Christchurch News

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Memorial Rose Garden opened at Christchurch


The first in a number of events during 2014 planned to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I has taken place in Christchurch on St George’s Day.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr John Lofts, opened a new Memorial Rose Garden at Church Hatch Gardens at Christchurch Priory. He was joined by members of The Royal British Legion, representatives of armed forces associations, councillors and officers from Christchurch Council and pupils from The Priory School for the opening ceremony.

The Rose Garden has been planted with a variety of roses whose names are associated with commemorations of the war including Commonwealth Glory, Super Trouper, Mountbatten, Compassionate Friend, Continued Friends and Remembrance. There are also trellises with climbing roses Times Past and White Star.

A programme detailing all of the events which are taking place throughout the year in the borough to commemorate the Great War is available from Christchurch Information Centre, libraries, the Civic Offices and other venues in Christchurch.

April 30, 2014 |

Meritorious Awards presented at Christchurch Council


Meritorious awards have been presented at Christchurch’s full council meeting to a group of volunteers helping to run one of Christchurch’s main festivals, a company which has been in the Borough for almost 60 years and a woman who chairs a local community trust.

The first group award was presented to the Stompin’ on the Quomps volunteers. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of this popular event which is now one of the largest jazz festivals of its kind in the south with over 4,000 visitors and residents enjoying the music.

The second group award went to Penny & Giles Controls Ltd which was founded in 1956 by Bill Penny and Jim Giles who identified a demand for high precision instrumentation for the aviation industry. Through the following decades, in addition to sensors and recorders for aviation, Penny & Giles developed technologies and products for diverse markets such as professional broadcasting and recording, motor controllers for powered wheelchairs, paperless chart recorders and trackerballs for computer interfacing.

The individual meritorious award was presented to Dawn Brookes. Dawn became Chairman of the Mudeford Wood Playgroup eight years ago to support the great efforts of the team in teaching her grandchildren. Although already busy with numerous activities and good causes, Dawn saved the group at a prime time of growth and change.

Five years ago Dawn was instrumental in forming the friends of Mudeford Wood Community Centre which has now transitioned into the charity, Mudeford Wood Community Trust, which Dawn chairs.

April 27, 2014 |

Highcliffe Castle awarded Heritage Lottery Fund grant


Initial support of £2.9m, including a development grant of £233,100 was announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund for The Phoenix Flies project.

The project aims to repair and reopen a full wing of the castle which is currently derelict inside, and create a dynamic Heritage Centre for visitors to discover the fascinating story of this magnificent building.

Highcliffe Castle was built between 1831 and 1836, was lavishly furnished in the 18th Century French style and played host to royalty, the rich and famous, including Harry Gordon Selfridge, who leased the castle from 1916 to 1922. It is a focal point for the local community who enjoy a wide range of exhibitions and events throughout the year. It had a chequered history after it was sold in 1950 and by the end of the following decade was reduced to a fire-ravaged, roofless ruin. Assisted by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 1994, the exterior of the building was restored and Highcliffe Castle rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of the fire.

April 20, 2014 |

Care for Christchurch Campaign


The Care for Christchurch campaign is being launched by Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Christchurch Police. There are five main parts to the campaign: take your litter home; pick up after your dog; report graffiti; report fly-tipping; and shop locally.

Statistics show that it costs £175,000 of council tax payers’ money to deal with litter in Christchurch every year. That’s money that could be used for other services if nobody dropped litter. Much of this cost is down to dealing with litter on major roads where expensive traffic management measures need to be put in place to collect it.

While most people already help by putting their litter in bins, most of that litter does not get recycled. The campaign asks people to take their recyclable litter home and recycle it in their kerbside collection. It also costs a lot of money to continually empty bins – if it didn’t have to be done so often, that would be a saving.

Most dog walkers pick up after their dogs wherever they are but dog fouling is still a problem. Anyone not picking up can face a fixed penalty of £75 or prosecution in the magistrates’ court, which could cost them a fine of up to £1,000. If people see someone habitually letting their dog do its business without picking it up, the campaign asks them to report it.

The Care for Christchurch campaign also covers fly-tipping and graffiti. If anyone sees either of these happening, they should report it so it can be cleared up and the culprits found. There was a spate of graffiti-painting in Christchurch last year and the perpetrators were found and made to clean it up. As part of the campaign, schools are getting involved so that anyone thinking of doing graffiti understands the effects it could have on others.

Further details about the campaign can be found at

April 17, 2014 |

Christchurch & East Dorset Core Strategy Approved


The Christchurch and East Dorset Core Strategy, the main planning document for the next 15 years, is sound and can be adopted.

That is the conclusion of a report issued by the Inspector appointed by the Secretary Of State for Communities and Local Government.

The Core Strategy was submitted to the Secretary of State in March 2013, and an Inspector was appointed to undertake an Examination into the soundness of the plan. As part of the Examination, hearing sessions were held on a range of topics in September 2013 in Christchurch and Wimborne.

Aside from finding the Core Strategy sound, the Inspector’s report makes a number of other conclusions including the fact that it has been subject to appropriate levels of consultation.

The Inspector found that the councils have cooperated with adjoining authorities and there has been a rigorous and controlled approach to defining Green Belt boundaries.

The Strategy has assessed the need for housing correctly so there is no recommendation for an early review and the housing land studies are robust.
The fact that the councils have a joint housing requirement will allow flexibility in meeting five year housing land supply and the combined housing target is also consistent with national planning policy. The targets for affordable housing on greenfield sites and on brownfield sites are justified and consistent with evidence of need and viability.

The amount of employment land required has been assessed correctly and the vision and proposals for Bournemouth Airport are justified and effective.

April 12, 2014 |

Hengistbury Head Land Train Future


Bournemouth Council has met with Mrs Faris, the current operator of the land train at Hengistbury Head, to discuss the future running of the service.

Council Leader, Councillor John Beesley, said: “We met with Mrs Faris and her representatives yesterday to formally discuss the future running of the land train service. Both parties were keen to work together to find a solution beyond the autumn which meets current operating standards and the Council’s aspirations for this environmentally sensitive area, but to continue to retain the nostalgia people hold for the service. Our initial discussions went positively and we will be meeting again shortly to progress details. Over the past two weeks we have also met with other interested parties and users of the land train and in the meantime the service will continue to operate as usual.”

Mrs Faris has operated the Land Train service for more than 40 years after starting it with her late husband. The Council had given notice to Mrs Faris earlier this year that it did not intend to renew her licence after the summer season.

April 6, 2014 |

Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre summer season to be opened by Chris Packham


Chris Packham will officially kick-off the first spring and summer season for the new Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.

On Saturday, 12 April 2014, Chris Packham, joined by the Mayor of Bournemouth, will unveil a commemorative plaque and thank an invited audience of all partners involved in helping to make the new centre a reality.

The centre will then open to the public from 12 noon where visitors will have the opportunity to meet with Chris Packham and get books signed as well as being able to explore the centre, its interactive displays and wildlife garden and speak with the centre’s many dedicated volunteers.

The launch marks the start of ‘Spring-Loaded’ – a week long programme of activities (12 – 21 April) suitable for visitors of all ages.

Chris Packham will be leading a short guided walk from the centre on 12 April 2014. Booking is essential and spaces are limited.

Other activities will include:
Photo safari with Brockenhurst College at Hengistbury Head Outdoor Centre – 12 April 2014
Stargazing – guided walk at Hengistbury Head – 14 April 2014
Willow weaving one day course run by Brockenhurst College at Hengistbury Head Outdoor Centre – 15 April 2014
Beautiful butterflies – the RSPB will be leading a children’s workshop to create a beautiful butterfly mobile – 16 April 2014
Moth and mammals – discover the variety of moths and mammals that live at Hengistbury Head – 17 April 2014
Bird Ringing and bird walk (uncover the mystery of bird migration) with our experts – 21 April 2014

For a full listing of activities, costs and how to book, visit:

April 2, 2014 |

Dorset Fire Safe Events


Dorset Fire and Rescue Service is holding a number of free information sessions in various areas of Dorset in 2014 to encourage local businesses to be fire safe.

These interactive sessions will provide local business owners with practical fire safety advice to reduce the likelihood of a fire. They will also give support and guidance to ensure businesses comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Sessions are taking place across Dorset in 2014
East Dorset – Tuesday 25 March 10am – 12 noon, Council Offices Furzehill Wimborne BH21 4HN.
West Dorset & Weymouth – Tuesday 22 April 2pm – 4pm, Council Offices South Walks Road Dorchester DT1 1UZ
Purbeck – Tuesday 06 May 2014 2pm – 4pm, Council Offices Worgret Road Wareham BH20 4PP
Poole – Tuesday 09 September 2014 10am – 12 noon, Civic Centre Poole BH15 2RU
Bournemouth – Monday 06 October 2014 10am – 12 noon, Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth BH2 6DY
Christchurch – Wednesday 05 November 2014 2pm – 4pm, Civic Offices, Bridge Street BH23 1AZ

If you would like to book a place on one of the sessions, please contact Emma Turner on 01305 252785 or email with your details, including your type of business clearly stating which event you wish to attend.

March 25, 2014 |

Development of 17 affordable homes in Christchurch


The scheme, which is close to the town centre, has been built to help tackle the shortage of affordable housing for local people in the Christchurch area. It is part of a new mixed housing development, promoted by Raglan, of 38 homes comprising 21 properties for private sale and 17 Raglan affordable homes, of which 11 have been provided for shared ownership and six for affordable rent.

Raglan worked in partnership with Christchurch Borough Council and Miller Homes to deliver the attractively designed scheme which features a mix of private sale and affordable housing. Raglan financed the affordable housing scheme with additional funding support from Christchurch Council and the Homes and Community Agency.

March 25, 2014 |

Christchurch residents get flood prevention advice


More than 100 Christchurch residents attended a flood advice drop-in session at the Civic Offices in Christchurch jointly hosted by the Environment Agency and Christchurch Council, on March 20.

Officers were on hand to provide advice and guidance on flooding issues and also make people aware of the government grants available if their properties were flooded and government loans for preventative measures.

March 21, 2014 |
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