DEVELOPERS are set to fight their case to build hundreds of new student flats around a Bournemouth town centre car park – despite submitting a revised residential scheme for the site last month.

The proposals from Summix RGB Developments and Sheet Anchor Evolve for three blocks of student accommodation on land adjacent to the Richmond Gardens car park were refused by councillors in March last year.

An appeal hearing on the scheme, which could house 625 students, is due to take place in front of a government-appointed planning inspector in Christchurch civic offices from 10am on Tuesday, January 21.

As reported, the two firms currently have an amended application for 211 homes across four blocks being considered by BCP Council officers.

However, the developers are still hoping to secure permission for their initial plan, which was refused by Bournemouth Borough Council's planning committee.

A spokesperson for Summix RGB Developments Ltd and Sheet Anchor Evolve said: “We believe that the development of purpose-built student accommodation would represent a positive use for the site.

"We were pleased that Bournemouth Borough Council’s officers agreed with this use of the site when they had recommended the original application for approval prior to its determination in March 2019.

“However, we recognise that local stakeholders and residents may have different views on what should come forward on the site. Therefore, we remain committed to engaging constructively with the local community, including members of BCP Council, on our revised application to determine the preferred option for the site’s redevelopment.”

Bournemouth Borough Council's planning committee decided to refuse the scheme after being told it "pillages" the site around the multi-storey car park.

The application had been recommended for approval by officers but councillors decided to go against this advice.

In an email to members on the morning of the meeting, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns described as "excessive" the scale of the proposals, which included a 15-storey block.

Cllr Laurence Fear said the designs were “very drab, very boxy and very dull”.

The refusal motion was supported by the majority of councillors, although Cllr Stephen Bartlett voiced fears about a lack of consistency in the approach of the now-abolished council committee.