BCP councillors join AJC Group to launch pioneering £3.5m housing project tackling local homelessness

Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, cuts the ribbon. Picture: Paul Jacobs.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: November 3, 2023 | Updated: 3rd November 2023

AJC Group logoA £3.5 million project from Poole developer AJC Group has reached completion, providing 24 ‘move on’ homes for local people experiencing homelessness.

Located on the site of the former Bourne Valley Community Centre, the purpose-built accommodation will serve as a stepping stone between hostels and independent living.

Aerial shot of two apartment buildings

Construction began in 2022 with funding from BCP Council, and a year later councillors joined AJC Group staff to officially launch the new development.

David CracklenDavid Cracklen, Director of AJC Group, said: “With Poole and Sandbanks being such a tourist hotspot, the need for homeless accommodation might not be at the forefront of people’s minds.

“However, the high cost of living here and increasing rates of homelessness mean schemes like this are so vital.

“Obtaining the funding for such an innovative project was a huge undertaking and it’s a credit to the council’s innovative thinking and approach.

“This is our first scheme built to Low Passivhaus standards and we couldn’t be prouder of our achievement here.”

Those standards arrived overseas from the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, which sets rigorous energy efficient building principles to help keep running costs at a minimum.

Apartment kitchen interior

The new development features several self-contained apartments – three of which are wheelchair accessible – with parking space, a bike store and a communal garden.

It’s slated to help reduce dependency on bed and breakfast accommodation in the BCP area.

Kieron WilsonCllr Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services at BCP Council, added: “Our long-term vision is to end homelessness across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, working with our partners to achieve this.

“This new development will be vital in providing much needed ‘move on’ accommodation for families and individuals who really need it.

“With really good eco-standards that will benefit everyone who lives here, this highlights a successful working partnership with AJC Group to construct these much-needed new homes.”

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