MEMBERS of the BCP Council cabinet are set to approve a legal arrangement to allow a seafront arcade to be redeveloped.

Last year concept plans for the conversion of the "unloved" Happyland Amusements into a hotel were published with the council seeking interested developers to submit their plans for the site.

And now councillors are being recommended to approve the formation of a ‘special purpose vehicle’ with landowner the Gervis Meyrick Estate to push ahead with a project.

As it is only the holder of a 999-year lease for the building, the council will require the backing of the estate for any scheme.

A report published ahead of the Friday meeting of its cabinet recommends that a licence be agreed which would allow a new lease to any developer to be organised.

“Previous developments elsewhere on the land covered by the 1903 lease have been promoted by the council with the freeholder’s consent sought for subletting,” the report says.

“However, the Meyrick Estate has indicated a desire to take a more active role in development on its freehold land.”

As a result of this, last year the two organisations invited the submission of plans for future redesigns of the building, submitting their own hotel concept at the same time.

Cabinet member for tourism, Cllr Lewis Allison, said this had attracted “strong interest” from “a number of potential developers” for a range of uses, including leisure and restaurants.

In order to progress any scheme, the estate has proposed to establish its own separate company solely to oversee and manage it.

The report says the council would have “no direct control” over its activities, including the choice of what development is put forward.

Despite this, Cabinet members are being asked to approve the move and to grant a 150-year lease to this company which will allow the site to be marketed.

The lease would be triggered when planning permission is granted.