POOLE developer Fortitudo has outlined and defended its plans for a new project in Highcliffe.

The application for the site on the Chewton Farm Estate was accepted in December 2020 at a BCP Council planning meeting.

Plans are to replace the existing one-and-a-half storey chalet bungalow on a 1,800 sqm plot of land, with a two-and-a-half storey apartment building consisting of 14 one and two-bedroom apartments.

The firm said its new development was designed to be in keeping with the surrounding dwellings and will help provide options for residents looking to downsize.

A spokesman said: “Other houses on Chewton Farm Road are large two and a half storey four- and five-bedroom family homes.

“The scale and appearance of the design is sympathetic to the existing street scene and looks to replicate the neighbouring two and half storey dwelling at 22 Chewton Farm Road.

“The location of the development, combined with the proposed mix of accommodation, is likely to appeal to those looking to downsize from larger properties.

“Should the eventual purchasers be based within the local area, this will add to the number of family homes available within the conurbation.”

The new development will have at least 10 per cent of its energy demands sourced from on-site renewable energy, the developer said, and each flat will be fitted with air source heat pumps.

The firm said: “The BCP conurbation is constrained by several environmental factors which significantly limits the number of sites available for development.

“We and BCP Council recognise that the redevelopment of brownfield sites is a sensible approach. BCP housing targets in Christchurch and hinterland are some years behind that of where they should be.

“Working with developers to bring forward developments such as this will reassure residents that these high-quality units are for the betterment of all and promote identifying windfall sites and infill plots to overcome the shortfall.”

There was some opposition to the scheme from residents who claimed the application passed more easily due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Fortitudo denied this and said it had struggled to proceed with development work during the pandemic.

It said this application, and others in the Poole area, allowed it to continue functioning.

“We at Fortitudo have conceded and adapted to officer feedback which is why we are delighted that it has gained officer approval,” said the spokesman.

“For example, on this application we have included underground basement parking and relocated the bike store into the basement parking which has improved the visual impact and created more soft landscaping.

“We have worked with the planners throughout this application to deliver a high-quality development that fulfils the requirement of the area and BCP to satisfy the planning department.

“We are an organisation that pride ourselves on benefitting the community for the community.”