A CONTROVERSIAL £100million, seven-storey development overlooking Poole Harbour and featuring a five-star hotel and 73 luxury apartments has been given council approval.

And property consultant Richard Carr claims he is in negotiations with the owners of the Ivy – an iconic restaurant popular with A-list celebrities in London’s West End – about opening a rooftop branch at the new building set to replace the Salterns Harbourside Hotel.

The prominent businessman’s proposal, unanimously backed by the Borough of Poole’s planning board at a Civic Centre meeting yesterday, will include a spa and gym for community use as well as new marina facilities and a 226-space car park.

His application did, however, receive more than 100 objections citing concerns about increased traffic levels, the impact on the area’s character, parking and access.

Lagoon Road resident Jeremy Waters, a chartered surveyor and local historian, told the board he was “absolutely astonished” the authority’s transport officer had deemed the development would not impact on the free-flow of traffic on Salterns Way.

“This seven-storey hotel block will stand dominating and isolated, surrounded by a 10ft sea wall at the end of this peninsula, projecting deep into the harbour, and visible from almost everywhere in the borough,” he said.

He added that by granting the scheme the councillors would be “undoing the work of your predecessors” who he said had “fought tooth and nail” to protect the area from high-rise developments.

But Mr Carr rejected criticism of the plan and said the £7million being spent on raising the sea wall would “future-proof” the area from flooding.

“Something I find, as a developer, quite strange is that when we have a loss of amenity like the Beehive pub [on Sandbanks Road which was demolished and replaced with flats] 15 years ago there was absolute uproar from the local community.

“Here we are today presenting you with a world-class marina, world-class five-star hotel with spa, swimming pool - all of which the community can use – and yet you still have people objecting to you.”

Planning board chairman, Cllr Peter Pawlowski, described the scheme as “cutting-edge”.

“I think this is future-looking and not looking backwards. I strongly believe this town needs that to protect its economy and to provide jobs," said Cllr Pawlowski.

“We should be taking advantage of our harbour to promote and help our area, and that area is so tired.”

Speaking to the Echo after the meeting, Mr Carr said he was relieved the decision had gone his way and confirmed that the Ivy was his preferred option for the sky restaurant.

He added: “It will be a great addition to Rick Stein’s arrival in Poole.”