CONTROVERSIAL plans submitted by a council-owned company to build six storey block of flats in place of a car park are being recommended for approval.

The scheme for 44 flats on the Durley Road car park in West Cliff has been put forward by Bournemouth Development Company (BDC) – a partnership between Bournemouth council and Morgan Sindall Investments.

The council’s own planning board refused a similar proposal last June with members of the committee comparing the building’s design to “pressed cardboard” and saying that the lost car parking spaces should be replaced.

Concerns have been raised by residents, including parents of the more than 600 pupils at nearby St Michael’s Primary School about the loss of parking and the impact this will have in terms of traffic safety in the area.

The proposal includes a £354,000 contribution towards transport mitigation work, including a £290,000 project to install a 20mph limit around the school and the employment of a traffic enforcement officer for two years.

BDC has said that it has no obligation to replace the lost parking spaces and it would not be viable to provide affordable housing within the scheme, despite a council target for larger residential schemes to be 40 per cent affordable.

A report produced ahead of next week’s planning board says: “In this instance the applicant has submitted viability information which has been assessed by the district valuer.

“Taking all other contributions into account, it would not be viable for the development to provide a contribution towards affordable housing.”

The council is being recommended to approve the scheme and members of the planning board will consider the revised application at its meeting on Monday, June 18.

The report adds: "In this instance, the applicant has been provided with extensive pre-application advice.

"A number of minor issues were highlighted during the assessment period and the applicant/agent responded by submitting amended plans, which were found to be acceptable and allowed a positive recommendation to the planning board.

"Having considered the appropriate development plan policy and other material considerations, it is considered that the development would be in accordance with the development plan, would not materially harm the character or appearance of the conservation area or the amenities of neighbouring and proposed occupiers and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience."