TWO years after permission for a three-storey extension to the Hilton hotel in Bournemouth was refused, a smaller scheme has been approved.

THAT Group lodged revised plans for a single-storey expansion of its function space after Bournemouth council rejected its first application in January 2019.

And it has now been granted planning permission after the council said the “much-reduced” proposal would now “integrate in a more acceptable manner”.

The regeneration firm first put forward plans to extend the Terrace Road hotel in 2018 in a bid to improve its function offering.

Its director Peter Tisdale said a lack of similar facilities in Bournemouth was forcing events to consider “Birmingham or Manchester” instead.

But Bournemouth Council’s planning committee later rejected the scheme over concerns about its design and scale.

“I think it will detract from that building,” its chairman, councillor David Kelsey, said. “We are going to lose the views coming down the hill and I don’t think it fits in with the building in that place.”

A revised proposal was lodged last year, seeking permission for a smaller single-storey extension to the hotel’s existing function provision.

“It has purposely been kept low so it emulates the projections on the Hampton Hotel and the residential block,” its architect Cube Design said in a statement.

It added that the design added “a softness that is currently missing” to the area.

And this scaled-back version has now been approved by BCP Council planning officer Tom Hubbard who said it overcame previous concerns.

“The proposed development would enlarge the conference and ballroom facilities of the hotel, improving the tourism offer in the town centre and having economic benefits,” he said in his report approving the scheme.

“The extension would be prominent in this location but has been much reduced in size since the earlier refused application, with improvements to the design and landscaping.

“It would now integrate in an acceptable manner and would not be materially harmful to the character and appearance of the area or the public realm.”