Following a public consultation held in October 2016, a planning application has been submitted for a £150 million mixed-use development scheme at Winter Gardens. The proposals include residential, restaurant, leisure and retail space with new parking facilities and public realm. It is anticipated that a planning decision will be made early in 2018.
The plans envisage the complete transformation of the 1.98 hectare (4.89 acre) site, used as a car park since the demolition of the concert hall in 2006 following its closure four years earlier.
Reflecting a demand for contemporary town centre living, the plans include 352 high-quality homes involving one, two and three-bed apartments and penthouses. Most will have balconies or terraces with extensive views of the sea, coastline and conurbation.
The residences are arranged across four multi-storey buildings of varying heights set amidst considerable landscaped grounds for leisure, recreation and residential amenity.
The 225 public parking spaces currently on site will be re-provided in a new below-ground car park discretely located under a landscaped podium with 369 additional dedicated spaces for residents and visitors.
There will also be 356 secure, covered cycle spaces for residents and a further 36 cycle spaces for visitors as well as additional public cycle spaces.
Up to five units for high-quality restaurants are proposed along Exeter Road, so helping to raise and diversify the choice of dining experiences in the area and enliven the streetscape.
A new food store will also serve to meet the needs of people living locally, so contributing to economic vitality.
As well as dedicated built space for family leisure, further multi-function open areas include a new piazza at the junction of Exeter and Cranborne Road, a linear park alongside Cranborne Road and other publicly accessible open spaces with opportunities for outdoor cafés and children’s play areas.
A widened area of landscaped pedestrian realm along Exeter Road will help to deliver an important part of the Grand Garden Walk, an initiative to provide a continuous promenade for pedestrians and cyclists around the town centre. This will link with the proposed piazza which in turn forms an important and enlivened public space creating a hub between the scheme and the recently completed Hilton and BH2 developments.