BOURNEMOUTH’S biggest private landlord has lost an appeal to build 20 houses and three flats in the Boscombe East area.

The council’s planning board gave Dave Wells outline approval for the £1 million development in Southwick Road and Warnford Road.

But after he went back to the drawing board and came up with a different lay-out, with vehicle access off Warnford Road, an inspector rejected the scheme. Mr Wells’ bid for costs against Bournemouth council also failed.

The original plans for the site, incorporating commercial buildings, storage and a scrap yard, sparked a wave of protest from neighbouring residents who won backing from local councillors.

Planning board members voiced fears about the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area as well as concerns that the layout would increase crime and deter cyclists and walkers.

Planning inspector Robert Marshall said: “Permission already exists for this scale of development on the appeal site, albeit on a different layout with the sole vehicular access off Southwick Road.

“The current application has been submitted to overcome constraints found to exist due to an underground electricity cable along the southern boundary of the site.”

The inspector said a proposed footpath from Southwick Road would “not be a pleasant route to use, adding: “Those using it, especially at night time, may feel vulnerable and be exposed to crime. It is concluded that the layout of the proposed development would give rise to crime and the fear of crime.”

Bournemouth planning board vice-chairman Cllr Ron Whittaker, pictured, said: “Dave Wells has to listen and learn lessons; he just can’t change applications.

Bournemouth Echo:

“He must take into account residents’ concerns and talk to planning officers before submitting applications.”

In a statement on behalf of DWP Housing Partnership, Dave’s son Steve Wells said: “Obviously we are disappointed but intend to submit new plans.

“We are determined to continue building much-needed social housing in Bournemouth.”