‘Luxury six-storey block of flats would devastate Sandbanks’

February 18, 2019

PUBLIC ACCESS: The Haven Hotel has been in existence since 1887 and was the home and centre of wireless experiments in the 1890s. The downstairs bar has a magnificent view of the chain ferry heading out towards Studland. Visitors can also use the restaurant and the spas.

STRONG FEELINGS: Banners such as this one displayed along Panorama Way in Sandbanks are a regular sight around the peninsula.

OIL FIELD: This exploratory rig owned by Corallian Energy is temporarily in the harbour for three weeks to assess the level of oil there and has created concerns amongst some residents.

DIVERSE AREA: This quiet cul-de-sac you might think is in a suburban area of Poole but is actually off Panorama Road in Sandbanks.



THE residents of Dorset’s most famous peninsula are up in arms at proposals that would fundamentally change the character of the area.

Protect Sandbanks says proposals to replace the iconic Haven Hotel with a six-storey block of niche flats would have a devastating impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that the Sandbanks Peninsula is part of.

‘Income from luxury flats would fund two hotels’

According to The Bournemouth Echo of 2 September 2018, Jacob Carr Homes Ltd are proposing to develop 119 flats on the site of the Haven Holiday Hotel and then use the income from the construction of these units to develop new hotels on the current sites of the Sandbanks Hotel and the Harbour Heights Hotel.

Critics argue the scale and height of the proposed development would be oppressive, dominant and completely out of scale to the area. The maximum number of storeys (floors) on any building is five and in most cases they are four if they are higher.

Oil is not well out at sea

In a separate development, Protect Sandbanks is almost certain to be aware of an exploratory oil rig owned by Corallian Energy that has been temporarily located outside Poole Harbour to assess the level of oil there. It is said to be ongoing for three weeks. A petition started by Natalie Browne on Change.org attracted 4,832 supporters to stop the mobile offshore drilling unit.

The Haven Holiday Hotel has been in existence since 1887 and is what travellers of Studland see directly the other side of the chain ferry that they regularly use to reach Poole and Bournemouth.

‘Hotel has a century of historical interest’

The hotel also is of archaeological interest as through the 1890s it was the home and centre of wireless experiments by Giuglielmo Marconi. It was the third place on earth in 1899 to boast a permanent wireless station.

The downstairs bar is familiar with many local residents and a wider area as a public access point to view the entrance to the harbour and to the hotel’s spas, restaurant and other recreational facilities. Private development such as this present arrangement will be permanently deleted. This will lead to the loss of a well-established business, local revenue and jobs.

It is also claimed that when proposals were first mooted by the owners of the site, that 20 storeys were originally planned for the site, and then it was reduced to 10 and eventually six.

‘Video shows giant walking all over Sandbanks’

In a video posted on the Protect Sandbanks group website, Jacob Carr Homes Ltd has been cast as a giant coming onto the scene with their plans to change the peninsula. The giant reminds me of the character from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

‘People should get both sides of the story’

Back in July 2018 it was reported in the Bournemouth Echo that Richard Carr, who is heading the development, instructed his solicitors to send a legal reply to Protect Sandbanks after they sent a letter to the Borough of Poole’s planning department saying the plans were unlawful.

He said at the time: “They are spending enormous amounts of money in feeding what I see is a barrel of untruths. I just feel, at any rate on paper, that people should get a balanced view whatever happens, and get both sides of the story.”

  • THIS article drew much comment on social media and some of the observations have been cut and paste below.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

DS - Memories of Old Poole and Bournemouth February 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm

This is a beautiful and historic hotel which is the focal point of the entrance to the harbour. The Carr developments have been ‘cheap and cheerful’ at best and not the sort of tasteful development required in this sensitive area.
Listing for this building can be applied for by anyone and this would seem a sensible step for the protest group.
Apart from greed, I do not see the point in developing the other old hotels as people who choose these do so for their historic and traditional merit not chavvy flash!


Tony Marsden February 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm

“Leave it alone” is not an option — it is no longer viable in its original purpose, and this is a valuable prime site that the owners will undoubtedly wish to make their money from.
It’s called “capitalism”, and we all buy into it every day — until the moment it impinges on our own lives.


Ruth Black February 28, 2019 at 11:13 pm

That would be utter sacrilege to demolish The Haven Hotel it’s a Great Blessing for tourists and residents alike and holds great Historic Value , and adds to the beautiful landmark of Poole. These property developers are killing the natural beauty of both Bournemouth and Poole , Bournemouth was once considered a small conservative sea-side town , but now it’s become more of a metropolitan sea-side town.
With this new Futuristic Eco ,Srike Commercial Architecture that has devalued the town , So no definitely out of the question to build a high rise block of apartments in it’s place Would be totally demoralizing , and I’m sure it would be the usual Ugly Brick Building lacking total style prestige and character.


Rory JF March 4, 2019 at 9:54 pm

Build what you want, but
(1) make it special, use a beautiful design and size which works with the spot and
(2) allocate a few units for cafe / bar / restaurant, so everyone can continue to enjoy the amazing location.


Janet Edwards March 4, 2019 at 9:57 pm

Surely prime accommodation for visitors to Poole, or a superb wedding venue site or conference facilities would be equally
beneficial, since there is little to compare for such position. Re the flats…always supposing one hundred people will be in full time residence at any one time, and they do not become holiday homes for the elite!


Toby Lamper March 4, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Everyone saying it is all about money… well yes it is.
It’s called business and businesses need to make money to employ people and pay taxes.
Plenty of complaints when companies fold and people lose jobs! Sadly this is life… either that or we go back to stone age.


Tony Marsden March 4, 2019 at 10:01 pm

It is rarely successful to convert hotels into flats, and poses all sorts of problems which even the besta rchitects would have a struggle with, and would undoubtedly require far greater investment.
Demolish and new build is far more cost-effective, and ultimately produces a more satisfactory result.


Jane Fidler March 4, 2019 at 10:03 pm

What about a Beach Club, which could lead down to the lovely little Beach to the left of the Haven, where I spent many a Happy time when I lived in Dorset.
The Beach Club could offer obviously Water Sports, maybe an outside Pool, spa, restaurant and coffee Bar. It would have to be members only, but could work, the type of place you would have found in the South of France


MH March 4, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Sadly Poole council do not care at all about the environment and and what people want! They have over developed Poole with endless blocks of flats and now building on green belt and flood plains and on there way on spoiling beautiful Wimborne.
So if there is cash to be made a huge block of very expensive flats will be built regardless what it looks like ,and these idiots are voted in by the people they ignore and serve ,oh and gridlocked traffic and no A&E cant wait!


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