THE redevelopment of a Bournemouth car park into flats has moved forward with BCP Council beginning its search for a contractor.

Last week the council opened its tendering process for the “underused” Cabbage Patch site in St Stephen’s Road having been awarded planning permission in 2019.

The land, next to the Wessex Way, has been used as a car park since the 1970s most recently by the council for staff parking.

But it said the opportunity to redevelop the site to house a block of 11 flats was “an excellent opportunity”.

A planning application was submitted in May 2019, seeking permission for a five-storey block of seven one- and four two-bedroom flats.

Nine parking spaces would be provided through the use of an undercroft area beneath the building.

It said that the height of the building being greater than neighbouring blocks was justified by its position at the end of the road, next to the Wessex Way.

“Whilst the building will be clearly visible from the Wessex Way, the proposal will not block any key views and is considered to add a point of visual interest and reference alongside the dual carriageway,” a statement submitted with the plans said.

The scheme was approved by the council’s planning committee later that year after planning officer Tom Hubbard said the development was an “effective” use for the site, despite being “large”.

Concerns were also raised about the “slightly weak” amount of outside space for would-be residents.

Last week the council launched a tender process, seeking a company to take on the project having decided it would not be carried out through Bournemouth Development Company – its partnership with Morgan Sindall.

This process is due to end on February 17 with an estimated construction start date of April 1. An end date of July 1, 2022 has been set.