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Steamer Point Coastguard to be demolished this summer

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PERMISSION has been granted for the former Steamer Point Coastguard to be cleared by developers this summer.

BCP Council’s planning committee rejected Pennyfarthing Homes’ housing plans for the site in March over concerns they were not in keeping with the area, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But the council has now given it the green light to clear the site ahead of any future proposal for redeveloping it being approved.

Submitted before last month’s decision on the housing plans for the site, the approved application sought permission for the demolition of the buildings “in order to prepare the site for development”.

A statement said the developer wished to carry out the work this summer.

Steamer Point site in Christchurch (45955351)
Steamer Point site in Christchurch (45955351)

A report commissioned by consultancy firm Spruce Town Planning says the demolition could take place without damaging trees on the site.

“No trees will be lost because of this proposal and all the boundary tree cover will remain intact and unchanged,” it said.

“The proposed demolition works may affect existing trees if appropriate protective measures are not taken.

“However, if adequate precautions to protect these retained trees are specified and implemented… then the demolition works can be completed without detrimental impact.”

The former Coastguard training centre at Steamer Point has been the subject of several planning applications for redevelopment with permission already secured for 26 homes under a previous scheme submitted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

But controversial plans put forward more recently by Pennyfarthing Homes since it purchased the land have been refused.

Council planning officers had recommended its latest scheme for a mix of flats and homes be approved but said the decision was “finely-balanced”.

Despite this, councillors voted to refuse the application, which had attracted more than 150 letters of objection.

They said the scheme was “completely out-of-keeping” with the surrounding area.

But the latest decision means the developer can now demolish the existing buildings on the site in preparation for any future approved project.

Approving the prior approval application, council planning officer Sophie Mawdsley said it was acceptable as the demolition could be carried out without damaging trees.

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