The deputy leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) said that public response to the subject of redeveloping Bournemouth and Boscombe piers has been “passionate”.
A senior figure within the local authority presiding over Bournemouth and Boscombe piers has put out a call for public opinion on what the future should hold for both coastal attractions.
BCP Council deputy leader Philip Broadhead – who oversees regeneration within the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole jurisdiction – tweeted out to his followers earlier this week that he and his fellow councillors were “looking at plans for the future” of both piers, and requesting feedback from locals as to precisely what those plans should entail.
Broadhead was specifically interested in whether or not a modernisation of the Victorian structures would garner public support, or whether they should be “left as they are.”
A flood of varying opinions came in response to the request, with some pressing for modernisation and the creation of a “Santa Monica” style experience, with others preferring the more traditional British seaside package currently on offer.
“I think it is something that we are going to have to look at, so I wanted to start the discussion,” Broadhead told the Bournemouth Daily Echo. “I feel we are now at a stage to look at plans.”
The councillor added that despite the variation in opinion, it was clear that the public felt “very passionately” on the subject of local pier investment.
As to his own stance, Broadhead hinted that he may be in favour of taking a new approach to both sites.
“The piers have a long and proud history [and] I don’t personally think change is a bad thing,” he remarked. “We are going to be looking at the sea front opportunities, we have one of the best beaches in Europe and we want to put a focus on the offering we have, that is not just for people coming in, that is local people as well.”
Meanwhile, the website of the Daily Echo itself hosted a lively back and forth between locals wishing to debate the issue of future pier development.
“I think we should open them up, so that visiting boats can moor along side or near them,” read one of the most popular suggestions. “This would also open up a water taxi service from Poole, Swanage and the locality and would both be good for the economy and stop some of the congestion on the roads.”