Save Beach Road Car Park

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The Association urges action to save Beach Road Car Park

[8th February 2024] – The Branksome Park & Canford Cliffs Residents Association today expressed its vehement opposition to the proposed disposal of a large part of Beach Road Car Park, calling it a “short-sighted and damaging decision” that would negatively impact residents, visitors, and the local economy. At the full Council meeting on Tuesday 20th Feb, the Council will likely be voting on whether to sell off this valuable asset for development.

Branksome Beach, 100 metres from the car park, is a key family-focused attraction for Poole, drawing tourists and locals alike. Losing this essential car park would have a devastating impact. The car park, currently with its 350 spaces, plays a crucial role in accommodating the high volume of visitors at peak times, many of whom arrive in groups carrying a large amount of beach equipment to set up for the day and require car parking facilities.

Association Chairman Peter Schroeder says “The Council claims that this car park is underused; this is the result of years of neglect, making it less attractive to use. It is a false argument to consider it surplus land.”

The Association is urging people concerned about the Council’s sale of a valuable public asset to balance the books, to write to their MP and BCP Councillors to stop this sale. It is not surplus land but a very much-needed amenity for locals and visitors in line with the original wishes of its donor with covenants to protect its use for the benefit of the community.

The Association highlights several other key concerns with the proposed disposal.

  • Increased congestion and parking chaos for residents:
    On many days, especially during the summer when the small beach-side car park is full, this causes a significant increase in illegal parking on pavements and verges, causing gridlock at peak times and safety hazards in already narrow residential streets.
  • Negative impact on tourism and businesses:
    With limited parking options, many visitors, especially those with families, will be deterred from visiting the area, with a negative economic impact on local businesses, potentially exacerbating the council’s financial woes. The recent arrival of Rockwater in Sept 2023 and the popularity of sea swimming have seen an influx of visitors to Branksome Beach during otherwise quieter winter months.
  • More luxury flats:
    Fundamentally, selling the land without planning permission for yet more luxury flats won’t benefit local people and won’t alleviate the shortage of much-needed affordable housing. The Association urges the
    Council to reject the Cabinet recommendation to sell and to explore more imaginative solutions that prioritise the needs of both residents and visitors. This could include:
  • Improvements to the car park itself, such as better signage, lighting, security, and accessibility features.
  • Incorporate the car park into an improved comprehensive parking management strategy for the entire area

Call to Action: The Association urges residents and concerned individuals to:

Media Contact:
Peter Schroeder Chairman BPCCRA
Phone 07767633718 or 01202701430