A WEALTHY homeowner has made the 'brave' decision to demolish his £6m seaside mansion that has its own indoor pool, gym and cinema.

Ashley Faull has flattened the 20-year-old luxury house to build nine new flats to meet the increasing demand for housing.

The apartments will be priced between £1.495m to £2.8m.

The now ruined four-storey and 19-room home sits on a half-an-acre plot that backs on to Poole Harbour and overlooks the exclusive Sandbanks.

There is a massive demand for homes in the affluent area at the moment and the lack of supply is driving prices up, an estate agent said.

Bournemouth Echo: The development site at Dorset Lake. Picture: BNPSThe development site at Dorset Lake. Picture: BNPS

As a result, substantial houses built relatively recently are being demolished to make way for either two or three homes or blocks of flats.

Mr Faull and his family had lived in the harbourside home for 12 years before it was knocked down.

The 54-year-old said: "It is quite brave to demolish the house as it was worth over £6million before we demolished it and obviously a worthless pile of rubble once demolished.

"We lived on that land for about twelve years in a large house and loved it, we particularly loved the access to the water.

"We think the Evening Hill area is better than Sandbanks because there is less traffic and has better views. It is the most magnificent and magical spot."

Bournemouth Echo: Ashley FaullAshley Faull

As well as a pool, gym and cinema, the now demolished house had four bedrooms, four reception rooms, a bar, a dressing room and a garage.

In its place, Mr Faull, a former ITV executive, is building nine flats that will each have three bedrooms and views of Poole Harbour from the main living space and principal bedroom.

The apartment building will have a large communal gym, sauna, outdoor hot tub, games room, summer house, boat store and paddle boards and kayaks for residents.

Bournemouth Echo: The £6million mansion which has now been demolishedThe £6million mansion which has now been demolished

They will also have access to an amphibious rib that can go from land to sea which would allow them to travel easily to Poole Harbour's various waterside restaurants and bars.

But his plans for the new apartments received several letters of objections from local residents due to concerns of overdevelopment in the desirable area.

Gerald Rigler, head of a planning at local history group The Society for Poole, said: "It is over development which is a problem across the local area.

"It was a house and it is now becoming a block of flats that is not really the character of the area.

"What I have a problem with is introducing more households in a situation where we do not have the infrastructure in the area."

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the plans for the siteA CGI of the plans for the site

A local estate agent explained that there is a shortage of luxury flats - like the ones Mr Faull is building - in the area.

Tom Doyle, of Sandbanks estate agents Lloyds Property Group, said: "The Sandbanks property market can be a crazy world. It's because more often than not, plots with development potential are worth more than the houses on them.

"The local property market is extremely buoyant at the moment. We are finding properties are selling for well over their list price and gazumping is rife.

"It's a simple case of supply and demand and there is little around. There is an acute shortage of luxury flats especially on the water.

Bournemouth Echo: The demolition operation on siteThe demolition operation on site

"Although you can't tell what's going to happen in 18 months' time when these flats will be ready, I can't see the Sandbanks market ever going down and that is why people are prepared to take the risk and knock down a nice, luxury home and put up flats."

Mr Faull and his family now live in another luxury house on Sandbanks that they built for themselves.