THE latest application to redevelop a disused hotel building in Bournemouth where a cannabis factory was found in 2017 has been refused.

BCP Council rejected MS Residential’s proposal to demolish the Chequers hotel building and replace it with flats, describing its scheme as “most unwelcome”.

“It is a large, boxy looking block which appears overpowering in its mass,” a report by planning officer Charles Raven says.

In 2017, engineers investigating a gas leak discovered a cannabis factory being operated from the disused building in West Cliff Road.

And five applications have been lodged to redevelop the site in the last seven years.

Bournemouth council twice approved four-storey schemes but refused five- and six-storey developments over concerns about their size.

Both refusals were backed by planning inspectors after they were appealed.

But the developer, in a statement submitted with the latest application, said the replacement building would “revitalise” the site and provide “much-needed” housing.

“The site is ideally located for additional housing stock, being located within the town centre, providing a range of services, shopping needs and sustainable transport,” it said.

It said that the new building would create a “harmonious” presence and be a “marked improvement” to the appearance of the area.

The plans proposed the construction of a five-storey block of 24 flats, of which seven would have been holiday lets.

Twenty-one parking spaces would have been provided.

But four people wrote in objection to the scheme, raising concerns about its “excessive scale” and “overbearing impact”.

And at the end of last month, Mr Raven refused planning permission saying “the proposals are a significant deterioration in design quality from the previously approved schemes”.

“The articulation that previously broke up the bulk and added interest has gone and the building has been made taller with an extra storey,” his report adds.

“This is most unwelcomed and the inappropriateness of the extra storey is exacerbated by the originally proposed mansard appearance.”

He said the proposed building was out of keeping and was too big for the site.