THE latest council procurement process to find a developer to build a hotel on land next to the BIC is set to be cancelled.

Members of the BCP Council cabinet are being recommended to stop work to consider the possibility of a larger scale project, including replacing the conference centre.

However, former Bournemouth council cabinet member Cllr Philip Broadhead has warned it could be a “short-sighted” move to “throw away” work that has already been done.

With the abolition of the borough council earlier this year, responsibility for the scheme was taken on by the new unitary authority.

Part of the BIC site was bought by Bournemouth council with grant funding provided by the former South West Regional Development Agency on the proviso a hotel be built there.

Original plans would have seen Bournemouth council borrow £70 million to fund its construction with the money paid back through rental income.

This was stopped in May 2018 following a legal challenge by other hospitality firms.

In October Bournemouth council’s cabinet gave permission for work to start on another “streamlined” procurement process which was expected to cost up to £60,000.

However, a BCP Council report recommends that this be halted, despite it now being ready to go out to tender.

“Having got to this point, officers have been reviewing the options and would now recommend that, before the tender process is commenced, cabinet should reconsider the opportunity and look at the site as a whole, including the BIC.

“This would mean the cessation of the hotel project in its current format.”

Cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Mark Howell,  said there was now "a window of opportunity" to consider an overhaul of the wider BIC site.

"Now is an appropriate time to consider the wider options for replacing or refurbishing the BIC," he said.

“This feasibility study will enable the council to work with the operators BH Live and other key stakeholders to look at redevelopment opportunities for the site, including the associated costs and deliverability."

On Friday the cabinet will be recommended to allocate £170,000 to carry out a feasbility study for the BIC.

However, Conservative councillor Philip Broadhead, the former Bournemouth council cabinet member for economic growth, has raised concerns about the impact this could have.

“They [the new administration] have taken a slightly different approach to what we had originally planned for the refurbishment of the BIC but if it’s deliverable then I am fine with it – it would be a fantastic project,” he said.

“But I think it could be short-sighted to throw away all the work that has been done on the hotel project.

“This is not just because of all the money that has already been spent but also because the council has an obligation to build a hotel on that site.”

Cllr Broadhead said he was planning to ask how much money had been spent on cancelled processes at the Monday meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny board, of which he is chairman.

A final decision will be made by the cabinet at its meeting on Friday (July 12).