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Bournemouth’s Town Centre £27 million vision starts with a new development.

A turf-cutting ceremony has heralded the start of a £27 million development creating more than 100 high-quality homes for rent in the heart of Bournemouth. Berry Court in St Peter’s Road involves the replacement of an underused Bournemouth Council-owned surface car park with 113 one, two and three-bedroom apartments for the private rental market alongside new multi-level public and residents’ parking.

The project marks the latest phase in the realisation of Bournemouth Council’s long-term Town Centre Vision which has a focus on new homes as part of the town’s economic regeneration. The housing will be developed by Vision partner the Bournemouth Development Company in partnership with Radian Group.

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said: “Attracting new residents to come and live in the town centre is an essential part of the Vision. Berry Court will help us accelerate the delivery of much-needed new homes while safeguarding public parking. This combination of activities will boost regeneration and secure long-term economic growth.”

Duncan Johnston, Development Director of Bournemouth Development Company, said: “In what has been a co-operative team success, many people have been working in partnership to get us to the point where we are ready to start on site. We’re delighted to have achieved financial closure and be on the ground now starting this important rejuvenation project for Bournemouth.”

On completion, the apartments will be available for rent to fulfil a recognised demand from people who are saving towards, or do not wish to commit to, owner occupation, or who simply prefer the flexibility and lifestyle choice of renting a home close to the centre of town. The apartments will be owned by Radian Group and delivered through its premium lettings brand livelikeSMART.

Lindsay Todd, Chief Executive of Radian Group, said: “We are really looking forward to partnering on Berry Court and providing tenants with an attractive high-quality living environment. It’s a project that we believe will bring a host of benefits to Bournemouth town centre and those people looking for the option of renting locally. Our new SMART brand recognises the need for quality homes backed by a quality landlord.”

As well as relocating all 155 public spaces the current surface car park offers, the new multi-decked parking will house spaces for use by the new flats. The two-year build will be led by the Poole division of main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure.

Andy Duff, Regional Managing Director, said: “By enhancing the town centre’s residential provision, this regeneration project represents an important investment in the future of Bournemouth. The construction will also create employment opportunities as we will be looking to sources trades and labour from the local supply chain as far as possible.”

Among other local companies involved in the scheme are the Bournemouth planning consultancy Terence O’Rourke and the Fordingbridge architectural practice BrightSpace.

The Bournemouth Development Company has already delivered 64 apartments through the Citrus Building at Horseshoe Common, award-winning student accommodation at Madeira Road for Arts University Bournemouth and the Madeira Road multi-storey public car park overlooking Wessex Way.

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