Residents have expressed conflicting views following AFC Bournemouth’s plans to build their brand new multi-million pound training complex being given the green light yesterday.
The new 57-acre facility will be built at the Canford Magna Golf Club, which closed in March 2016.
There has been plenty of speculation over the past 18 months as to what would replace the golf course, including talks about a housing estate and a quarry.
Poole Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the club’s planning application in December and referred it to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing.
His decision to approve the application has mainly been met with a mixed reaction from local residents and fans alike.
Bournemouth resident Nick Dobbs, who runs his own consultancy, told BUzz News:
I’m absolutely disgusted by Mr Javid’s decision. Fifty-six acres of green belt have been condemned. It makes a sham of recent Tory statements of protecting the Green Belt. Duplicitous!”
The Poole Local Plan has set out the Council’s strategy for the delivery of 14,200 new homes, jobs and infrastructure from now until 2033.
Approximately 12,900 homes (91%) can be developed on urban sites such as land around the Twin Sails Bridge and smaller sites that come forward as planning applications.
However, the shortfall of around 1,300 new homes (9%) means that the desired target set by the plan can only be met through the release of Green Belt land.
Nick also works for the Dorset Wildlife Trust in a fundraising capacity and it is his love for nature which is his biggest objection to the approval of AFC Bournemouth’s new training complex.
“Golf courses can be biodiverse rich, probably even more so than parkland to an extent in certain areas”, he explains.
“I would far prefer, if possible, now that the golf course venture hasn’t worked out, for the land to return to natural habitat.
“Yet again we see another example where planning takes precedence. It is a huge pity that we’ve got another green, open space that is being effectively taken away from nature.”
Other residents disagree and have formed their opinions focusing more on the benefits that the new training facilities will bring to the football club and the Canford area.
Pleased. Having played golf there over many years, it’s the perfect location. There will still be less traffic than when it was a golf course. May be a little noisier from shouting at times but that is it 😗
— @AFCBDad Simon Kay (@AFCBDad) January 22, 2018
Pleased- there are clear economic benefits to the club being successful long term. This option for the land was also better than housing or a quarry, which I believe was proposed at one point.
— Matt Watts (@KillerWatts23) January 22, 2018
Anyone against it really needs looking at! Superb project.
— (( Dave W )) (@Its_DaveW) January 22, 2018
Despite the economic benefits and opportunities for aspiring young athletes in the county, Nick argues that this proposed project is for the few, not the many and not in the best interests for the local area.
He said: “The new facilities for the youngsters in Dorset will be great, but the question is, for how many? How many of those are actually going to have a career in football?
I don’t believe that one should engage any initiatives or play some kind of Santa Claus on the back of trashing nature.”
BUzz contacted several Poole councillors expressing residents concerns but we are yet to receive a response.
You can find out more about the golf course and the new project in our BUzz News report: