Fortitudo is working on a proposal for the re-development of the former Poole Pottery fronting Old Orchard. The site measures approximately 0.28ha and currently accommodates the Swan Inn and a c.3,500sqm retail and industrial building.

This website provides information about the emerging proposals.

Questions and feedback are encouraged.

A public exhibition will be held 4pm-8pm on Thursday 12th April 2018 at the The Spire, Poole Methodist Church, Poole High Street BH15 1DF. We would be delighted to see you there, where members of the project team will be on hand to answer your questions. However, we appreciate that your time is precious, so you can also ask questions and provide feedback via the comments section of this website.


The site forms part of the Poole Town Heritage Conservation Area and is situated just off Poole Quay.

The main industrial building was approved in 1973 and has been subject to numerous alterations and additions over subsequent years. The established lawful use is as a retail and industrial premised having once housed Poole Pottery. Notwithstanding its prestigious occupier the building itself is of no architectural merit. The Conservation Area Appraisal notes that it ‘… makes no contribution to the townscape’.





The Swan Inn has been used for a variety of purposes including as a museum. In contrast to the industrial building it ‘… remains a local landmark, with its distinctive glazed green tiles, sited on a bend in Old Orchard Road where Lagland Street once ran down to the Quayside’. It is locally listed on account of its historic, social and architectural interest.

In 2007, the Skelton Group put forward proposals for the redevelopment of the site. Planning permission 06/02247/54/F for the ‘demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of a mixed use development comprising retail units, 96 apartments and basement parking’ was refused, primarily on design and amenity grounds. The street scene drawing below illustrates the contemporary nature of that proposal.


The site is currently lain vacant.

Fortitudo is an experienced local developer with a successful track record of delivery in Poole. The company is working on a scheme, which will ensure the efficient use of this centrally located brownfield site and has appointed a project team to assist.



It is important to stress that our proposals are still evolving and your feed-back will influence the form and content of any planning application.

However, in formulating the concept design we have been mindful of:

  • the planning history

  • site opportunities and constraints (including flood risk)

  • the character of the surrounding area

  • heritage assets

  • national and local planning policies

  • viability considerations



Relevant Development Plan documents and supplementary guidance all of which has been subject to extensive public consultation

The final design will also be influenced by the findings of technical assessments. A project team has been appointed to take these forward.



The proposed development would retain the Swan Inn, with the ground floor devoted to a flexible education and retail space, themed around the historic use of the site by Poole Pottery. A new ground floor retail unit will ensure that the active frontage wraps around the south-western corner of the site, mirroring the established retail uses within Dolphin Quays. 82 one and two-bedroom apartments would sit above, with the bulk and mass broken up through an innovative design that takes inspiration from the historic warehouse buildings along the Quay.



Building for life 12 is advocated by the Poole Quay Forums. It encourages developers and local communities to think about the design of new developments under 12 key themes

Old Orchard provides an important link between the High Street and the Quay. The site enjoys a prominent location set back, but visible from, the Quay. Indeed, it might be described as a gateway to the Quay.

The site is flanked by tall buildings. The northern boundary is delineated by residential properties – Drake Court an 11-storey block and the part eight storey Dolphin Quays Development lies to the south. The developer has taken the conscious decision to ensure that the proposal complements, rather than competes with neighbouring developments and has drawn inspiration from nearby heritage assets to ensure that the proposal assimilates comfortably into its wider setting. The six-storey façade along Old Orchard is broken up through varied roof forms and a strong vertical emphasis. However, care has been taken to ensure that the proposed development steps down to three storeys at the eastern end of the site affording a sensitive transition to the two-storey terrace beyond Gray’s Yard. The core of the development has been configured as a T-shape, drawing the bulk of the building away from the northern and southern boundaries, thereby protecting the amenity of neighbouring occupiers.


The site lies within easy walking and cycling distance of a wide range of shops, services, education, employment and leisure opportunities.

There are multiple bus stops within 150m of the site, supporting high frequency services to the town centre and travel hubs (Poole bus station and Poole train station), as well as facilities further afield. The Old Orchard bus stops provide real time bus information.

ServiceDestinationFrequencyOperating hours
8 Poole / Creekmoor (via Hamworthy and Upton) Every 15 mins / Every 30 mins on Sundays Mon-Fri 5.08am-0.05am / Sat 7.12am-0.05am / Sun 8.30am-23.25pm
152 Poole Bus Station / Rockley Park Every 30 mins Mon – Sat 9.07am-6.30pm / Sun 9.25am-17.50pm
Train service Weymouth - Waterloo Every half hour  


An average of 433 new homes per year were built in Poole between 2006 and 2015. This fell well short of the target of 500 new homes per year set out in the adopted Core Strategy.

It is estimated that some 14,200 new homes are likely to be required in Poole between 2013 and 2033, some 6,000 of which are expected to come forward within Poole Town Centre.

The site forms allocation T15 in the emerging Poole Local Plan, which covers the land between the RNLI up to the Twin Sails bridge. Emerging policy PP6 suggests that approximately 50 new homes could be accommodated on the site, albeit this should be regarded as a minimum.

The prevalent character of the immediate area is presented by a mix of tourism, commercial and residential uses. A wide variety of building forms and architectural styles can be observed. Inspiration has been drawn from the warehouse buildings along the Quay.

The site benefits from being level with no steep slopes or undulations. There are no landscape features of note within the site, albeit the trees along the frontage of Drake Court have been taken into consideration.

The site benefits from public realm along the western and southern boundary, as well as frontage to a service road to the north-east. As previously stated the site is flanked by tall buildings of contemporary design. The prominence of the site within the public realm presents a key opportunity. The design has sought to incorporate an active ground floor and features which emphasis the human scale. The staggered building line, with part of the new development set back behind the Swan Inn, architectural detailing and varied roof profile serve to add visual interest in short medium views towards the site including:

  • looking north east towards the site from the Quay

  • looking south along Old Orchard.

  • looking east along Strand Street.

The proposed development will be set within the public realm and help to define the surrounding streets. The proposal will present a strong frontage to Old Orchard befitting of the sites gateway location.

The existing industrial building extends the full width of the plot and creates a somewhat oppressive and stark environment between the site and Dolphin Quays. The proposed development seeks to address this, pulling the core of the building into the centre of the site, which will provide for a more open environment along the lane, as well as improving the amenity of future residents.

The incorporation and conservation of the Swan Inn within the scheme provides a familiar reference point.

The proposed building has been designed with an intuitive layout and presents legible facades. The main entrances will all be visible from Old Orchard.

The proposed retail and educational uses along Old Orchard will promote activity and stimulate pedestrian footfall along this part of Old Orchard. The future occupants of the proposed apartments will be well placed to take advantage of local shops and services, including those along the High Street and the Quay bringing added vitality to the area and bolstering the daytime and evening economy.

A designated coach parking / drop off point sits within the carriageway of Old Orchard in front of the Swan Inn. The active ground floor uses will provide for a welcoming environment for visitors arriving by coach.

The residential accommodation on upper floors will provide passive surveillance.

Each home will have one secure covered cycle space. This will be conveniently positioned to grant easy access to Old Orchard.

The proposal falls within parking zone 1 of the Borough of Poole’s adopted Parking and Highway Supplementary Planning Document. 57 unallocated car parking spaces will be provided for use by future occupants in accordance with the standards. However, given the sites proximity to a wide range of shops, services, employment, schools and leisure opportunities, together with the frequency of public transport, residents and staff will be encouraged to travel by means other than the car.


The site abounds public realm and shared spaces along the Quay.

The majority of the apartments would enjoy private balconies. These would be of a size that will allow for two people to sit out.

An integral bin storage will be positioned at ground level affording convenient access and avoiding cluttering the street scene.

We will consider all of the feedback received to see if our proposals can be improved or otherwise address issues through the form and content of the planning application.

Ecological, Transport and flood risk assessments will also be completed to inform the final scheme.

It is envisaged that an outline planning application will be submitted to Borough of Poole in May 2018. All matters, other than landscaping, will be considered in full.