CINEMA giant Odeon has submitted a licensing application for a new multiplex cinema – despite the fact it may never be built.

Odeon has agreed to be the anchor tenant in the West Central development and has requested a licence for a proposed new multiplex cinema.

But the former bus station site at Exeter Road is at the centre of a bitter land wrangle between owners NCP and Bournemouth council, which could jeopardise the scheme.

NCP and partners Licet have planning permission and private sector funding for the £50m cinema and restaurant complex but Bournemouth council is trying to obtain a compulsory purchase order for the site so it can build a bus hub there.

Licet started provisional building work earlier this year to keep its planning permission alive and is seemingly unconcerned about the threat of a CPO.

Odeon has been looking to move out of its existing Westover Road location for some time and had previously agreed to move to the Pavilion Gardens scheme proposed by Trevor Osborne for Bath Road North.

But Odeon was courted heavily by Licet and last year switched allegiance and signed up to the West Central scheme – a move that effectively killed off the rival Pavilion Gardens development.

Odeon’s application was submitted on Tuesday, February 25 and seeks permission for films, live music, recorded music, dance performances and similar activities.

It is also seeking permission to supply late-night refreshment and alcohol.

An Odeon spokesperson said: “Odeon has proudly operated cinemas in Bournemouth for a number of decades and our priority remains on opening a new state of the art cinema with the developer who can deliver that possibility at the earliest opportunity.

“We have been in discussions on a number of potential new leisure developments but have no further comments to share at this time.”