Housing association Aster Group has submitted a planning application to deliver its largest ever land-led scheme on the site of the former magistrates’ court and police station in Bargates, Christchurch.

If approved, the 170-home development will provide a mix of affordable rent, shared ownership, open market sale, and starter/discount sale properties for people in the area.

Tailored to meet local housing demand, the homes will cater for a range of needs and comprise of one and two-bedroom flats and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses, bringing much needed affordable housing to the town centre.

Further to extensive engagement with the local community and businesses in the area, Aster has incorporated various elements to the plans, to address specific feedback obtained throughout the consultation process. For instance, the housing association has incorporated an ecology buffer on Twynham Avenue to minimise the impact of the development on existing residents, designated space for pay and display short stay parking in a bid to help local retailers and demonstrated how improved pedestrian crossings at Bargates and Barrack Road could be delivered.

The application, which includes space for commercial units has also been adjusted further to the local consultation. This non-residential space which has been reduced in capacity, has already generated expressions of interest from organisations including an educational visitor attraction.

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster Group said, “Our vision is that ‘everyone has a home’ and at the heart of our organisation, we are focused on providing homes for those that need them, and at a price point they can afford.

"This proposed development of affordable housing in Christchurch, is a great example of how we take feedback from a local community and shape a plan that delivers a mixture of homes which serve a local need. We look forward to hearing feedback on our application in the new year.”