THE worst modern complex ever built in the center of Bournemouth.
That’s the view of a leading conservation group on the buildings that currently occupy a downtown site that has been earmarked for a massive redevelopment project.
The Bournemouth Civic Society has given its thoughts on Fortitudo’s £200million plans as well as the existing buildings on the site between Fir Vale Road and Glen Fern Road.
The developer wants to demolish all buildings on the site and construct a series of buildings up to 25 stories high.
The scheme includes substantial leisure space, hundreds of apartments, a hotel and a replacement multi-storey car park.
Civil society submitted a response to Fortitudo’s planning request, which is currently being reviewed by the BCP Council’s planning department.
“This is a massive redevelopment which would be built on the site of a very comprehensive earlier transformation of an extensive site which had been occupied in the late 19th century by the distinctive Arts and Crafts Grand Hotel and its beautiful and extensive gardens,” Bournemouth says the Civic Society.
“The new townscape consisted mainly of two massive structures: a block of office and leisure facilities facing Fir Vale Road, and a multi-storey car park on Glen Fern Road where a small commercial terrace was also built.
“The company has long believed that what happened at this site in the 1970s was probably the worst-designed modern complex ever built in the center of Bournemouth.
“He deserves to be replaced as soon as possible.”
Commenting on Fortitudo’s plans, Civil Society said the height of the 25-storey apartment tower was “excessive” and “a problem”.
They added: “As we believe that since the highest number of floors allowed in Bournemouth so far is 15, this new proposal, if built, would dominate the whole of central Bournemouth.
“Even though the visual context of this building has been somewhat subdued by the considerable number of more modern adjacent buildings towards Bath Hill to the south, there still remains a very considerable area of contrasting late 19th century townscape extending towards the north and centered on Old Christchurch Route and protected by conservation area status.”
The company suggested a series of changes to the plans, including removing some balconies and reducing the tallest block to 19 or 20 stories.
They concluded that “after considerable deliberation” the application did not comply with Bournemouth’s local plan townscape policies and should be deferred for further discussion.