Affordable housing specialist acquires key Poole site

Dorset-based affordable housing specialist AJC Group has acquired a key brownfield site in Poole, to deliver 33 affordable apartments in partnership with housing provider Abri.

Located to the north of Lower Blandford Road, the site has been purchased with full detailed planning consent in place for an apartment scheme with associated access and car parking facilities.

AJC Group and Abri have amended the plans for open-market homes and converted the scheme to 100% affordable, with a mixture of one and two-bedroom EPC-B rated homes which will be available for affordable rent.

The plans meet the requirements set out in the Broadstone Neighbourhood Plan, providing a desirable mix of one and two-bedroom properties which is much needed in this area of Broadstone. The site is currently used for car parking, providing an uncharacteristic gap in the street scene of the busy street on the edge of the Broadstone Conservation Area.

The proposed four-storey apartment scheme has been sensitively designed to complement the existing Victorian surroundings with a contemporary influence and will provide an attractive completion to the street scene.

The site layout has been carefully considered to respond to its opportunities and constraints making efficient use of a brownfield site with good pedestrian and vehicle access. Undercroft parking will include 26 parking spaces, secure storage for 34 cycles, and additional visitor spaces. Internally, the layout of the apartments provides modern, spacious accommodation with open plan living/ dining/ kitchen spaces with positioning to enable direct ambient light into all living spaces.

David Cracklen, director of AJC Group, said: “We are pleased to be delivering this scheme in partnership with Abri, which will provide both economic, social and environmental benefits to this area of Poole. And critically, schemes like this are needed more than ever as there is almost no affordable rent accommodation in Broadstone, with only 0.2% of homes for socially rented.* It makes effective use of a vacant brownfield site, and supports the local economy through the delivery of homes close to the district centre.

“We are pleased to be working with Abri again, following the success of our Violet Cross development in Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset, as well as our Lindsay Road scheme in Poole, which is due to be completed Spring this year. These developments are part of our ongoing commitment to build 500 affordable homes in the next five years for the Wessex region.”

Sam Stone, director of land and planning at Abri said: “We want to create neighbourhoods that meet the needs of the community and by revitalising formerly disused land and providing 100% affordable housing this development will help so many people.

“The regeneration of brownfield sites is key to creating thriving communities and our track record with AJC shows how successfully this can be done. Abri is committed to delivering 10,000 homes by 2030 and collaborative approaches like this mean we can continue to support more customers and really make a difference.”

The suburb of Broadstone has a thriving local centre and is often described as a village by locals. The site is highly sustainable with close proximity to local services and facilities including shops, healthcare and education. It is also within walking distance of established bus routes and has good connections to public footpaths and cycle ways.

AJC Group currently has three sites under construction including Lindsay Road and The Sloop, which are located in Poole. In Dorchester a partnership project with Aster to deliver 57 affordable homes is well underway. AJC Group is delivering 187 mixed-tenure homes in 2024, reflecting a total construction value in excess of £100m.