TMSTH Area Forum Meeting - 30th October 2023

Item 1: Updates on Forum Future

Item 2: BCP Local and Transport Plans

Item 3: Local History Talk on Forum Area

Item 4: Councillors Reports

Click on the A icon to view a PDF of the agenda.

Chair: Ray O'Luby, Minutes: Conor Niall O'Luby Treasurer: Jean Clark

Forum future update

We did not receive any Council funding this year and funds are running low. Currently, we are able to fund 1-2 further meetings. In order to save money, we have moved from BSG as a venue. Today, we are at SPCC, in future, we may use other local venues (if we have the funds).

The Forum is volunteer-run, with the committee giving their time for free. Costs are for the website, venue hire and leafleting. In addition to the change of venue, we have reduced the number of leaflets delivered and paid for 6 months rather than 1 year website maintenance.

There may be some grant opportunities and we welcome any funding ideas. We would like to thank those attending and everyone who has helped us in any further way (Alan, Brin, Ian, local councillors) and welcome anyone who might be interested in joining the Committee.

c25 people in attendance

BCP Local Plan

Each local authority needs a local plan (LP) which sets the area's priorities for the coming years. It covers a range of responsibilities e.g. transport, environment, social care, tourism, planning and development etc. and includes policies which will affect how these responsibilities are managed e.g. zoning areas for certain types of development whilst protecting other areas.

BCP Council was formed in 2019 out of the three former councils (Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch/East Dorset) and does not have its own local plan (it uses the policies set out in the earlier three LPs). A new LP is now being drawn up, though it has taken longer than expected, in part because of the pandemic. Each stage of the process is subject to public consultation and it is vital for local residents to have their say, since once decided upon, the LP will stay in place until the late 2030s.

The Council has just announced a series of drop-in information events to allow people to view the working draft documents, as well as providing an opportunity for people to make suggestions to Planning Officers before the formal consultation phase early next year.

The time, date and location for each event is listed below:

Monday 6 November - Kinson Library - 10am - 7pm Tuesday 7 November - Christchurch Library - 10am - 7pm Thursday 9 November - Poole Library - 10am – 6pm Friday 10 November - Boscombe Library - 12.30 – 5pm

Cllr Kieron Wilson: Cross-party working group on draft document. Opportunities for ward councillors to specifically raise issues about their areas. Very important document. Probably implemented in 2025 after government assessment. Key document as regards planning. There is a review every three to four years.

Alan - why was there no drop-in event at Castlepoint Library?

Kieron – roadworks issue? Lack of resources? I did push for it.

I have seen the document. I’m quite happy with it. Policies about protecting the Green Belt, looking at using Brown Field sites for development. We will read through the responses that we get at the drop-in events.

Lisa – it’s a framework, we don’t necessarily know what developments will come forward. I think most future housing development will be focused on town centre.

Q. How often is the planning portal updated? I’ve visited it and the last addition is 2021, but much more seems to be happening.

Lisa: It should be updated more regularly. You can sign up for updates on applications in your area.

Ian: The only area for large-scale development is the Holdenhurst and Throop areas.

BCP Strategic Transport Priorities

The Council have recently been consulting on transport issues, looking to set priorities over the coming years. This will affect private vehicle and public transport use and active travel (cycling and walking).

A number of potential schemes across the conurbation (over a hundred) have been reduced down to over 20 which are now going out for public consultation. These schemes include cycling and walking infrastructure improvements, highways maintenance and improvements, bus and rail prioritisation.

Those most relevant to the Forum area include:

  • A338-Wessex Fields – this was originally associated with a flyover across the A338, but this aspect has almost certainly been dropped due to cost and widespread public opposition
  • Bournemouth Airport - Blackwater Junction
  • Multi-modal improvements at Cooper Dean roundabout (multi-modal refers to different means of transport e.g. private vehicle, active travel and public transport)

The consultation closes on the 31st October.

You can find out more about these consultations on the Council website and on the dedicated portal:

Ian: Red Hill-Broadway Lane cycle lane improvements? Have they been scrapped? Broadway to Throop Kieron: Not sure what’s happening to the schemes

Q. Is anyone using the cycle lanes?

Conor: Go out at 8am and see lots of children using the cycle lanes Ray: cycle lanes may not be used as much as we would hope, but we have to start somewhere to encourage people. Any council of any political view will have to deal with congestion. Some pedestrian crossing lights take ages to change, people cross the road anyway, and car drivers get frustrated because nobody’s there when the lights do change

Richard – Castle Lane is one of the worst roads to drive on, roads merging, you don’t know where to go

Q. Add signage at Tescos to improve car merging situation Q. Car parking at the Hospital is very poor. It’s been cut-down over the years. I take the bus, walk.

Conor: I asked the Hospital to improve signage at the Bus Hub so people were made aware of the buggy service to ferry people to the West Entrance. It is a substantial walk otherwise, especially for the infirm. They did put some extra signs up, but then they got wet and fell off.

Other local news

A memorial service of dedication was held at the new Throop Village War Memorial on 21st October.

Both Barclays and Natwest Banks have now closed at Castlepoint. Barclays will send someone to SPCC on Monday and Wednesday 11.30AM-4.30PM and Friday 9AM-3PM (closed 12.30-1PM)

Brin (Bradpole Road Postmaster): you can pay bills, cash withdrawals, cash deposit at the post office. We can’t print statements but can tell you balance. We accept cheques. Banks said they only had a few regular customers. That’s not true, it’s to do with the Castlepoint lease renewal.

Richard: difficult to contact big organisations by phone banks councils, usually referred to online portal

Cllr Kieron Wilson: BCP wants to upgrade telephone systems so we are more contactable by phone. Residents often tell us that they can’t easily contact us. Savings have to be made though.

Q Why did the Council cut the internal Bailiff system about 6 months ago? It made a lot of money.

Kieron: Don’t know, but perhaps it’s because it’s cheaper to outsource the work. I can look into it.

Q. Home working, seems that there’s nobody at the office sometimes.

Kieron: I don’t think things will go back to the ways they were before.

Q. Weeds along Bradpole road, why can’t community service people do this?

Q. Lamposts are very rusty

Q. What do we get for our tax payers’ money?

Kieron: large amount spent on adult social care

Ray: central government cuts too. I don’t like the cuts to the Forum but I understand the budget pressures the council has

Brin: But the Council is spending a lot on the Boscombe Arcade

Cllr Lisa Northover: I don’t agree with buying the arcade, but the money comes largely from the government.

Alan: 1935 Bournemouth bought land from Cooper Dean estate

Bradpole road was a cul-de-sac

Ray: Cumberland Clark, was the ‘second-worst’ poet after William Mcgonagall. He reads poems of praise to Bournemouth.

Q. Bus shelter at Castlepoint?

Kieron: I’ll find out more about it.

Hicks Farm SANG Kieron says there’s some issue with Highways we want to clarify. Re the Hicks Farm centre itself, I think we should halt it at the moment as we don’t have money.

Kieron talks about SANG and planning process.

The history of the TMSTH Forum area

Notes: geography, natural history, cultural and historical background. Bring leaflets, books and maps

Geography – inland area situated to the north/north east of Bournemouth (north of BCP area), bordered to the north by the River Stour, to the south by Haddon Hill, Queen’s Park, Charminster and Moordown. Lies mostly to the north of the main thoroughfare of Castle Lane West and to the north of the ridge which runs from Southbourne in the east to Kinson in the west.

The area is urban-rural edge, with the ancient villages of Holdenhurst and Throop to the north of the area maintaining much of their character. This area comprises flood plain and arable farmland

Natural history – Strouden Woods, Stour river, Stour Valley local nature reserve (Stour Valley Way runs through the area; progress of Stour Valley Regional Park). Otters, kingfishers, willows, alder, yellow water lillies. Prior to urban development, the landscape would have been a mixture of wood and heathland to the south, with more meadow and marsh found closer to the Stour.

Cultural and historical background – humans have known to have been in the River Stour Valley and wider Bournemouth area for thousands of years (e.g. artefacts found at Haddon Hill, Hengistbury Head).

The earliest historical reference to settlement in our area is to the villages of Throop, Holdenhurst and Muscliff. In the Doomsday Book, Holdenhurst is referred to as ‘Holeest’, an area of arable land, meadow, marsh and woodland including many holly trees, after which the name derives. To the south of these settlements, small clusters of homes and farms could be found in Strouden and Moordown, the surrounding heathland providing peat, turf and furze for fuel.

The town of Bournemouth itself is only 200 years old (though the name was used much further back). Prior to the late C18th, the land we know as today’s town was largely heathland and some woodland (e.g. Haddon Hill, Strouden Woods) separating the old towns of Poole and Christchurch. The heath could be seen as the easternmost extent of Thomas Hardy’s Egdon or Great Heath, which he describes in the ‘Return of the Native’:

"The untameable, Ishmaelitish thing that Egdon now was it had always been. Civilization was its enemy: and ever since the beginning of vegetation its soil had worn the same antique brown dress, the natural and invariable garment of the particular formation. . . . The great inviolate place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim." — Book First, chapter 1

The roads that form/feed into our main urban routes today – Wimborne Road, Charminster Road, the A338 and Castle Lane are all developments of earlier tracks (Castle Lane led to Christchurch Castle). Small settlements were also found in Wick, Tuckton, Iford and Kinson.

For centuries, life continued on a subsistence farming basis on the unenclosed, ‘open-field’ system. Corn was taken to the mill to be ground into flour and villagers might travel to the weekly Christchurch market.

Against this seemingly timeless backdrop, moments of high historical interest stand out. Following his possible involvement in the death by arrowshot of King William Rufus, Walter Tyrell is believed to have escaped across the Stour at Pigshoot Lane before making his way to the sea and exile (smugglers also used this and other crossings on their way to and from the sea). As elsewhere, the Black Death of 1348 wrought early devastation after arriving at Melcombe Regis/Weymouth.

A brief look in the Dorset Records Centre archive gives us a glimpse of more ‘ordinary’ events.

A late medieval reference mentions rented property owned by the Hospital of St Mary Magdalen: “Property: a cottage in Holdenhurst. Term: 24 years. Rent: one silver penny p.a. The eve of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 14 Henry VII [7 Sep 1498].” [Latin, broken seal]

Throop is mentioned in ‘Bargain and sale, 1699’: Property: (1 to 5 in trust for 4) two customary messuages or tenements in Holdenhurst and 25 acres of moory or boggy land called 'Boorne Bottoms' laying in the West Ground or commons called 'Sturfeild' [sic]. A John Edwards, yeoman, Muscliffe, is mentioned in the Cooper Dean Estate Deeds of 1709.

Major development only really begins to take off at the end of the C18th. The Bournemouth and Christchurch Inclosure Act 1802 largely ended Common Rights on the heath enjoyed by villagers for hundreds of years. These rights included animal grazing and fuel collection. Landowners such as Lord Malmesbury, the Cooper Deans and the Talbots benefited from land reallocation, investing heavily in fir plantation, the only truly viable cash-crop on the sandy heathland soils found to the south of the area.

Change was much less noticeable to the north, with arable and flood plain areas remaining more or less untouched.

Over the 200 years since the Inclosure Act, Bournemouth has grown out from the coast to meet the Forum area creating the urban-rural edge we know now. The Five Parks Act created Queen’s Park and helped protect some of the diminishing open space. Nearby, in the 1870s, the curate of St John’s, Holdenhurst, built a manor house on Haddon Hill, of which only the gate house on Castle Lane West now remains.

Major recent developments:

  • The A338 was built in the late 1960s, much of it on the old Christchurch to Ringwood railway line which closed in 1935
  • The out-of-town Hampshire Shopping Centre was built in the late 60s
  • Townsend Estate built mid 1970s. Townsend Estate was built by Bournemouth Borough Council in the 1970s on land purchased from Cooper Dean Estate. ‘Townsend’ itself was a group of cottages next to the Manor House, just south of Holdenhurst (now next to the A338). Following arson in the 1990s, only the Cob Barn and the Manor House remain.
  • Expansion of estates in Muscliff and Shillingstone Drive area - 1980s
  • A338 flyover late 1980s
  • Hampshire Centre becomes Castlepoint 2003
  • Bournemouth merges with Christchurch and Poole to become BCP Council in 2019

Sources, including: ‘Reflections of Strouden Park and its surrounding districts’ (Y.H.E Khan); Bournemouth and the Christchurch Inclosure Act 1802 (J.A. Young); The Saxon Village of Holdenhurst, Mother of Bournemouth (K M Chilver); Stories of Bournemouth and its hinterland (L Smith); Dorset History Centre; numerous local leaflets