A DERELICT hotel that has blighted Bournemouth for a decade will be transformed into a building residents “can be proud of,” the owner has promised.

The Meyrick Estates have broken their silence over the future of the former Cliff End Hotel in Manor Road to reveal their plans for the building, which was ravaged by fire last year.

Chief executive Paul Hanson acknowledged residents had been frustrated by the apparent lack of action but said they had been embroiled in a long legal battle to get full ownership of the site.

He told a meeting of Bournemouth’s cabinet: “We have been really concerned by the deteriorating condition of the Cliff End for a long time. We have made efforts to try and resolve this but the legal process took nearly three years.

“It’s been frustrating to say the least but we are now free to try and work with you to secure the future of the site.”

Bournemouth council has produced a development brief setting out the type of development it would like to see on the site. This expresses a preference for tourist accommodation on the site but says that flats may be acceptable. It also wants to see the historic core of the building preserved if possible.

Mr Hanson said he had some concerns about this: “Following the fire, there’s remarkably little left of value that is capable of reinstatement. And there was no insurance so there’s no money to fund reinstatement.

“We’re going to put significant resource and effort to present a high quality scheme to you. We will use an architectural competition to get the best architects to produce something that’s got flair and interest.”

Cllr Dave Smith, pictured, said: “I’m pleased Meyrick Estates now have ownership of it again and are treating it with some urgency and seriousness.

“I think it’s very positive that they’re going to go for a really high class design, something that people can be proud of in the future.”