“But this is no ordinary English sand dune. On it, and around it, lie stunning golden sands, clear turquoise ocean water, luxury yachts, vintage champagne spilling out of every well-heeled resident’s mouth, and houses that are currently going for an absurd £10million apiece.” That is Sandbanks, as Piers Morgan described on his documentary aired on ITV1, ‘Piers Morgan… on Sandbanks’.
I bet if you asked anyone what he or she thought of Sandbanks around 45 years ago there answer would be the complete opposite. So I did…
In the summer of 1971 my grandparents visited Sandbanks for the first time with their 3 children, my mum, aunty and uncle. My Granny said to me, “Back then Sandbanks was nothing like it is today. It was simple. It was just a cheap, easy, remote destination to spend two weeks on the beach with the children”. And since that summer they have returned at least once a year, every year, with their children, parents, brothers, sisters and grandchildren.
All 15 of us used to stay for two weeks in a small bungalow called Flintshore where it’s back garden led, and looked over, the beach and this is the place my grandparents stayed from 1971, and I did from 1993 until 2005. In 2005 this very modest bungalow, in need of modernastion, sold for nothing less than £3 million. Of course you don’t believe me, Here’s a reliable source to prove it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2005/nov/02/property.uknews
So what was it that turned this sleepy sand dune into “the fourth most expensive place to live on the planet?”*
In 2001, a canny local estate agent named Tom Doyle sold a 1,200 square foot flat on Sandbanks for an easy £1 million.* Consequently he realised that this deal made it the fourth most expensive square foot in the world, resulting in it being ranked on influential property listings. And there it was, the Sandbanks phenomenon was born and property prices soared higher than ever imagined.
Flintshore is now on the market for £10 million, but apparently the inside and outside pool, spa, gym and home cinema aren’t what you’re paying for. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Tom Doyle stated, when asked how he could possibly justify the price, “The view. Six million of that price is for the view”.
Piers continued his documentary by interviewing Harry Redknapp who brought his home in Sandbanks 40 years ago for £600,000. Apparently he gets people knocking on his door every month offering up to £15 million for his key located home, but he stated not even £20 million would tempt him. “Where else would I find a home like this, this is just paradise to me”
The clear common dominator here is money, I mean even a small Orange Juice in the Café was pushing a fiver. Don’t get me wrong, Sandbanks is easily my favourite place in the world, but the special place that used to be my families little secret is now an overly desired destination, and I don’t like it. Sandbanks is now known for its flash cars, heavy wallets and of course pompous residents. I mean who saw the most recent news report? Apparently residents are planning to boycott a newly built Tesco Express because they wanted an M&S. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325510/Sandbanks-residents-outrage-plans-open-supermarket-exclusive-town.html#ixzz2YNPb0Sr2
To me Sandbanks never has been about the money or fame. When I was in High School my friends used to be so surprised that every year my family didn’t leave England to go on Holiday but I didn’t care. It’s somewhere I’ve spent my summers, growing up with my family. From skinny dippy in the sea at the age of 4 with my cousins, to drunk walk backs from the pub with my granddad, uncle and dad when I’m 20. I’ve been every year of my life and every single year I leave I cry, just incase it could be the last.
Let’s just hope the heavy wallets don’t sink this island.