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A planning application has now been submitted to significantly reduce the height of the Waterfront building and create a public rooftop terrace.
The proposal is to reduce the height of the building in line with the Planning Brief to around 5.5 metres at Bath Road car parkand approximately 11 metres at Pier Approach.
The back of the building will be less than half its existing height, providing much clearer views of the Purbeck hills from Bath Hill.
A key feature of the altered building is a public rooftop terrace with glass balustrade that will be directly accessible to pedestrians via a sloping ramp from Bath Road South car park.
Councillor Peter Charon, Leader of the Council says:
“We want to give the public improved views and what better way to do this than by creating a public space on the rooftop with a fantastic, uninterrupted viewpoint across the Purbeck hills and Pier Approach.
"I hope it will become a place where residents and visitors can sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine. It will also work very well as an events space.”
Other plans to soften the appearance of the building include:
* A sculptural living wall at the back of the building adjacent to Bath Road car park which will be created using native planting
* A public balcony at the front of the building, creating a more appealing front aspect
* Installation of glass at the back of the building
Councillor Charon added:
“The extensive public consultation that we carried out earlier in the year clearly shows that residents strongly dislike the height and appearance of the existing Waterfront building.
"With these interim proposals we will create a building that is much more attractive, opens up the sea views and brings the building back into public use at the earliest opportunity.
"The acquisition of the head lease and remaining sub-leases was achieved nearly one year ahead of the original timetable and at significantly less cost than the original budget.
"This is why we can proceed with confidence to achieve the new Waterfront building as soon as possible and without any cost-overruns.”
The proposals are expected to be considered by the Planning Board on Monday 21 February 2011. If approved by Planning Board, work could begin on site as early as March.