Residents are being asked for their view on three possible uses for the site currently occupied by the Bournemouth Centre for Community Arts.

The options include:

· Selling the site to a housing association for 100% affordable flats.

· Selling the site to a private developer who would build flats, 70% of which would be sold on the open market and 30% of which would be affordable.

· A partnership arrangement with a housing association to build affordable housing, alongside a day centre and offices. The day centre would replace existing facilities in the Boscombe / Southbourne area that provide services for people with physical disabilities and those who have mental health problems, and may also be used by people with learning difficulties. It would be available for community use in the evenings and at weekends. The offices would provide accommodation for Council staff who provide services in the Boscombe/Southbourne area. They may also include space that could be let to voluntary sector groups.

Public consultation will be for two weeks from Monday 10th September at Boscombe Library. Feedback forms will be available for people to complete and the closing date for comments is 21st September 2007.

Commenting on the options and public consultation, Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin, Leader of the Council and Member for Central Ward said “We recognise that this is an important site for Boscombe. The options we are consulting on reflect the need for housing in the area and the potential opportunity to provide Council services from the centre of the community. I really hope that residents and interested organisations will take this opportunity to let us know their views.”

The Council has looked at the possibility of keeping the existing buildings. However, this is not one of the three options that we are looking at now, because the buildings are in poor repair and require a large amount of money to be spent on them. Even with this investment to repair them, due to their age they are expensive buildings to run, both in terms of heating costs and future maintenance. Any new building would be purpose built for its intended use and will be cheaper to run.


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