As a major step BCP Council have now moved to sourcing 100% renewable electricity for all council buildings across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
All departments within the Council have begun to explore how service provision needs to adapt to achieve the carbon neutral target by 2030. Obviously, this will not happen overnight as this is often not practical or financially viable, although changing the mindset and behaviours is a first step in the right direction.
Although perhaps a distant memory, we had a long and mainly dry summer. Popularity of the area brings with it a number of challenges as usual for residents and the Council. Inconsiderate on-street parking, noise, over-spilling bins, etc.
Your Councillors and BCP Officers are active in the area on a daily basis and will take action where appropriate to address issues. Ticketing of illegally parked cars took place daily, bins were emptied in the main areas twice a day, anti social behaviour was confronted working with our partner organisations.
We would also ask residents to continue to contact BCP Council or your Councillors if you identify issues.
As advised in the September Forum the planned enrichment works at Stanpit Marsh were completed in November. Along with some scrape and ditch works, Priory Marsh was re-fenced and some reed patches at Great Spires were cut.
The introduction of the Country Park in place of the 2 Riversmeet Golf Course has been of benefit to wildlife in the area, as well as being well used by residents and visitors to the area.
As promised by the leadership of BCP Council, key strategy and development issues that impact on residents have been identified for public consultation.
The over-riding priorities of BCP Council were consulted on in July and August, and this has provided a useful direction.
With the development of a wide Local Plan a key priority, initial consultations on availability of potential development sites and Statement of Community Involvement began in October.
Consultations have also been planned for a BCP wide Parking strategy, the land at Wessex Fields (behind the Bournemouth Hospital); Wicks Farm, Littledown. Across Poole and Bournemouth further consultation is in progress on whether parish and town councils are desired there.
The BCP Council supports volunteer groups in a number of ways. In respect of the Friars Cliff and Highcliffe Beach cleans, gloves, pickers and bags are provided so all ages can join in. A number of beach cleans took place throughout 2019, and the next ones planned are at Friars Cliff on 12 January 2020 at 1030am, and Highcliffe (groyne 5) 19 January 2020 at 10.30am. Councillors and a number of residents carry out more frequent litter picks of other areas as a matter of routine.
Christchurch Town Council Residents Survey
The Town Council launched a resident’s survey on 8 October to capture views on a range of topics: the high street, open spaces, roads, transport, etc. This has been posted on the website front page and can be accessed here:
Please do forward the link to friends, family, colleagues, etc. The survey is live until the 9th of December 5pm. After which Councillor Hilliard shall collate and analyse the responses and present findings to the January 2020 Full Council.
Avon Beach Promenade
As part of the council’s ongoing programme of works to improve and renovate coastal defences, the lower section of the promenade will be raised by approximately 900mm and some of the promenade widened. The improvements will ensure better protection for the promenade and cliffs, along with the residential streets and properties above.
Following an open tender process, PT Contractors Ltd were awarded the contract in December 2017. They will commence work on Monday 22 January 2018 and construction is expected to last approximately eight weeks.
The owner of the promenade beach huts will temporarily remove them from site, whilst the works are carried out, and it is anticipated that they will be returned in time for the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Pine Beach redevelopment
Following the grant of planning permission for 10 flats in December 2016 a further application which sought to enlarge the approved building. The application was refused by Christchurch Council and an appeal was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspector dismissed the appeal concluding that the refused application would result in material harm to the character and appearance of the area as it would stand out as harmfully discordant and detrimental, but would not be harmful to neighbour’s living conditions or highway safety. The 2016 planning permission for the redevelopment of the site remains extant.
MoD / MCA site at Steamer Point
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is marketing the site for sale and redevelopment. No further planning applications have been received.
A report will be going to Community Committee on 24th Jan which will recommend that we do not produce a strategy at this time pending the Secretary of State’s second minded to decision on future local government reorganisation in Christchurch. The paper proposes to address the operational issues and pass on the principles which have come out of the consultation for consideration once future local government structure is determined.
Highcliffe Castle Heritage lottery bid works
The Castle building remains closed to visitors whilst Greendale work in the central part of the building.
Over the last month more floors have been installed in the Penlease Wing along with drainage, asbestos removal, masonry repairs and lift shaft preparation work
The replacement and extension of the fire detection and alarm systems has commenced
The shop has been enlarged and at the end of March the existing shop will reopen for the summer with some areas screened off. The final shop-fitting to the whole shop will take place in spring 2019
New steel staircases have carefully been craned into the building through a 400mm wide window opening. When completed they will provide access to the 2nd and 3rd floors in the East Tower and the Activity Room above the Dining Room.
Greendale left the site and working areas clean and tidy so that the planned Christmas and New Years weddings took place
The grounds, car park and Tea Rooms remain open and parts of the castle building will again be re-opened to the public in Spring 2018.
Highcliffe Castle Zig-Zag path
A member-led Task and Finish Group is looking at ways to deliver an affordable reconstruction of the zig zag path and will be reporting its initial findings to the Full Council meeting on 20 February.