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15 December 2010, 13:58
Councillors have agreed to lower the height of the Waterfront building - restoring sea views from as early as Spring 2011...
The IMAX in Bournemouth has blocked the sea view from Bath Road since it was first built in 2002.
Councillor Peter Charon, Leader of the Council has told HEART:
“We know that the public’s number one wish is that we reduce the height of the building to improve the sea views. We are also aware that people in Bournemouth are expecting something to happen quickly.
“We will reduce the height of the building, in line with the Planning Brief that was agreed by the Council in September, following extensive public consultation. We will also take the opportunity to soften the appearance of the existing structure. Most importantly, it could enable this work to start as early as the spring of next year, subject to planning permission.
“In order to stimulate interest and get quality leisure attractions that are appealing to local residents we anticipate offering short term leases of between 5-15 years. We have to be flexible in our approach so we can bring the building back into public use in a commercially viable way.”
He added, “When it comes to deciding a permanent use for the site we must be patient, particularly as we see this as part of a larger redevelopment that will incorporate Bath Road South Car Park and Pier Approach. Leisure operators are experiencing difficulties in the current economic climate and an interim scheme will allow time for the markets to stabilise and the leisure sector to recover. Our aspiration is to create a permanent all-weather leisure attraction that we can all be proud of and waiting for the right market conditions will ensure we have the best options available to us.
“This is very much a long term plan and so it makes sense that we consider the Waterfront building as part of our Town Centre Vision redevelopment plans.”
The interim scheme is expected to cost in the region of £1.5-2million, which will be met from the existing project budget.