Middlemarch are delighted to have worked alongside Welsh construction giant Watkin Jones to help gain unanimous consent from Bournemouth’s Planning Board for Watkin Jones’ exciting application for a major redevelopment of the Lansdowne area of the town. Middlemarch were asked by Watkin Jones to provide political analysis, insight and advice. We are delighted to have helped secure such a positive outcome for Watkin Jones, and are eager to see the genuine benefits the scheme will deliver for Bournemouth.
The £120 million mixed use scheme covers three separate sites in the Lansdowne – Holdenhurst Road, Christchurch Road and St Swithuns Road – and will deliver over 20,000 sq. m. of office and teaching accommodation; a 128 bedroom hotel; over 900 bedroom spaces of purpose built, managed student accommodation for the rapidly developing Bournemouth University; nearly 200 sq. m. of retail/ commercial floor space and a new pedestrian plaza located between Holdenhurst Road and Oxford Road.
Among the many benefits that Watkin Jones’ development will bring, one of the most important is the delivery of the first new Grade A office space in Bournemouth since the 1980s – a key capability that will help Bournemouth realise its full commercial potential by attracting new businesses and investment. This office space will potentially trigger up to new 1,500 jobs – as opposed to just 25 that the current accommodation hosts.
There is also good news for existing Bournemouth businesses. During the planning process, it was estimated that when complete the development would create an annual spend in the area of £20 million, due to the increases in numbers of workers, tourists and students. In the build up to the development’s determination, Watkin Jones and Middlemarch sought the opinion of local businesses, and found that overwhelmingly they welcomed the proposals.
The provision of 128 extra hotel bedspaces in a central location – indeed, the hotel will be adjacent to one of the new office buildings – will enhance the town’s tourist economy as well as catering for travelling business customers.
In addition, there is potential for a new, much needed medical practice facility, accounting for up to 2,000 sq. m. of the proposed development.
The development has been carefully designed in order to complement its surroundings, and will bring a renewed sense of vibrancy and confidence to the Lansdowne, rejuvenating a street scene that Bournemouth’s planning officer described as being characterised by “vacant or underused sites.”
This is certainly exciting news for Bournemouth, and at Middlemarch we are proud to have helped secure the application’s approval. If you are interested in finding out how we can help you achieve your development goals, please get in touch with our Shaftesbury office.