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Mon June 27 2022

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Churchill has designs on Christchurch’s old gas works

17 Mar Churchill Retirement Living has unveiled £30m plans to develop the site of a derelict gas works in the Dorset town of Christchurch – and not just for old folk.

Aerial image of the old gas works site that Churchill wants to develop
Aerial image of the old gas works site that Churchill wants to develop

Churchill Retirement Living has acquired the site on Bridge Street and has been working with Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP) Council on its plans to put up around 170 new homes.

Unusually for Churchill, these will be a mixture of retirement living, open market homes suitable for first time buyers, and affordable housing.

The site has been vacant for some time. Five gasholder structures have gone and some remediation has been carried out. There are some additional buildings on site including an electricity sub-station, an existing gas governor, and a brick building fronting Bridge Street that was once a boiler and booster house on the site of the former retort building.

Churchill chairman & chief executive Spencer McCarthy said: “This is a very different approach for Churchill and one of our most ambitious and exciting redevelopment projects to date. By delivering a mix of different housing types we are looking to transform the old gasworks site into an attractive new community for people of all ages, which in turn will create hundreds of new jobs, boost the local economy and support the local high street. We will also be investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in site clean-up and remediation of the old gasworks, as well as local infrastructure improvement and measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the site.

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“We will continue to work closely with BCP Council and other key stakeholders to develop our plans, and we look forward to making our vision a reality over the coming years.”

The vision
The vision

Cllr Nigel Brooks, BCP Council cabinet & member for Christchurch regeneration, added: “The completion of the acquisition of the former gas works site by Churchill is a key step forward to see this important redundant town centre site redeveloped for much needed housing. When taken together with the former Christchurch Civic Offices site next door, the whole area has an exceptional opportunity to create a desirable and vibrant ‘Quarter’ to this part of historic Christchurch.”

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