PLANS to redevelop the upper floors of a landmark Bournemouth building had been approved.

BCP Council has given the go-ahead for developer Camirtec to convert redundant Bournemouth University space in Royal London House into a shared office and accommodation for visitors.

It said any harm caused by the work to the Christchurch Road building would be offset by the new facility “and the opportunities it would create”.

Camirtec submitted its planning application last year, following the decision of Bournemouth University, which had used much of the building’s upper floors for teaching, to relocate fully into Gateway Building.

It proposed converting the building above the KFC outlet into office space as well as 40 units of “serviced accommodation” for business visitors or tourists.

“This proposed scheme intends to create a new type of flexible, contemporary co-working and serviced accommodation space which aims to retain local talent within Bournemouth, especially graduates from the universities rather than losing them to the London market,” a statement lodged with its plans said.

The scheme attracted support from Bournemouth Civic Society which described it as “a most worthwhile enterprise”.

Stuart Laird, the Bournemouth University’s director of estates, also wrote to the council backing the proposals.

There were no objections to the application.

However, “significant concerns” were raised by the council’s tourism officer about the viability of the proposed accommodation.

Despite this, council planning officer Peter Burridge approved the application, although a condition was made in a bid to prevent it becoming used for permanent residential purposes.

“Royal London House is a significant building that occupies a prominent position, and which is little altered,” his report said.

“The roof turret is an integral part of the part of the building and an intrinsic part of its design. The amended plans would seek to retain the visual prominence of the turret albeit rebuilt and the proposals would provide a new use for the building that is soon to be vacated.

“Overall, any harm caused is offset by the proposal and the opportunities which it would create.”