PLANNING chiefs have backed proposals to build two blocks of almost 100 flats at a former Hamworthy steelworks.

The plans, by businessman Richard Carr's Fortitudo company, are for 42 one-bed and 54 two-bed flats across two blocks at the former James Bros site.

One of the blocks will be ten storeys high.

Planning officers had recommended members of Borough of Poole's (BOP) planning committee refuse the scheme. However, following representations on behalf of the developers, the committee - which convened at Poole Civic Centre on Thursday - nodded the application through.

Richard Carr told the Daily Echo: "The team of consultants that worked with me on it worked very hard. It is great news as these will be starter homes for people, with help to buy.

"It is 96 new homes for young people in Poole.

"I am very happy we have managed to see it through to a positive resolution."

Proposals to build five blocks of 93 flats were approved in 2008. The scheme was partially implemented with the construction of Compass Point North.

The remainder of the land, which fronts Station Road is currently vacant. Three blocks, as yet unbuilt, were granted permission as part of the 2008 application. Two of these blocks containing 44 flats are due to be constructed on the southern part of the site. It is this part of the site where the latest development will go.

Going into Thursday's meeting, Brett Spiller - of agents Chapman Lily Planning - said the scheme would "Revitalise a stalled brownfield town centre site to deliver much-needed homes in a highly accessible location."

But planning officers had raised concerns in their report, citing the scale, mass and height of building as "unacceptable."

One of the conclusions in the report from officers read: "The proposal, by reason of its height, mass and scale with limited separation from adjoining, lower development, would be prominent in the skyline, resulting in intrusive and dominating views, particularly having regard to its close proximity to the Hamworthy shoreline."