BUILDING work on a 12-storey development of flats at the site of a Bournemouth car park has reached its highest point.

The Tree Tops scheme is being built by Bournemouth Development Company, the partnership between BCP Council and Morgan Sindall Investments.

The development, in St Stephen’s Road, is aimed at helping create “sustainable communities” in the town centre.

It will consist of 46 flats of between one and three bedrooms, aimed at the family rental market, split into blocks of 28 and 18. The developer says both blocks have been “sensitively” designed to complement one of Bournemouth’s landmark buildings, the neighbouring St Stephen’s Church.

Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of the council, said: “It’s been really exciting to see this new development take shape in a way that both enhances and compliments the local area.

“An excellent example of what can be achieved through public and private sector partnerships, once completed it will deliver attractive and much-needed new homes for our community. This will support our vision for the area and the growth of Bournemouth’s town centre as great place for people to live, work and spend their spare time.”

Around 20 people attended the topping-out ceremony, which included planting a tree in the grounds after it had been taken to the top of the building.

Duncan Johnston, director of Bournemouth Development Company, said: “The Tree Tops scheme is well on its way to completion, which is great news for Bournemouth, and is another step towards regenerating the town centre and delivering funds back to the council for future regeneration.

“We are delighted to have been able to transform this previously under-used and awkward site into a modern, sustainable development that will provide safe and secure homes for families well into the future.”

BCP Council will retain ownership of the site and buy the completed development as a long-term investment asset. The homes will then be operated as a private sector rental scheme via the council’s wholly-owned services company Seascape Ltd under a 25-year lease.