Bournemouth council has pulled the plug on Trevor Osborne’s £50m Pavilion Gardens scheme – which has been in the pipeline for more than six years – as it did not believe there was a realistic chance it would be built.
The council’s decision follows the news that cinema giant Odeon had pulled out of a deal to move into the Pavilion Gardens development and signed an agreement with the rival West Central scheme instead.
The decision to end the contract with Mr Osborne will be scrutinised by councillors at a meeting next Thursday.
If they agree with the decision, Mr Osborne will have to pay a £1.35m initial premium to Bournemouth council. He was unavailable for comment.
The Pavilion Gardens scheme, formerly known as Nautilus, had planning permission and an arrangement with Bournemouth council that would have seen the council sell the existing surface car park to Osborne (Bournemouth) Ltd and then rent it back for up to 75 years.
It had been hoped building work would start next month and that the nine-screen cinema and 14 restaurants would eventually create 300 new jobs.
However, his contract with Bournemouth council ended on December 31 and the council said they now wanted to consider other options for the site.
It may be the council will now include the site in their “Town Centre Master Vision” and give development partner Morgan Sindall the task of redeveloping the site, but there has been no confirmation of that.
The decision is a boost for the West Central developers Licet. They now have planning permission, funding and tenants in place for their cinema and restaurant scheme on the NCP car park in Exeter Road but the council is attempting to compulsorily purchase the site.
Roger Ball, Bournemouth council’s service director for environment and regeneration services, said: “We are disappointed that the Trevor Osborne Property Group has failed to secure funding for the proposed Pavilion Gardens development within the timescales specified in the Development Agreement.”
Nigel Hedges, inset, the chair of Bournemouth Town Centre Management Board, said: “I wish Trevor Osborne had been able to make the scheme happen.
“It’s unforgiveable that such a prime site sits there empty.”