PLANS to demolish one of Bournemouth’s original seaside villas and replace it with a block of flats ‘exhibits an unsettling deficiency of architectural sensibility,’ protestors say.

More than 40 letters of objection have now been received by the council in relation to proposals for Radcliffe Court in Manor Road, East Cliff, which could be bulldozed to make way for a new development.

And councillors who had been recommended to approve the rebuild have now deferred their decision after hearing that some west-facing residents will be left looking out onto a ‘solid brick wall’ if the green light is given.

Cyril Wolfstein, chairman of the neighbouring Dunholme Manor block, said although residents support a new development for the site, the planned changes are ‘unacceptable’.

“We request that the existing relationship between the buildings be retained,” he said.

He added that residents have had to put up with ‘vulgarity unacceptable to most decent human beings’ from squatters living in the unused property.

John Soane of the Bournemouth Civic Society blasted the designs, and said planning officers had ceded to ‘purely economic considerations’.

“With so many residences of architectural distinction now gone, is it time to encourage a more proactive policy of conservation regarding the small number of villas that still remain within the East Cliff Conservation Area?” he asked.

“The demolition of this quite grand Victorian Italianate villa would be a serious loss to the continuing viability of keeping a conservation area on the East Cliff in general.”

Ward councillor Anne Filer said many of those living in Radcliffe Manor have only west-facing windows that shed little light into deep rooms.

“The people on the nearest side of the proposed development are going to be looking out at an absolutely solid, unmitigated brick wall,” she said.

However, planning agent Ken Parke, speaking for developers Lynwood Park Limited, said the ‘well-considered’ proposal had met criteria for ‘acceptable daylight’.

Cllr David Kelsey, chairing the meeting, called for a site visit on Friday, June 27 before councillors come to a decision.

This was unanimously backed by members of the board.