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Pennyfarthing Homes' submits scaled down bid to revamp former Coastguard Steamer Point complex in Christchurch – and appeals original rejection

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A HOUSEBUILDER seeking to develop the former Steamer Point site in Christchurch has come back with a second, scaled-down plan after its first attempt was thrown out by councillors.

Pennyfarthing Homes is also appealing against BCP Council's rejection earlier this year – against the advice of planning officers – of its original scheme to build 26 properties at the old coastguard complex.

The new application is to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with 21 homes.

Pennyfarthing has launched a new bid for 21 homes at the beauty spot
Pennyfarthing has launched a new bid for 21 homes at the beauty spot

Ben Arnold, land and planning director at Pennyfarthing Homes, said: “Following the refusal of our previous planning application for 26 homes at Steamer Point we have submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate as we strongly believe in the original application which was initially recommended for approval by BCP’s planning team prior to refusal at committee.

"However, despite this we have decided to submit a new revised planning application for 21 homes which comprises a block of nine apartments with basement car parking and 12 houses.

"Due to the excellent, high-quality designs that will see the redevelopment of an existing derelict brownfield site to provide new homes in the BCP area, we believe that both schemes are appropriate in planning context and worthy of approval.

"The redevelopment will include the provision of seven new off-site affordable homes located at 280 Lymington Road, Highcliffe, which are very much in need and will help towards BCP’s housing numbers."

The developer has appealed the rejecting of its initial designs
The developer has appealed the rejecting of its initial designs

The new scheme shows 70 parking spaces in total – an increase on the current 31 – as well as landscaping.

The first application was thrown out by BCP Council's planning committee after more than 150 people objected, including ward councillors.

Critics said the four-storey block was too big for its clifftop location and would have a “detrimental” impact on the neighbouring nature reserve.

Most recently used by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the land at Steamer Point was bought several years ago by Pennyfarthing.

The MCA had previously won planning permission for homes there following an appeal against the then-Christchurch Borough Council for twice refusing schemes.

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