Work begins on new family homes in Bournemouth town centre

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019

A turf cutting ceremony today marks the beginning of construction of new modern and comfortable homes aimed at families in Bournemouth town centre.

On the site of an underused carpark on St Stephen’s Road, the £12m project will create 46 new one-, two-, and three-bedroomed apartments, aimed specifically for rental to the family market, and is due to be completed by the end of 2020.

The St Stephen’s site has been earmarked for residential use in Bournemouth Council’s Area Action Plan for several years, and is the latest development from Bournemouth Development Company, the 50/50 partnership between Bournemouth Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. 

As well as providing high-quality, contemporary homes for local families, this project will also return funding back to the Council for investment in future regeneration projects – two of the main aims of the Bournemouth Development Company partnership.

The homes will make valuable use of this leafy and convenient yet secluded site in the town centre. The 46 apartments will be split into 28 and 18 flats across two multi-story blocks, both of which have been designed to combine traditional external materials such as brick, with contemporary architecture, to complement rather than detract from the neighbouring St Stephen’s Church. 

The mature trees along the boundary of the site will be retained to act as a natural buffer between the apartment blocks and neighbouring properties.

Cllr John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said:

“We are very pleased to begin work on this exciting project which will deliver much needed new homes in the town centre. It will also provide a valuable Council asset as part of the Council’s forward-thinking investment strategy to help support the provision of front line services for residents.

I look forward to seeing the underused St Stephen’s site transformed into well-designed modern homes over the next few years. Following the completion of the Berry Court residential scheme in the summer, this is yet another example of our long-term vision to help transform the town centre into a truly mixed-use environment where people live, work and spend their spare time.’’

Duncan Johnston, Director, Bournemouth Development Company, said:

“It’s great to reach this milestone on the St Stephen’s project, delivering new homes for families in a convenient and leafy town centre location. We are delighted to take another step towards regenerating the town centre and delivering much needed funds back to the Council for future rejuvenation. The appointment of local contractors and suppliers will also be a great boost for local jobs and the local economy – something we have always strived to deliver.”

The construction will be carried out by Parsons and Joyce, a local contractor with extensive experience working with local authorities to create new homes. Their appointment reflects Bournemouth Development Company’s commitment to supporting local employers and local jobs.

Marcus Walton, Development Manager, Parsons and Joyce, said:

“We are really pleased to be working on the St Stephen’s Road development with Bournemouth Development Company. We have over 40 years’ experience in building new high quality homes, and in partnering with local authorities, and are looking forward to delivering great new homes for families that need them.”

Bournemouth Council will retain ownership of the site and purchase the completed development as a long-term investment asset. The homes will then be operated as a private-sector rental scheme via the Council’s wholly owned services company Seascape Ltd under a 25-year lease.

The Council will purchase the development by taking advantage of low interest rates available through the Public Works Loan Board.  The borrowing will be fully met from the rental income generated by the investment, as well as delivering a surplus that will be used to support council services.

Once completed, there will be 36 parking spaces for residents and visitors, including two disability spaces, one motorcycle space and 52 bike spaces.

The site has previously been used as staff parking for Council employees during weekday office hours, and the Council have introduced a new Green Travel Plan for staff who have previously used this car park. At weekends and on weekday evenings, it has operated as a public pay and display, but has been underused by the public in recent years.