Our guide to developing in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (likely to be known as BCP Council) was formed in April 2019 taking over from the previous Borough Councils of Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth.

Latest News from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 

Approved: extensions and remodel of house at Mudeford, Christchurch

BCP Council (Christchurch): Dan Wilden is please to have secured planning consent for major alterat[...]

Approved: new sauna at Avon Beach, Christchurch

BCP Council (Christchurch area): Chris Miell is thrilled to announced that he has recently secured [...]

Approved: three houses in Talbot Woods, Bournemouth

BCP Council (Bournemouth area): Neil McKeon is pleased to have successfully secured full planning p[...]

Key points about developing in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Development Plan: Each of the former Boroughs has, for now, a different local plan structure – resulting a series of different documents forming the Development Plan. A BCP wide local plan is required to be adopted by 2024.

Bournemouth: the principal document is the Core Strategy adopted in 2012. This is supplemented by an Affordable Housing DPD (2009) and a Town Centre Area Action Plan (2013). Some of the old Local Plan (2002) is also saved)

Christchurch: the key document is the “Christchurch and East Dorset Local Plan Part 1 – Core Strategy” (also covering East Dorset District Council) adopted in 2014. A draft Local Plan Review covering only Christchurch was produced but presumably will not now be taken forward.

Poole: the principal document is the Poole Local Plan adopted in November 2018.

Pre-application advice: BCP charge for this service with fees dependent upon the scale of the proposal. Call us for advice on whether this service is worthwhile in your case.

Affordable Housing: The national threshold of 10 units (or 1000 sqm) is applied throughout the BCP area. above which there is a blanket requirement for 40% of dwellings to be affordable. Viability arguments can be made however applicants are expected to stump up the cost of independent “verification” up front (anything from £900 inc VAT up to £2100 and beyond).

Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 contributions:

Bournemouth have adopted CIL and are charging at the following rates:

  • Residential development outside the Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP) Area (including sheltered and extra-care housing): £70 per sqm
  • Student accommodation: £40 per sqm
  • Comparison Retail outside the Town Centre AAP area: £250 per sqm
  • Convenience retail (supermarkets) over 280 sqm net retail floorspace: £250 per sqm
  • Convenience retail under 280 sqm net retail floorspace: £134 per sqm

All other development including residential development within the Town Centre Area Action Plan area (pictured below) will have no charge.

Bournemouth TCAAP

In addition to CIL there is a Dorset Heathlands (the whole Borough is within 5km of a heathland site) SAMM tariff – £242 for a flat and £355 for a house plus £50 admin

Special policy restrictions:

A few areas of the Borough are within 400m of heathlands sites and there no additional residential units are allowed.

The Council now seeks to prevent the loss of tourist accommodation of any kind throughout the Borough.

The sliver of countryside north of the town is all Greenbelt and mostly also within various Conservation Areas.

Useful Links

Bournemouth Planning Homepage

Planning Applications Search

Planning Policy