Posted: 21/10/2016 at 3:25pm
Plans to transform and rejuvenate one of Bournemouth’s most famous town centre locations have gone on show at a one-day public exhibition.
The former Winter Gardens site is the focus of plans featuring a £150 million mixed-use scheme combining leisure, residential, restaurant and retail space with new parking facilities and public realm.
The scheme has been proposed by the Bournemouth Development Company, a town centre regeneration partnership between Bournemouth Council and Morgan Sindall Investments.
Reflecting a demand for contemporary town centre living, the plans include between 350 and 400 high-quality residences involving one, two and three-bed apartments and penthouses. Many will have balconies or terraces with extensive views of the sea or town centre.
Residential accommodation is spread across four multi-storey buildings of varying heights set amid landscaped open areas for leisure and recreation.
Up to five units for high-quality restaurants are envisaged in an active and vibrant frontage along Exeter Road, so helping to raise and diversify the choice of dining experience in the area.
A new food store will also serve to meet the needs of people living locally, so contributing to economic vitality.
Dedicated space for indoor and outdoor family leisure includes a new piazza at the junction of Exeter Road 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 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.
The current 220-space surface car park at Winter Gardens dates from 2006 when the old concert hall was demolished, having been closed four years earlier. To replace these surface spaces, there will be new below-ground parking. As well as 225 proposed public spaces to be operated by Bournemouth Council, there will be a private parking space for each of the new residential units.
The scheme provides for the retention of established trees around the site and an existing right of way linking Tregonwell Road and Exeter Road.
Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said: “The Winter Gardens site is a key town centre location that has been waiting for rejuvenation for many years. There is a need for a comprehensive redevelopment of the car park to provide quality homes, boost economic activity and be an onward catalyst for growth. The Winter Gardens project will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in the town. Like any development of this scale, it will take a number of years to complete and is likely to be delivered in four distinct phases to ensure the project captures market demand.”
Duncan Johnston, Director of The Bournemouth Development Company, said: “Winter Gardens is a designated development site with potential to create a vibrant, high-quality built and landscaped environment for residents, the local community and visitors to enjoy. As well as replacing public car parking, our proposals complement other nearby regeneration activities while promoting leisure, recreation, living and commercial space, and delivering an elegant design that works with the townscape.”
The one-day exhibition, at the Hilton Bournemouth Hotel just yards from the Winter Gardens site itself, was part of ongoing consultations to inform a planning application expected to be submitted early in 2017.
The main consultants on the project, working with Development Manager Max Whitehand, include locally based businesses with extensive knowledge of the town. On the team are Wimborne-based Savills for planning, Fordingbridge architecture practice BrightSpace, Fabrik landscape architects, Ridge construction consultants, Mayer Brown transport planning and Ferndown-based Hoare Lea, consulting engineers.
Indicative image courtesy of BrightSpace architects.