• Nikki Latham

BCP Council Rubber Stamps New Blueprint For Coastline

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole's 40 miles of coastline has had it's future secured by BCP Council.

The Seafront Strategy and investment plan, was given the green light, which aims to improve seafront infrastructure and public spaces for all for the next 20 years. It aims to improve the natural environment and biodiversity across the award-winning coastline, supporting a move towards health living for all and will be used to attract commercial leisure investment to help boost the local economy.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Active Health, said at the heart of the plan was a recognition of the diverse landscapes and identities of different parts of the seafront. He said: “The seafront and its many locations have a special place in the hearts of our residents. “It provides a highly valued community space for residents, a diverse range of natural habitats and sits at the heart of a £1.1bn local tourism industry.
“We have identified 18 distinct ‘character areas’ from Highcliffe to Hamworthy, covering 15 miles of coastal seafront and 26 miles of harbour edges.
“Our aim is to ensure future investments strengthen these identities and communities while prioritising the protection of our natural environment and heritage.
“As we make progress, we want to ensure residents can feel ownership and ensure we improve accessibility to the beach and everything here.”
Over the next 4 years, the strategy sets out on how it will focus on "fixing the basics", to improve safety, accessibility, coastal protection works and carbon reductions. In its details it aims to bring in "vibrant seasonal hospitality, leisure and events" for all, "encouraging entrepreneurship and inspiring healthier and sustainable living".
Some of the projects include three beach restaurants at West Cliff, East Cliff and Bournemouth Pier, an environmental hub at Durley Chine and work to transform former Bistro on the Beach complex into a high quality year-round visitor attrraction.

Key sustainability impacts include proposals for new renewable energy generation projects and improvements to waste management and the natural landscape and habitats.

The strategy, which is aligned with BCP Council's Big Plan, was revised following the results of a consultation with residents last Summer. More than 1600 responses to the survey and 260 suggestions were posted digitally. This consultation identified over 100 potential improvements, over 18 areas along the coast, with a review of operational management policies along the seafront.

Councillor Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places, said: “Our beautiful and varied coastline of harbours, inlets, bays and beaches is an integral part of our culture and a reflection of our three towns with their unique and individual flavours.
“It will be live and evolving, incorporating seasonal changes and making the best use of the seafront from day to night throughout the year.
“This is place-making at its best, strengthening the connection between people and the places they share; creating experiences and memories that stay with us forever. “
Chris Saunders, BCP Council's Service Director for Destination and Culture, said: “Our Blue Flag award-winning seafront enjoys a leading reputation as one of the best in the UK and provides a key reason many people move to our region to work, live and visit.
“Our outline investment plan recognises the need for significant prioritisation on improving infrastructure and essential amenities to maintain this reputation whilst mapping out how the council will take the seafront to the next level in terms of quality. “This will have significant positive benefits, helping to attract wider investment and new businesses to the local economy.”
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