DEVELOPERS have been refused permission to replace a pub with a four-storey block of flats.

BCP Council said Dreamland Bournemouth’s proposals for the Horse and Jockey in Wimborne Road were “entirely out of keeping” with the rest of the area.

“The existing building is already one of the largest in the street scene but is not at odds with the area’s character given its original use as a focus of the community,” its planning report says.

“The site coverage is hugely increased and the bulk of the building proposed is exacerbated by the four-storey height.”

Submitted in March, the application sought permission to demolish the pub which has been empty since it was last run as The Smoking Outlaw two years ago.

In its place would have been built a four-storey block of 28 flats, three-quarters of which would have been one-bedroom.

A statement submitted alongside the plans said the pub was no longer a profitable business.

“The owner of the public house has tried for several years to make the existing use a viable option with different managers being employed,” it said.

“Each one has initiated different proposals to generate income…however each one has failed.”

But BCP Council said this was not an accurate measure of demand for a community facility.

Following an assessment of the viability of the development, no contribution to ‘affordable’ housing would have been made, despite the council’s target for 40 per cent provision in larger schemes.

Ten letters of objection were also submitted.

Concerns were raised by council planning officers about the loss of the pub building and the proposed replacement’s “excessive scale" and “overbearing impact".

“No rationale has been provided as to why the existing building cannot be retained and converted into several flats,” their report adds.

“Nor [has] any evidence [been] submitted that the existing building is in poor condition or incapable of being converted into residential use.”

Refusing permission, the council said any benefits of the flats were “tenuous and short term at best” and the proposed block of flats was “entirely out of keeping” with the rest of the area.