MAJOR plans to demolish Christchurch council’s offices and create a riverside marina with housing, shops and a new park have been drawn up.

Developers have created draft proposals for the prominent site, which were unveiled to councillors at a recent private briefing at the Captain’s Club Hotel.

The Daily Echo understands the extensive plans, which are still in the early stages, incorporate the site of the Civic Offices, the former Mostyns factory, the gas works site on Bridge Street and Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre and golf course.

As well as opening up access to the River Avon and creating a marina, the scheme will see housing built on the land, along with shops and restaurants.

As part of the scheme, a new council building would potentially be built, along with a new leisure centre to replace the current facility.

And it is believed the proposed scheme could also see the golf course at Two Riversmeet redeveloped into a park area.

The significant proposal came about after the council was contacted by a developer over redeveloping the Civic Office and Leisure Centre site.

The future of the borough’s civic offices have been the subject of discussion since Christchurch and East Dorset councils started sharing services.

Recent discussions about where to base staff have seen proposals for staff from East Dorset to work at Christchurch rather than Furzehill, while all customer-facing services are relocated to an alternative site in Wimborne.

The former Mostyns factory on Bridge Street is currently occupied by Christchurch Emporium, whose application for planning permission is yet to be approved.

In a statement on the extensive new proposal, the council said: “The council receives approaches about development in the borough from time to time.

“On these occasions we consider what would make the best use of publicly owned assets for the benefit of our council tax payers.

“On this occasion the council has been contacted concerning the possible redevelopment of the Civic Office and Leisure Centre area of the town.

“Officers have held preliminary discussions with the developers who formulated their initial ideas and have subsequently briefed members of the council.

“The proposals at this early stage include a range of uses but a lot more work will be required in order to take the proposals forward.

“The Council has not entered into any contractual agreements with the developer but is willing to maintain a dialogue which is normal practice when these types of approaches are made.”

Chief executive, David McIntosh, added: “We do receive approaches about a variety of issues and we take a view about each one on their own merits.

“Any proposal which has obvious benefits to the council has to be looked into, particularly in light of the funding cuts that we face.”

The only costs involved at this stage relate to specialist legal advice on how the council could maximise the benefit to the public, the authority said.