?

This project is being funded by Christchurch Borough Council and the Government’s Coastal Community Fund with Christchurch Borough Council providing staff to supervise the contract.

Where can I find more information?

For information on this project and the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio, please visit or call 01305 224833

Steamer Point Lodge

The conversion of the Lodge to holiday accommodation has been enormously successful with a profit returned each year of approx. £8,000. It is fully booked from February to October 2019. Details can be found by clicking this link

MCA site steamer point

The MCA are working with a possible bidder for the site.

The Outline planning permission granted at appeal has now expired, however officers are in pre-application discussions with a prospective developer regarding the submission of a possible further planning application.

Car parks and charges

Because of the changes to local government, no new proposals for changes to car park management or fees are proposed by Christchurch Council.

Coastal protection

Sand replenishment and coastal protection works were successful this year, the BCP Council will take responsibility for any future work.

Play park legacy project

Improvements are planned to the following play sites: Mudeford Recreation Ground and Mudeford Quay as part of a £1.2million project to improve play facilities across the Borough. Work will commence in the spring.

Update provided by Councillor Claire Bath

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