Have your say on plans to enhance housing in Boscombe

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

Local residents, businesses and community organisations will be able to have their say on a refresh of a strategy to tackle housing issues in Boscombe.

The ‘Homes for Boscombe’ strategy outlines how the Council, together with support from its partners, will tackle housing issues in a bid to change the profile and quality of accommodation and enhance the sense of community in Boscombe.

The original ‘Homes for Boscombe’ strategy ran from 2012-2015 and is now being refreshed to run from 2017-2020 alongside the ‘Boscombe Commitment’ document for the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership.

The refreshed document summarises the work that has taken place to date and also provides an updated profile of the Boscombe area. It identifies housing as a key issue that needs to be addressed in Boscombe in order to make real and sustainable improvements to the area for the future.

Key issues that the strategy aims to tackle include:

· Improving the quality of accommodation across all tenures 

· Improve housing management and tackle anti-social behaviour

· Reduce the number of empty properties

· Ensure households with complex support needs are provided with appropriate support in the most appropriate location

· Support the Neighbourhood Plan in the development of housing policies which will help to deliver a more sustainable profile of accommodation

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “For this strategy to be successful it’s important that the whole community, including Boscombe residents feedback their views. Boscombe has huge potential for positive change. We want to take the area’s best elements and use its potential to attract investment to make positive changes to the housing types and for the community so that Boscombe becomes a better and aspirational place for people to live and put down roots. there has been a lot of positive work that has taken place already over the last 5 years and we intend to build on that. We know we have much more work to do but, with local support we are committed to improving housing in Boscombe for the benefit of the whole community”

Since the launch of the Homes for Boscombe Strategic Vision in 2012 the following work has taken place:

  • Over 2,000 units of accommodation were inspected through the Boscombe Target Area Inspection programme - the notices issued for improvement work resulting in an estimated £460,000 investment by landlords to improve the quality of private rented sector accommodation
  • Worked with the owners of the Royal Arcade on their planning applications which aimed to provide accommodation above the Arcade shops
  • Purchased and refurbished 5 previously empty 3 bedroom Police houses at Gladstone Road
  • Reduced supported housing accommodation within the Operation Galaxy Phase 1 target area
  • Supported Bournemouth 2026 to develop Gladstone Mews, 11 eco-friendly family homes for local families through a Community Land trust
  • Developed an Area Lettings Plan which gives preference for social housing to working households and excludes those who have a history of engaging in drugs, anti-social behaviour and criminality
  • Purchased three houses in multiple occupation and converted them back in to self-contained homes, reducing the density of HMO’s in Churchill Gardens and providing new homes allocated through the Area Lettings Plan
  • Developed 11 shared ownership family homes at the Cherries Court development at the former Palmerston Road car park
  • Undertook a major evidence analysis and subsequent public consultation to consider the potential for Selective Licensing in the area
  • Instigated discussions regarding the Old Coal Yard site which led to the outline submission for the erection of 60 dwellings, community facility with associated parking and access
  • Supported the Neighbourhood Plan in the development of housing policies
  • Operation Galaxy has inspected hundreds of properties in the area causing concerns to the local community, issuing notice for improvements where required and providing support to vulnerable individuals

Following the consultation, feedback will be analysed and a report outlining the final strategy will be presented to Cabinet later in the year.

The consultation will take place from 8th September 2017 until 6th October 2017. The consultation document and online survey can be found here:

www.bournemouth.gov.uk/homesforboscombeconsultation