PLANS to demolish a former garage near Ashley Cross and replace it with a restaurant and flats could be granted this week.

The proposal from Fortitudo Ltd for Commercial Road in Poole could see a cafe or restaurant built on the ground floor with sixteen flats above. A further building with six flats would be built at the rear.

The site is currently occupied by an office building, the former Black and White car dealership and a detached shop and flat.

Planning officers have recommended to Borough of Poole’s planning committee that the scheme be granted.

A report to the committee, which meets on Thursday, says: “The proposed class A3 restaurant use would support the role and function of the Ashley Cross Local Centre in terms of its vitality and viability.”

It says the new larger proposal brings a “degree of harmony” as the building stretches along Commercial Road.

However, there are highway concerns as a result of the “more intensive scheme” due to the lack of parking included on the plans.

The report states: “The lack of parking is likely to lead to vehicles ‘trawling the area’ looking for parking spaces.

“Ashley Cross has a relatively high evening and weekend demand for parking due to the popular restaurant and bar economy that exists in the area.

However, it adds: “Having regard to decisions previously taken and the planning gain achieved by the closure of an existing access onto Commercial Road, it is concluded that the principle of a zero level parking situation has already been accepted in this location.”

Fortitudo’s chief executive, Richard Carr, said: “I’m very pleased the plans are being recommended to be granted.

“I think they will be very popular with younger people.”

“We have had various interest for the ground floor restaurant unit. This includes from pizza operators and a couple of others.”