COUNCILLORS are being urged to approve borough plans for a block of flats despite a shortage of parking spaces.

The Bournemouth council scheme involves building a six storey block of 44 flats on its public car park in Durley Road, but with only 41 parking spaces for residents only.

There will, however, be storage for 44 bicycles.

With 12 one-bed, 30 two-bed and two three-bed flats making up the block, the building could house 78 residents at full capacity.

Its construction will also remove a busy public car park near the beach and a growing primary school.

Council officers have backed the scheme by Bournemouth Development Company, a council partnership with Morgan Sindall Investments, which will be considered at a meeting on Monday (JUN 19).

They say the parking, which is unallocated, surpasses the requirement of the authority's 'parking supplementary planning document', which is 34 spaces. Were the parking allocated it would require 58 spaces.

Among the 55 letters of objection submitted are those of many parents from nearby St Michael's Primary School, who use the existing 119 space car park for picking up their youngsters in the afternoons.

The council grants permits to parents and to several nearby businesses.

However, the officers' report says: "Now that Avenue Road car park has come back into council control the applicant has suggested that the business/other permit holders in Durley Road and West Hill car parks could be moved to Avenue Road car park.

"The purpose of this is to reduce the long-stay parking demand in these car parks and free up space for short stay use, especially during and after implementation of the development."

The council carried out surveys in February 2014 and in April 2016 to assess peak usage of the car park, finding it was 63 cars (51 per cent) in the former and 80 cars (67 per cent) in the latter.

Yet the report does not address any potential impact on tourism or include data from the summer months. There is also no analysis of the potential impact on neighbouring roads.

Earlier this year there was an outcry when a survey carried out to establish how many school parents used the car park appeared to suggest the scheme already had planning permission. This led to an apology from transportation development manager Trevor Sills.