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Proposals put forward for Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens site

The rejuvenation plans for one of Bournemouth’s most famous locations have moved a step closer after the submission of a planning application to the local council.

The transformative proposals for the former Winter Gardens site revolves around a £150 million mixed-use scheme – the largest of its kind in the town centre – which would combine residential, restaurant, retail and leisure space alongside new parking facilities and land for public use.

The scheme, being led by the Bournemouth Development Company (a partnership between Bournemouth Council and Morgan Sindall Investments), visualises the complete renovation of the 1.98 hectare (4.89 acre) site, which has been utilised as a car park since the demolition of the concert hall in 2006. The concert hall closed to visitors in 2002.

Piggybacking on the increased demand for “contemporary town centre living”, the proposals include 352 one, two and three-bed apartments and penthouses, most of which will have extensive views of the sea, coastline and conurbation, as well as balconies or terraces.

The residences will be arranged across four multi-storey buildings of varying heights, with 225 public parking spaces available in a new below-ground car park. There will also be landscaped gardens for leisure, recreation and residential purposes, in addition to 365 secure, covered cycle spaces for residents. Cycle spaces will also be provided for visitors and the public.

Meanwhile, a number of restaurants are pencilled in for Exeter Road, while a new food store would be on hand to meet the demands of local people. The plans also include a dedicated space for family leisure, a linear park alongside Cranborne Road and a number of other publicly available open spaces.    

“Winter Gardens is a strategically important regeneration site in the town centre and the Bournemouth Development Company is uniquely placed to deliver a scheme that will be hugely beneficial for residents, visitors and the profile of the town,” Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said.

“This would be the largest project of its kind ever undertaken in Bournemouth. The scheme will be transformational, combining new homes, leisure and social infrastructure in a location where people will want to live, work and socialise.”

Duncan Johnston, development director of the Bournemouth Development Company, believes Winter Gardens is a historically important but underutilised site. “We’re proposing a forward-looking scheme that meets the needs of Bournemouth now and in the future,” he said. “Health and vitality underpin the design concept which successfully combines safe and secure town centre living in an attractive seaside location with facilities that residents and visitors need.”

The application will be considered by Bournemouth Council’s Planning Board over the coming months.  

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