IT may be a long way from Hollywood, but a busy road in the heart of Bournemouth is looking “similar in some aspects to downtown Los Angeles”.

That’s the view of the town’s civic society, which made the observation when commenting on the latest plans for a tall building on Holdenhurst Road.

The busy thoroughfare has been revamped in recent years, with palm trees planted on its traffic islands.

It is home to Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre, and to a host of employers in financial services and the digital and creative industries.

The Watkins Jones group recently submitted fresh plans for a 19-storey “live-work” building previously called Digital Point but now renamed The INC. It would contain 153 units of accommodation and flexible workspace, after demand for office space failed to materialise. The plan includes teaching accommodation and offices at the former Oxford House on Oxford Road nearby.

John Sloane, built environment consultant at Bournemouth Civic Society, said in comments to Bournemouth council: “This application, which is a very substantial development, is part of the ongoing extensive expansion of Bournemouth University to create a major campus in the Lansdowne/ Holdenhurst Road area.”

He accepted that extensions to the campus would be in a “generally modern style” but said they should not be “over-large and unsympathetic to the general townscape of Bournemouth”.

He added that "a considerable section of Holdenhurst Road" between Lansdowne and Bournemouth station "may now be looked upon as a piece of linear, extended modern urban sculpture (similar in some aspects to downtown Los Angeles)".

But he said that "we feel strongly that the taller of the two blocks is excessively high and as such would have a most destabilising impact on the aesthetic perspective of this entire section of Holdenhurst Road”.

He called for the plan to be deferred for further discussion.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, cabinet member for economic growth at Bournemouth council – which has been awarded £8.5million to improve the Lansdowne area – said in a statement: “The Lansdowne has exciting potential for growth, and it is always encouraging to see development taking place which cements Bournemouth as an stellar place to do business.

“We also understand that in an age where technology is allowing more flexible and mobile working, increasingly what locations can offer in terms of ‘lifestyle’ is also having a much greater influence. “We were very supportive of the original planning application for this site, particularly its provision for 100 per cent office space. However, recent investment we have received from the government means that we need to do what we can to make sure we continue the momentum for the bold improvements in what is rapidly becoming a world-class business destination.”