COUNCILLORS will vote next week on the purchase of the full Winter Gardens site, prior to its redevelopment as shops and flats.

In October, Bournemouth council unveiled its £150 million scheme for the site of the former concert hall, currently a public car park and small collection of restaurants.

The scope of the development, which would be the largest in the town's history, had grown from the £102m proposal discussed just 12 months before.

It will be conducted by the Bournemouth Development Company (BDC), a partnership between the borough and Morgan Sindall Investments.

On Thursday, cabinet members will discuss the undisclosed sum required to purchase privately-owned parts of the site, which will be split evenly with the council's construction firm partner.

A report by the council's Town Centre Vision programme leader states: "Whilst the Winter Gardens site is owned by the council and constitutes over 90 per cent of the wider assembled developable area there is potential to acquire an adjoining

site in order to fulfil a desire to bring forward a best in class comprehensive re-development of the entire area.

"The precise terms of that site assembly are close to being agreed."

The purchase will involve both the council and Morgan Sindall 'loaning' the money to BDC.

The report states: "If cabinet approves the council’s loan to BDC and Morgan Sindall approve a matching loan, BDC will be able to purchase the remaining land needed to bring forward this £150m mixed use scheme."

The original concert hall, which hosted many big names over the decades, was closed in 2002 and demolished four years later.

Current plans would see the 4.6 acre site, between the Bournemouth International Centre and the Hilton Hotel, host up to 400 flats, restaurants and cafés, shops and a plaza, with underground parking.

The scheme is part of the borough's Town Centre Vision, which has so far seen BDC build student accommodation at Madeira Road and flats at Leyton Mount.

Further flats are under construction on the former Berry Court car park, and there are plans to build on the St Stephen's Road and Durley Road car parks in the short term, and several other public car parks down the line.

According to the cabinet report: "Bournemouth’s Town Centre Vision is now well under way with £200m of development completed, over £60m of development currently in the construction phase and £200-£300m of development planned in the next two to three years."