A FORMER hotel in Bournemouth could be converted into a block of flats if plans are given approval by the council.

The Manor Road building has been semi-vacant since 2001 and has not been used as a hotel in over 17 years.

It features a Mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath, which is still occasionally used according to Poole-based architectural firm ECA.

Planning permission is being sought to partially demolish the building, known formerly as Mon Bijou Hotel, and build a block of 14 flats ranging from three to five storeys.

The Mikvah, which is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism to achieve ritual purity, will be retained as a feature of the new development, although it will not be connected to the main building.

A small parking area with four car parking spaces is proposed, which would fall “way below” the quota set out in BCP Council’s parking standards planning document.

However, “site constraints” and the proposed development’s proximity to public transport means “this level of parking is justified”, ECA states in the planning application.

Meanwhile, there would be 12 spaces for bicycles on site.

“The building will be partially demolished other than the Jewish ritual bath and it will not be possible to provide a hotel at this location due to the small size of the site,” ECA said.

“Given the comparatively small scale nature of proposal, the retention of the Mikvah and the brownfield nature of the site, which is more costly to develop, the proposal does not incorporate the provision of any affordable units,” the company added.

Access to the Mon Bijou Hotel building is via a driveway shared with the former Radcliffe Court hotel.

Planning permission was granted earlier this year to replace the dilapidated Victorian villa with 24 flats –nearly double the number originally approved.

ECA said the proposed block of flats for the Mon Bijou Hotel site would be built within the building’s existing footprint.

“The proposal includes the removal of the first floor over the Mikvah (which will be retained and remodelled). This will create more light and room around the tree canopy, thereby preserving and enhancing this important feature in the conservation area in the longer term.

“To further cement the importance of the Mikvah on this location the architectural style is purposefully different to that of our main building. The intention was to celebrate the heritage and importance of the Jewish bath, giving it a presence on the site that was previously non existent,” ECA said.