PLANS have been submitted to build a mixed development of flats and a retail unit on a Christchurch town centre car park.

The proposals for the scheme on The Fountain site in High Street, which currently operates as a private car park, have been put forward to BCP Council.

At present there is space for 40 vehicles to park on the site, however, if approved, the development would see this reduced to 12, with a two/three storey building and a coach house style building built.

The former would comprise of a retail unit on the ground floor with six apartments above, while the latter would include two apartments.

A planning statement submitted in support of the application says: “The proposed development would make more efficient use of urban land in a highly sustainable location.

“The creation of a new commercial unit will contribute towards the vitality and viability of the town centre.

“The proposed apartments will provide modern, fit-for-purpose accommodation and meet an identified need for housing that would be attractive to a wide demographic.

“The design and finish are appropriate to the locality. The design has been carefully conceived to avoid harm to neighbour amenity and ensure that a comfortable relationship subsists.”

The site was subject to a planning application in 2015. This development sought permission to construct a building with flexible ground-floor space with flats above, however, this scheme was refused and subsequently dismissed at appeal.

The new application has been formulated with the appeal inspector’s comments in mind, according to the planning statement.

It has been submitted while BCP Council is still yet to deliver a verdict on major proposals to redevelop the former police station and Magistrates’ Court site, as well as the Pit Site car park, which is in close proximity to The Fountain.

This scheme was put forward by Aster Homes in December last year before the councils’ merger.

It includes the construction of 131 residential dwellings, 39 units of age-restricted sheltered accommodation and flexible commercial/community space, including a museum.