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Kier lands Poole rail station deal

CONTRACTS DORSET

KIER has bagged a deal to transform Poole's former rail yard and its ageing train station into a £50 million town gateway.

The firm was one of several that applied to buy the land from Network Rail.The site is part of the former British Rail Goods Yard and some of it will be retained for a new £10 million railway station and sidings.

The station will be the Dorset town's principal transport interchange and will include a bus station and cycling and pedestrian facilities.

A footbridge and two lifts will straddle the tracks to provide access between the train station and the town centre.The area will be known as the Poole Gateway.

Once the old station is demolished, work will start on the £40 million mixed-use part of the scheme.

Kier will build an 11-storey hotel with 103 bedrooms on the site of the old station.

Other parts of the commercial development include a 260-space multi-storey car park, offices, two retail units and a restaurant/cafe.The contractor will also build the area's road infrastructure, with the entire commercial development taking around 18 months to finish.

A 265-unit residential development has also been planned.Bellwinch Homes, Kier's private house building division, will build 44 one-bedroom flats,164 two-bedroom flats and 57 three-bedroom flats.

The flats will be divided into six different blocks and have views over Poole's Holes Bay. It is expected that the residential part of the scheme will be delivered using a fiveyear plan.

The 2.9 ha site will be subject to an environmental impact assessment before Poole Borough Council considers planning applications this summer. A section 106 agreement should then be in place by January 2006, with work on the site starting shortly after.