PLANNING chiefs have given the green light for a towering 12-storey Art Deco-style retirement apartments building on a former Poole convent site.

McCarthy and Stone’s proposal for the former St Joseph’s Convent in Parkstone Road is for a mix of some 57 assisted living and 23 retirement homes on the 1.14 acre site.

A number of residents objected to the scheme, citing the height of the 12-storey tower as out of character with neighbouring properties. Borough of Poole also received letters of objection detailing increased traffic and lack of parking concerns However, it was conceded the site would provide high quality specialist accommodation for Poole’s older residents and nodded through by the board.

A council report to Borough of Poole’s planning board recommended the scheme be passed, with conditions including a financial contribution towards off-site affordable housing.

McCarthy and Stone’s regional managing director Shane Paull said: “We wanted to create a truly landmark design for Poole because of the town’s rich heritage and the stunning location of the site. We undertook a thorough engagement and consultation process with local people and received a very positive response.

“We’re delighted that the Borough of Poole has now granted planning consent for our proposals and we look forward to building a modern, signature building that local residents can be proud of.”

The site also includes buildings six, five and four storeys high.

Originally the Bournemouth-based developers wanted to erect a 20-storey tower, but they lowered the number of floors after consulting the local community.

Many of the apartments will enjoy sea views, including Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island. The scheme will also offer assisted living care.

The convent, built between 1860 and 1875, was demolished in 2010. Work is scheduled to start on the new development later this year, with the first apartments ready by mid 2014.