Wimborne car park to be redeveloped for affordable housing

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By Stour & Avon Magazine | Friday, November 09, 2012, 11:00

AN under-used car park in Wimborne is now on track to be redeveloped to provide much-needed affordable housing in the town.

Given the area's need for affordable housing, Raglan Housing Association was selected to be the East Dorset District Council's development partner and has carried out a housing capacity and feasibility study of the Old Road car park site. Subject to obtaining planning consent, the scheme will see two rented and six shared-ownership homes constructed.

Old Road Car Park, which has 43 spaces, has been operating under-capacity for some time. Usage surveys showed that, out of 119 inspections, there were only eight occasions when other nearby car parks would not have been able to accommodate all cars parked at Old Road.

Since 2002 the car park has been identified in the East Dorset Local Plan as being suitable for redevelopment for housing, offices or business and, since that time, a further 215 car park spaces have been provided at the Rowlands Hill (Waitrose) public car park.

It is anticipated that the council will receive a capital receipt of £220,000 from the sale of the site. Although this is less than market value, Councils are permitted to subsidise land sales when affordable housing is being provided and when value-for-money is proved.

Councillor Alex Clarke, chairman of the council's resources committee, which made the decision said: "Increasing the provision of affordable housing is a top priority for the council and the proposal supports this. We considered carefully the role of this small car park including the fact that it operates below capacity. We also considered comments from the Wimborne Business Improvement District (BID).

"The committee felt that, overall, this was a good opportunity to provide much-needed affordable housing and also support the future capital programme through proceeds from the sale."

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