The former Winter Gardens site is the focus of an exhibition of plans featuring a £150 million mixed-use scheme consisting of residential, restaurant, leisure and retail space combined with new parking facilities and public realm.
It follows a year of detailed analysis and design work which began when Bournemouth Council’s Cabinet initially approved a site development plan in October 2015.
The proposals, from the Council’s town centre rejuvenation partner the Bournemouth Development Company, include up to 400 high-quality flats involving one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
In addition, a number of commercial units for restaurants and shops are planned to create an active and vibrant space fronting Exeter Road. All this sits alongside substantial improvements to deliver an important part of the public realm initiative known as the Grand Garden Walk.
The current 220-space surface car park dates from 2006 when the Winter Gardens concert hall was demolished, having been closed four years earlier. To replace these surface spaces, there will be new multi-deck residents’ and public parking.
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.”
The Bournemouth Development Company is a regeneration partnership between the Council and Morgan Sindall Investments. As delivery partner for the Council’s long-term Town Centre Vision, it is working to redevelop council-owned land assets.
Director Duncan Johnston said: “We’re thrilled to be taking forward a mixed-use scheme for Winter Gardens that will help to deliver the Vision. The scheme has real potential to lift the quality of the urban environment and deliver sustainable, holistic regeneration alongside other town centre developments taking place.”
The Bournemouth Development Company has already delivered the residential-led Citrus Building at Horseshoe Common, student accommodation at Madeira Road for Arts University Bournemouth and the Madeira Road multi-storey public car park overlooking Wessex Way. In addition, work has recently started on a 113-unit residential scheme at Berry Court in St Peter’s Road for the private rental market.
The Winter Gardens public exhibition is part of consultations to inform a full planning application expected to be submitted early in 2017.
The plans are on view at the Hilton Hotel, just yards from the Winter Gardens site, between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday 20 October, 2016.