Harbourside Park (Whitecliff & Baiter) masterplanning

Last updated 14th March 2022

This is one of Poole’s most treasured open spaces and a fabulous place for everything from play to relaxation. Loved for its proximity to Parkstone Bay, Poole Park and Poole town centre, with beautiful views of the Purbeck Hills it is a place everyone can enjoy.

Currently shackled by deteriorating infrastructure, buildings in need of renovation and investment and with facilities which are well past their end-of-life stage, Harbourside Park is in urgent need of upgrading to be fit for modern use and to fulfil its potential for years to come.


We are now working to commission experts, via a rigorous procurement process, to provide master planning services which will provide a clear vision and route to delivery of a range of improvements to Harbourside Park. A masterplan of the whole site (Baiter and Whitecliff) will join up all the elements and the views of park users, with the outcome being a clear plan for a much improved park for visitors and local residents, with quality facilities and services that a park of this unique position, deserves. The masterplan will:

  • set out a vision and spatial framework for the development and regeneration of Harbourside Park
  • address the current buildings and provide options for modernised facilities that are fit for purpose
  • provide recommendations for the location, type, scale and design of new visitor offers, incorporating improved catering and sports facilities with accessible public toilets
  • provide recommendations for development of the open space’s landscape which reflects the distinctive character of the site and its setting
  • provide an action plan setting out the steps necessary to deliver key projects including identification of major partners and funding sources for the next ten years

The selected consultants will be working to engage with the public later this year so watch this space for more information about how you can get involved.

Work done previously

  • removing the old and dilapidated wooden fence at along the bottom edge of Whitecliff Woods
  • aerating the land for better drainage at Baiter
  • surfacing new routes to connect existing footpaths
  • new fitness equipment (further information here)
  • new planting scheme along Sandbanks Road (further information below)

Other projects ongoing at Harbourside Park

Segregated Cycleway

Aiming to create a safer environment for people travelling on foot or by bicycle, BCP Council is widening the existing Whitecliff Recreation Ground waterside path. This will create a safer protected cycleway and pedestrian footpath, which could then be complemented by two North/South links connecting to Whitecliff Road. Find out more here.

Work is due to begin, starting at the Turks Lane end, mid March 2022.

Sluice Channel

The water which feeds Poole Park Lagoon comes from the harbour and passes through a channel under Baiter Park and the railway line. It was built in the 1960s and is constructed of metal sheet piling topped with a reinforced concrete slab. Due to the harsh salt water environment, the sheet piling has heavily corroded along much of the channel and is in need of substantial repair (illustrated below). To date, reactive patch-up work has been undertaken as and when needed in order to maintain the channel and keep both Harbourside Park and Poole Park functioning as open space for park users.

Ground investigation work has been undertaken and information collated will inform designs for renovation of the sluice channel. This will ensure that Harbourside open space can continue to be maintained in the same or better condition. It will also safeguard Poole Park Lagoon so that it can be emptied and re-filled into the future, protecting this important wildlife haven and recreational facility. The next step is to seek funding for the work to be undertaken.

Baiter Skate Park

The existing Skate Park is heavily corroded and nearing the end of its life and there are pieces of equipment which, without investment, will need removing due to health and safety requirements.

We are working with Baiter Skatepark Group (Baiter Park Locals) to access funding to rebuild this much loved facility. So far the group have successfully secured £100k from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and work is been undertaken to gain further funding.

Harbourside Park (Whitecliff & Baiter)

Project details

Budget £50,000
Funding Planning Obligations Parkstone Casual Play & Amenity Open Space
Project Leader Reuben Hawkwood
T. 01202 123123
E. environment@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

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