FRESH proposals for Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens seek to transform the site with a hotel, cinema, leisure complex, 114 flats and public piazzas.

A new developer Inland Homes is hoping to succeed where the previous applicants failed and build on the prime town centre site, which is currently a council car park.

They are pledging to consult with local residents and have removed two storeys from the hotel element facing Cranborne Road in response to concerns.

They also claim their scheme could provide the town with open-air piazzas and shared space that will link in with a Grand Garden Walk planned by the council.

The new proposal consists of: n Approximately 114 dwellings n Up to 5959 square metres of commercial space n A cinema, leisure complex and family entertainment space n A hotel with approximately 70 bedrooms n A 550-space car park.

  • New public realm to Exeter Road comprising shared space, piazzas and open-air public areas.
  • Re-routing of public right of way within the site.

The applicants have already carried out preliminary consultation with residents which found they were broadly happy with the mix of development and supported the idea of a hotel.

Cllr Bob Chapman, who represents the Central ward, pointed out the majority of the site was owned by the council and that the future of the adjacent Exeter Road site was very uncertain. Licet developments have permission to build a multiplex cinema there but the council is trying to compulsorily purchase the land for a bus hub.


2006 - Winter Gardens concert hall is demolished.

Dec 2010 - Developer APB Park Ltd and agent Planning Solutions unveil a £100m scheme to build at least one hotel, a multiplex cinema, grocery store, 240 apartments, public piazza, outdoor winter ice rink, bowling alley and restauarants on the site. They exchange contracts with the council.

March 2012 - The application is due to go before a planning board meeting but is pulled at the last minute because it looks set to be refused.

April 2012 – The site is brought back into council ownership because the developer has not secured planning permission. However, APB Park continue to promote their scheme.

September 2012 – APB Park Ltd and Planning Solutions submit a second planning application.

June 2013 – The scheme goes before Bournemouth’s planning board and is unanimously rejected. Councillors criticise the lack of detail and accuse Ramsden of presenting “misleading” information. May 2014 – New developers Inland Homes submit a new application for the site and withdraw the appeal concerning the rejected application.