PLANS for a major housing and commercial development opposite Poole Quay have been approved by Poole council’s planning committee.

The £150m scheme will see over 350 homes built, along with shops, restaurants, cafes, and workshops for start-up businesses. There will also be a new marina with capacity for 23 vessels, surrounded by a public quayside walkway, which will connect with developments at the former Pilkington’s Tiles and power station sites.

Praise was given for the development’s design at Thursday’s meeting, however concerns were raised about the height of some of the blocks. Seven will be built, ranging from three to 14 storeys.

Objecting to the scheme, Bill Constance, chair of Poole Quays Forum, said the development was “architecturally interesting”, but the blocks were massed together in a “fortress-type development”.

He questioned the deliverability of the scheme and said planning policies on building heights were “being ignored”.

Several members of the planning committee had concerns over the number of parking spaces to be provided with the new development - 345 in total, including nearly 100 spaces for visitors to the commercial units.

Cllr Ann Stribley said: “It’s a very innovative and interesting design, but I have a serious problem with the lack of parking. It’s quite ludicrous to think that 100 odd of these residents won’t have a car.”

Cllr Ron Parker expressed concerns about increased traffic, particularly on Blandford Road, when the development is built.

“The amount of traffic is going to be an enormous problem,” he said.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Andy Garner-Watts told members the plans complied with planning policies, adding: “I think it’s a fantastic design, and the area has been an eyesore for a long time. This is a really important piece of the jigsaw for Poole re-development.”

The plans were approved, subject to referral to the Secretary of State.

Guy Hammond, managing director of developers Atlas Partners Sydenhams, said: “We’re delighted to receive unanimous approval for these exciting plans. We’ve worked exceptionally hard over a number of months to get to this point. We can now get on with the job of creating a new and thriving destination within Poole – one that is attractive to residents, businesses and visitors alike.

“What we now have permission to build is even better – the landmark building is more elegant, public walkways around the scheme are wider, there will be more commercial space and there will be affordable housing. Ours is the only scheme in Poole’s regeneration area that is delivering affordable homes – 18 in total.”

He added: “Sydenhams will now relocate and we will then move in straightaway. We’re fully funded and ready to go.”