ANOTHER bid to build a block of flats by Bournemouth Gardens has been rejected.

The scheme was the second application to demolish the 1930s Art Moderne property at 2b Bradburne Road, as well as neighbouring 2a, next to the Central Gardens.

Applicant Woldingham Developments planned to build a six-storey block of 16 flats, however council officers have rejected the scheme calling it "harmful" to the gardens and of "unacceptable bulk".

The officer's report said: "Consent has previously been refused for a very similar development. This was subsequently dismissed at appeal.

"The current proposals are identical to the previously refused scheme in all but the removal of a recessed top floor element."

In March Woldingham gained recognition of its permitted development right to demolish the buildings, since neither are listed despite 2b being considered a 'heritage asset'.

In its application the firm said: "As such the [council] cannot reasonably refuse the application this time around on loss of buildings because the owner 'could' demolish these buildings tomorrow."

The officer's report for the current application said, however, that the outcome of a permitted development prior approval bid had no bearing on a planning application since prior approval does not take into account heritage status – a loophole which has been criticised by the Bournemouth Civic Society.

"The approval merely confirmed the method of demolition," the report said.

"Also the stipulated dates for demolition have passed and the properties remain occupied.

"Until such a time that the building is demolished, it remains a non-designated heritage asset and should be treated as such."

Back in 2017 Woldingham's director, former LV= financial director Steve Castle, complained to the Echo that 2b – his parents’ former home – had been occupied by squatters and drug users, and he was unable to secure it.

The first planning application followed in August that year. It said the proposal would “significantly improve the built form on site [...] given the site’s former history of vandalism and abuse by squatters which has been well documented in the local press in the last 12 months.”