Sandbanks Community Group wants the area to have ‘first class’ facilities

A COMMUNITY group said it wanted Sandbanks to have ‘world-class’ facilities to match the destination, as long as it was ‘done the right way’.

Sandbanks Community Group said its vision is for Sandbanks to be safe and enjoyable for everyone who lives in and visits the area.

Previously accused of “opposing change”, the group said it wants the infrastructure to live up to its reputation.

It comes as two major projects for the world famous peninsula await a decision – one from Fortitudo for the replacement of the Sandbanks Hotel to include a new 171 room hotel, the replacement of the Haven Hotel with three blocks of residential apartments and the construction of an “aparthotel” with 38 suites on the site of the Harbor Heights Hotel.

The other is for an apartment block and restaurant on prime harborside land which is currently used as a shipyard owned by the Sandbanks Yacht Company.

The group raised objections to both requests.

Group Chairman David Morley said: ‘There is a shortage of good quality facilities, people come here to the beach in the summer, the choice of where to stay, where to eat, where to have a drink is very limited.

“Done in the right way, adapting to the character of the area, there is definitely a need for improvement in the public realm and in the facilities offered.

“We put the BCP Council’s waterfront strategy very much forward with a very positive view of Sandbanks as a place that people love to visit, where people feel safe and love to live here and where you can bring all of those elements together. one way is good for everyone.

Entrepreneur Luke David recently revealed plans for a Rockwater Village in Sandbanks and Branksome.

With investment in the proposed new sites exceeding £8.7 million, the new sites at Branksome and Sandbanks aim to regenerate the seafront and boost tourist numbers.

Mr. Morley added: “Upgrading the infrastructure to world-class standards is the key, it’s the homeline, to match its international reputation.

“Nobody wants a glitzy place just for the rich. It’s not Sandbanks. Some parts are very rich, but there are many parts that are enjoyed year-round by visitors and locals, from generation to generation.

Matt Moffatt, also a member of the group, added: “This is a first class destination. We need facilities and infrastructure for people to come and enjoy.

“Every summer we see people wondering around Sandbanks who have come here from other parts of the country, looking confused and expecting it to be more of an Ibiza-style resort. The media attention on Sandbanks is partly mythical.

“People say ‘where are all the bars’. There are also websites that list the best bars and restaurants in Sandbanks, but these are located in Lilliput, Poole and other areas, not Sandbanks.

“We want it to be a destination for visitors.”

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