THE developers behind new proposals for Bournemouth’s former Winter Gardens site unveiled their vision at a public exhibition at the weekend.

Dozens of residents turned up to the event at the Royal Exeter Hotel on Saturday afternoon to see details of the planned new hotel, leisure and residential scheme.

It is almost a year since the previous planning application for the site, submitted by a different developer, was refused by Bournemouth’s planning committee.

Councillors ruled the scale and design of the proposed eight-storey hotel, combined with the overall bulk of the proposed development, would have an adverse impact on the special character of the Winter Gardens site and nearby properties in Cranborne Road.

Antony Calvert, director of HardHat, the firm which hosted the event for developer Inland Ltd, said he was pleased with the turnout given the hot weather and that the new plans had received a positive response.

“One of the original concerns was about the size of the hotel. In these plans the trees are going to stay and the hotel will be reduced by the equivalent of two-and-half stories – which will make a big impact,” he added.

“The leisure side of it is something we are excited about. Nothing is set in stone and it is one of the aspects of the scheme that will be determined by what local people tell us.”

Around 70 people had turned up by midday and Mr Calvert said he expected more than 100 to have attended by the end of the day.

He spoke to those attending and guided them through the plans with other members of his staff.

One of those at the exhibition was former mayoress Elaine Cooper, who said she was impressed with the plans.

“In principle I like what I see,” she said. “In general I think it is a much improved idea, but the devil is always in the detail.”