COUNCIL plans to build more than 100, mostly affordable, flats and an emergency family homeless hostel in Bournemouth have been recommended for approval.

BCP Council’s planning committee will be asked to grant permission for the £32 million Princess Road development when it meets this week.

A report published ahead of the Thursday meeting says concerns about the scale of the scheme were outweighed by the “significant amount of affordable housing” it would provide.

The council’s cabinet first green lit the project in July 2019, approving the borrowing of £18 million to fund more than half of the overall £32 million cost.

Alongside the 119 flats – 70 per cent of which would be provided on an ‘affordable’ basis – the four blocks will also house a 20-bed emergency hostel for families at risk of homelessness.

The four proposed buildings range from six to nine storeys in height and would be built in place of seven now-demolished villas in Princess Road, next to the Wessex Way.

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the proposed development in Princess Road, Bournemouth

The planning application was submitted last year but was amended to reduce the size of three of the blocks following an objection from the council’s heritage officer.

They said the development would have a negative impact on the Westbourne conservation area.

A statement submitted on behalf of the council by Pentan Architects said the scheme was a “significant opportunity” to help meet the demand for affordable housing within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Five objections to the application have been lodged raising concerns about the scale and design of the blocks and the proposed removal of trees.

Council planning officer Tom Hubbard said there would be some “harm” from the development but that this was outweighed by its benefits.

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the proposed development in Princess Road, Bournemouth

“In this case the main public benefit is the provision of a significant amount of affordable housing and an overall large contribution towards local housing need in a sustainable location,” his report, recommending planning permission be granted, says. “The council has a significant affordable housing need and few suitable locations in which to provide this.”

A final decision will be made by the planning committee when it meets on Thursday.