A NEW blueprint for the future of Poole's seafront and award winning sands paves the way for landmark buildings, overnight stay beach huts and even a two-storey car park.
The 36-page document Sustaining Poole's Seafront, approved by full council on December 15, was three-years in the making and contains proposals for the next 25-years.
"We want to enhance Poole's seafront," said Cllr Ian Potter, cabinet portfolio holder for planning, transportation and regeneration.
"We want to get developers, the community, anybody else who is interested onside with what our plans are, our aspirations for the beach and surrounding area."
He said: "There are a lot of ideas, hopefully we can get some going."
However some of these could change the face of Sandbanks, the best beach in Britain, which has won more Blue Flag awards than any other UK beach.
Controversial proposals could see the much-loved iconic pavilion demolished and replaced and a "low rise decked" car park built as part of a development of the Banks Road main car park.
"It will definitely not be housing. It would be leisure use and for the community," said Cllr Potter of any development. "The car park could be two-storey if a developer comes along and develops part of it." Any replacement of the locally listed pavilion would have to be by something that would "outweigh its loss".
"Not a hotel, not housing, something that's for people to use," he said.
He said they wanted to encourage more people to go to Poole's beaches for longer hours and out of season.
"Everything has to go to planning. Nothing is hard and fast here," he said and the supplementary planning document will be reviewed over its 25-year life.
He said he was in favour of the eight suggested overnight stay beach huts, at Canford Cliffs and Branksome Dene, provided they were away from residential areas. "It helps with our tourism offer for Poole and that's quite important."
Residents associations and Poole Beach Huts Association had called for the final report to be deferred, saying it should go to a scrutiny committee.
"This has been around for over three years, has been scrutinised five times and there has been numerous public consultation. The document itself hasn't changed very much," said Cllr Potter. (The 2013 document is here for comparison and the 2015 document is here)
Here's what's in store for each beach:
Any change must respect the historic origins and landscape character and the balance between buildings and open space carefully managed, says the document.
There are constraints as any proposal must comply with the requirements of the Poole Borough Act 1986, with any structure not over 14.5metres above sea level.
A network of pedestrian paths could cross the area with servicing and car parking in more peripheral areas. There could be more shops on the southern side of Banks Road and positioned centrally to the site could be a low rise decked car park, freeing up land for potential development.
Retaining or increasing the existing 550 car parking spaces was said to be essential with more needed if there was commercial development. There could be more leisure activities at the recreation ground and a water taxi service from Poole Quay to the north side of Banks Road.
More beach huts, a new equipped children's play area, the 1928 Sandbanks Pavilion could be extended by a modern glazed lightweight structure or if demolished, "the merits of the replacement building/uses must outweigh the pavilion's loss".
Poole Beach Huts chairman Bob Lister said: "Considering the possible loss of historic buildings, play area, parking spaces and crazy golf, could councillors guarantee that further widespread consultation will take place before we lose these amenities?"
John Sprackling, chairman of Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & District Residents' Association asked if the proposals were sufficient to, "deter Eddie Mitchell resubmitting his Sandbanks Arena proposals, which has the potential to become Poole's IMAX?".
Members were also concerned about decking on the beach. "There's no income, only expense, initial cost, clearing litter that gets underneath. Build up of blown sand to be swept up."
This has been labelled the families beach, was the most built up and marked the start of the promenade around Poole Bay.
There was opportunity for a landmark building and new public realm, to include shops, bars and kiosks and potentially a top floor restaurant, says the report.
There could be more parking at the Shore Road car park and some of the area above or at the front could be developed for private apartments.
Along the promenade towards Branksome could be new beach huts and a landmark building of no more than three storeys at the junction of the promenade and pedestrianised area of Shore Road to incorporate a café/restaurant, beach office, stores, toilet block and changing facilities.
Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & District Residents' Association called for a policy on how many flats were needed in Canford Cliffs. They said a landmark building at Shore Road would need to allow room for bin lorries etc. and raised concerns over a shared pedestrian/vehicle approach.
This is being branded "hut life". Each end of the chine path would be marked with a "proportionate public realm scheme" to encourage more people to walk the route, says the report.
AT the foot of the chine people would be attracted to a relocated ice-cream and snack kiosk and creative play area. Retention of the 180 beach huts and an additional 12 was suggested.
Any new structures should be no higher than two storeys and retain gaps between building to offer views of the landscaped cliff.
CANFORD CLIFFS BEACH
Named "the village beach" and a prime site for beach huts. Increasing the number by 152 by adding an extra storey to some blocks or part of a block, was suggested.
The quiet, family-focussed ambience made it an ideal location for a few beach studios that could be secluded among the trees or front the promenade.
The focus should remain the former beach shelter, converted and extended to accommodate a café/restaurant, kiosk and toilets. A timber deck over the sand could allow for alfresco dining. On-street parking should be extended and public realm and integrated art could be sought.
Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & District Residents' Association asked how many trees would have to be removed from the chine to allow space for overnight huts.
This is described as a "showcase location" for the beaches and the suggestion was for one or two more commercial outlets, shops and a kiosk near the popular Branksome Beach café and Branksome Chine Solarium, both of which are locally listed. Existing buildings could be refurbished and extended.
Improving the gardens provided the opportunity for an off-road foot and cycle link to the residential area of Penn Hill. There could be a sky café/restaurant projecting from the cliffs at the Western Road car park.
The library could be replaced by flats with new community facilities. The 254 beach huts could be boosted by another 120, no higher than two storeys.
The Beach Road car park could be developed for housing, retaining half for public car parking.
This was a concern to Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & District Residents' Association as was moving the library and whether flats would be for incoming retirees and holiday owners or existing residents.
BRANKSOME DENE BEACH
The watersports beach which could accommodate a larger community and leisure venue in an elevated position with an enlarged terrace and rooms for hire, toilets and showers.
There could be a kiosk on a deck projecting over the sand and a rope adventure activity in the managed woodland.
A watersports hub could include storage space for small craft, training and teaching areas, possibly managed by a commercial operator.
Eight more beach huts could be built, in which people could stay overnight.
"The seaward views from this location are panoramic and therefore the site has significant potential for investment," says the report.
Poole Beach Huts Association members had a mixed response to overnight stays, with the majority against it.
"Whilst some people could see the benefit to tourism having additional accommodations, others disliked this because of the potential issues that overnight stays on or around the beach could create eg antisocial behaviour, rubbish, overcrowding," said chairman Bob Lister.
"Good to see the idea of a hotel has been dropped but residents should be consulted on new proposals," said John Sprackling, chairman of Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & District Residents' Association.