A Press Release on behalf of the Residents of the Lilliput Area
Eighty Three residents of the Lilliput Area attended the Open Forum Meeting of their local Association, held on Monday evening, 7th March, at the Lilliput Sailing Club, to ‘air their views’ about plans for Salterns. The quartet of Ward Councillors were also present:~ Elaine Atkinson, Ron Parker, May Haines, and Mohan Iyengar…. to participate in the wide-ranging discussion, chaired by Bertie Bowman.
For there is considerable concern expressed locally, that proposals which have been extended beyond the replacement of Salterns Marina’s Harbourside Hotel with the modern development, now encompass a further significant site closer to the Harbour’s edge in place of other buildings.
Besides the residential accommodation planned to replace the Hotel (formerly the Harbour Club, Poole Harbour YC Clubhouse, and the Headquarters of the Poole Flying Boats during the 1940s), the controversial scheme is for another block of flats, a restaurant / hotel, offices & retail outlets.
As Cllr. Iyengar noted the extra residential units there, will significantly outstrip the local populace; and as various members present remarked, it would put huge pressure on the local roads’ system. This emerged as the major contentious issue for them, causing bottlenecks on busy Sandbanks Road.
In turn, variously there would be increased demand for school places, and a detrimental effect on all adjacent roads & their properties, and potentially a logjam jeopardising local Lilliput businesses, with the loss of parking spaces along Salterns Way when removed for traffic flow & visibility splays.
The matter of the ‘Shoreline Character’ also featured strongly, for surely a substantial development on the tip of Salterns Point will be significantly out-of-keeping with the Harbour approach to Poole !
Indeed, popular author Jeremy Waters whose ‘Parkstone-on-Sea: Salterns, Sandbanks & Seaplanes’, describes the many wonders of the Local History of the area, pointed out that if the plans go ahead then visitors arriving by boat after seeing the beautiful Haven & Brownsea, will be confronted by the incongruous sight of blocks more fitting to dense urbanisation rather than a lovely Gateway to Poole. This resulted in the largest applause of the evening and generally reflected the mood of the meeting.
We were also reminded of the international protective status of the Harbour as a RAMSAR & SSSI site etc. so that the proximity (even at a distance) to the sensitive lagoon area of Brownsea would potentially increase light & noise interference, as we must be mindful of this important habitat for wading birds.
For the People of Lilliput are not small-minded characters, but accept progress only if it is reasonable! So the overwhelming majority expressing their opinions, deemed the Salterns’ plans as unacceptable.