CHANGES have been made to the council's £150 million shops and flats scheme for the Winter Gardens site.

Bournemouth Development Company, a partnership between Bournemouth council and Morgan Sindall Investments, is currently seeking planning permission from the borough's planning department.

A number of amendments have been made to the submitted scheme, changing the outward appearance of several buildings, removing the stepped balconies from the main building in Exeter Road and increasing the height of the tower by one floors to 13 storeys.

Planning board chairman Councillor David Kelsey said the application would likely come before the committee this summer.

"As far as I am aware I don't think this will be coming before us for at least another month," he said.

"It will either be the June or July planning board meeting, I have not had any further updates."

The council says its scheme is the largest in the town’s history.

It comprises new flats, restaurant, leisure and retail units with underground parking facilities, taking up the whole of the 1.98 hectare (4.89 acre) site, much of which has been used as a council-run surface car park since the demolition of the popular concert hall in 2006.

The borough purchased the last parts of the site, bordering Exeter Road, last summer.

According to the amended plans, there would be 352 one, two and three-bed flats and penthouses, many with balconies, arranged across four blocks.

One shop unit – likely for a supermarket – and one office unit are included, along with five units for restaurant/bar use and five for 'leisure' uses, for instance cinemas, concert halls, bowling alleys, dance halls, casinos, skating rinks or gymnasiums.

There would be 594 parking spaces in total, a net increase of 369 spaces on the existing car park.

The area bordering Exeter Road would be shaped into a plaza to improve pedestrian access between the site and the neighbouring Hilton Hotel and the BH2 centre.