A protest against the Wessex Fields development proposals, organized by the campaign group Friends by the Riverside, took place outside the Bournemouth Town Hall on Monday morning.
The campaigners were joined by the members of Holdenhurst Village Parish Meetings and together call for the council to abandon its plans of a new development on the Wessex Fields site by the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
A planning application has been submitted by the Bournemouth council to build a new junction and link road from the A338 to Wessex Fields as a part of the Bournemouth International Growth programme.
The council says that if the application is approved the plans will be a key element in unlocking the available employment land in Wessex Fields. This will create around 2,000 new jobs and will open the second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.
However, the protesters claim that the development will destroy the natural beauty of the green belt area and will give an open access to developers in the future. Increased traffic will bring more pollution and there are also concerns over the heritage and historical aspects of Holdenhurst Village.
Wendy Sharp, the Holdenhurst village chair of Parish meetings said,
“We have this wonderful heritage in Bournemouth and it’s going to be destroyed by this huge elevated junction that they want to stick right in the conservation area and the green belt.
If this Junction is built it will be a gateway into the green belt and the green belt will be easy pickings for developers in the future.”
Wendy Sharp the Holdenhurst village Chair for Parish Meetings explains why she objects the Wessex Fields development proposals
Conor O’Luby is the member of the action group Friends of the Riverside. He explains why the council’s proposal is a concern to them and Holdenhurst’s local residents.
*Correction: The person in this video is Conor O’Luby. Please accept my apology.
Bournemouth council responded to the protesters’ objections and issued the following statement.
“As part of the planning application a number of air quality assessments were carried out on the proposed scheme. These assessments show that there will be negligible impact on air quality and any impact will be within the threshold set for the protection of human health in the Air Quality Regulations for England.
The proposed scheme will mean some of the new junction will be located on a small section of the greenbelt but this will not impact on the openness of the green belt. As part of the proposed scheme we will make part of the green belt accessible for the public to enjoy and will provide new walking and cycling routes connecting this area to the Stour Valley Way.
Historic England has not objected to the demolition of the Cobb barn but has recommended a building recording condition before its removal.”
The council announced that the application was now submitted and residents are welcome to have their say on the proposed plans until the end of February 2018.
It has also scheduled the series of meetings and events which will be available to the public to attend. The plans and discussions will be open to suggestions.
The events are scheduled as follows:
Monday 29 January, 10.00-16.00 Bournemouth Town Hall
Wednesday 31 January 14.00-20.00 Littledown Centre
Wednesday 7 February 14.00-18.00 Holdenhurst Village Hall
Monday 12 February 14.00-18.00 Hurn Sports and Social Club