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Boscombe rented properties to be subject to inspections

Council officers in Boscombe will be working with the owners of all kinds of rented accommodation in the area to see if improvements are needed and how quickly they can be carried out. There are in excess of 1,300 privately-rented properties which have been identified as being below standard in what is the most deprived area in the south west.

The inspections will begin later this month in a bid to improve standards and the council will be advising private landlords about providing their tenants with adequate heating, access to amenities, and making sure that their property is well maintained. The council want to send a clear message that it will not be acceptable for tenants to live in properties that are well below the acceptable standard. Residents recently launched a petition calling for an increase in inspections and they are delighted that the council is taking action. The local council want to work in partnership with local landlords to help raise the standards of living conditions for Boscombe residents. Many of Boscombe’s rented homes are owned by Dave Wells Properties who protect all of their dwellings with buy to let insurance as a matter of course, and keep an on call maintenance team at the ready. The company has welcomed the initiative.

Steve Wells, of Dave Wells Properties, said “We are well aware of these inspections, which are part of Bournemouth council’s work to regenerate Boscombe and improve standards. We’ve had dialogue with Bournemouth council already and this is an initiative that we welcome as we are continually investing in and improving our properties.”

A spokesman for Boscombe Area Regeneration Group said that Boscombe Spa and Gardens are a wonderful example of what can be achieved with the right level of investment and community commitment, and that dialogue between all concerned parties will foster better conditions for everyone.

New hotel leaves locals unimpressed

Residents and guest house owners have reacted with fury and rage at the news that planning permission has been granted for a budget hotel right in the middle of the historic Dorset town of Christchurch.

Local councillors gave the decision to approve the hotel despite objections that the opening of a sixty-eight-bedroom Travelodge would destroy the character of the beautiful town centre. The area already has three Premier Inns and locals are surprised that planning for another hotel has managed to get council backing. The run-down former Christchurch Health Centre building will now be turned into a Travelodge, with a new entrance and reception area that can be accessed from the shopping precinct.

The Travelodge chain advertises family rooms for as little as £19 per night, and despite being a no frills service they aim to provide every single customer with both a clean and comfortable night. They were originally a roadside firm with hotels sited on the motorway network. However, for the last decade they have been concentrating more on developing new hotels in town and city centres.

Bernice O’Dell is a local businesswoman with a bed and breakfast business in the town that is covered by landlords insurance. She has organised a petition that local people have backed to the hilt. She believes more large hotels will detract from the charm and character of the town and traditional seaside properties that specialise in B&B will go out of business.

Bernice said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous allowing planning for a Travelodge. It looks like a prison, we are getting overtaken by budget hotels and it’s going to take our business away from us. How are we supposed to survive? I just think there’s enough budget accommodation in Christchurch and I also believe a lot of businesses will go under. I’m a Christchurch girl and we don’t want a big Travelodge in the heart of town. It’s just going to change the whole feel of the place. I love Christchurch and it saddens me to think what will happen to the town now.”