Agreements have been completed for the refurbishment of the square, malls and former medical centre building at Saxon Square and the opening of a new hotel there.
The news means that the next phase – the on-site works to carry out the £4m plus improvements – can go ahead.
Work is likely to start soon to remove the existing tiled canopies over the shop fronts and replace all the external paving, planting boxes and other items within the square and mall.
It also means that plans for Travelodge to take over the empty medical centre building in the square and convert it into a hotel can move forward.
Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “This is great news. The refurbishment will enhance the work we have been carrying out to improve the town centre and will create a more modern retail space. It’s good to see that the medical centre, which has lain empty for more than 20 years, will now be used to attract more people to the town.
“Given the large number of landholders and other interested parties involved, it has been a real achievement to pull together the range of complex legal agreements which will make the redevelopment possible.”
The new agreements transfer the responsibility for the day-to-day management and maintenance of the square and malls away from the Council, although the public toilets and the public car park are retained by the local authority.
It has also been agreed that the Council will have free use of the square for 75 days a year which, amongst other things, allows stalls from the Monday market to continue to use the square and for events to be held there.