TONED-DOWN plans for a new university centre for new digital and creative businesses have been approved.

Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) shelved its “upturned jelly mould” building earlier this year following a backlash against the 60-week road closure needed for its construction.

In August a new application for a simpler building was submitted and this has now been approved by BCP Council.

The university said it expected work to start on the Fern Barrow site later this year.

Council planning officer Sarah Scannell said it “would generally enhance the character and appearance of the area”.

“The proposed building would make less of a statement than the approved scheme but would be quirky and add interest nonetheless,” her report says.

“It would be a distinct design and in the context of immediately adjoining buildings facing Fern Barrow, however this would reflect the university’s highly varied character.

“It would appear somewhat cramped where it would cross in front of University House, however the alignment would be similar to the approved scheme and would be mitigated by the use of the curved wall.”

Planning permission still remains in place for the original proposal which was approved by Poole council at the end of 2017.

Work was due to start earlier this year but the revelation that it would require the closure of Fern Barrow for 60 weeks prompted a backlash.

Following discussions with ward councillors, the new design was put forward in August.

AUB chief operating officer Nick Welch said he was "delighted" that the application had been approved.

“A joint venture between AUB and Dorset LEP, the building has been designed by internationally-renowned architect and AUB alumnus Sir Peter Cook, and aims to encourage both innovation and creativity, which are hallmarks of our institution.

“Through rigorous consultation, AUB has sought to ensure that the build will have a minimal impact on the surrounding area throughout the duration of the build, which will begin towards the end of this year with completion in summer 2020.”