Plans unveiled for Boscombe Towns Fund project

MAJOR plans to regenerate Boscombe with an overhaul of the area’s infrastructure, transport, retail sector and housing have been unveiled to the public.

The four-week Towns Fund consultation was launched yesterday, June 13, where residents, business owners and councillors were able to view and scrutinise the near £23 million proposals.

Plans include a complete transformation of Hawkwood Road, cycling facilities on the A35 Christchurch Road, improvements to Pokesdown Station, as well as provision for more than 80 new homes.

The regeneration project is being funded by Towns Fund, a grant from central government to turbocharge the “ambitious” plans for Boscombe.

Bournemouth Echo: 1) Homes and flats, 2) Hawkwood Gardens, 3) Mixed use buildings, 4) New crossing, 5) Community centre, 6) New walkway, 7) New retail pop-up kiosks. Picture: BCP Council1) Homes and flats, 2) Hawkwood Gardens, 3) Mixed use buildings, 4) New crossing, 5) Community centre, 6) New walkway, 7) New retail pop-up kiosks. Picture: BCP Council

Proposals include:

  • Hawkwood Gardens: a brand-new park with a play area and gardens for all residents and visitors to use
  • A new walkway between the Precinct and Hawkwood Road, opening up space for retail kiosks
  • A new community centre and a medical centre
  • Around 90 new homes, including family and affordable homes
  • Travel improvements making it easier, safer and more attractive to cycle, walk and use the bus
  • Enhancements to Woodland Walk through landscaping, a play trail and artwork
  • Safer on-road cycle provision from Holdenhurst Road to Boscombe town centre
  • A new Kings Park Activity and Learning Hub
  • 5G improvement

Bournemouth Echo: Proposed community centre as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP CouncilProposed community centre as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP Council

Read more: A cautious welcome from community as Boscombe plans revealed

Parking

Among the biggest changes to the area is provision for public car parking, in which more than 300 spaces are set to be removed.

In order to make way for the Hawkwood Road Masterplan, the 396 spaces in the main car park would be reduced down to 74, while the 39 spaces in the section outside Sainsbury’s would be eradicated completely. At the project launch, it was said that all Hawkwood Road car park spaces would have been removed to accommodate plans, but public feedback resulted in planners retaining 74.

There will be no changes to the Sovereign Centre or Aldi car parks.

Housing

A mix of around 90 new homes (including flats) will provided in Hawkwood Road either side of the new gardens, at least 20 per cent of which will be affordable housing.

32 of the three-bedroom homes will have an off-street parking space, while there will be one secure cycle storage space for each bedroom.

Bournemouth Echo: New homes, play area and Hawkwood Gardens as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP CouncilNew homes, play area and Hawkwood Gardens as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP Council

Retail

High street retail is also a focal part of the plans, with planners aiming to attract at least 10 per cent more footfall to Boscombe High Street by re-using vacant floorspace for non-retail uses and improving the appearance of buildings and public spaces.

At least 15 shopfronts will be renovated and the number of High Street businesses open in the evenings and weekends will be increased to maximise footfall created by the some 90 events at the O2 Academy per year.

Travel

Six local transport improvement projects are being developed for the Boscombe area, including walking/cycling works and sustainable bus service linking Pokesdown station and Boscombe pier via Hawkwood Road.

Bournemouth Echo: Improvements outside Pokesdown Station as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP CouncilImprovements outside Pokesdown Station as part of Boscombe Towns Fund project. Picture: BCP Council

Further possible work could also see safety measures such as a speed limit reduction outside King’s Park Academy and a cycle link between King’s Park and Bournemouth Station.

The plans have been split into four phases and is seen as a ten-year project in its entirety, with an aim for full completion in 2030 having begun in 2020.

An engagement hub on the plans is open between Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 2pm at the old Café Nero in Christchurch Road by Royal Arcade.

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