WORK has started on the demolition of a Bournemouth seafront restaurant building ahead of a major development project.

Engineers contracted by BCP Council launched a five-to-six week clearance programme of the former Bistro on the Beach site in Southbourne earlier this week.

Once complete, a temporary venue will start selling food and drink from the site in June, with toilets and outdoor seating.

This offering is set to run until October before returning next year from late May until October.

Bournemouth Echo: CGI of Bistro on the BeachCGI of Bistro on the Beach

While the temporary catering facility is in operation, BCP Council is hoping to secure planning permission for its long-term £7million proposal for the site.

As reported, the local authority has submitted an application to its own planning department for a new restaurant, kiosk and public facilities as well as 17 “premium” overnight lodges.

Read more: Southbourne Bistro on the Beach plans put to public

The consultation period on this application has closed and the plans are currently being considered by officers.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, BCP Council portfolio holder for Tourism and active health, said:“The current building was end-of life, hence the removal. But we’re working actively to keep this location in great shape with the temporary venue coming this summer and the permanent one replacing it from 2024.

Bournemouth Echo: Bistro of the BeachBistro of the Beach

“At that time, we’ll have a restaurant with an outside terrace, takeaway kiosk, toilets, beach showers, cycle stands and overnight accommodation in the form of 17 Beach Lodges.

“It will provide a modern, open, sustainable community hub, enhancing the whole area.

“This is one of several ongoing seafront projects that aim to safeguard and protect our coastline while developing it in the right way for residents and visitors.”

The council said during all the various stages of work, public safety will be a priority with the aim of minimising disruption to people wanting to enjoy the beach and promenade. A temporary promenade diversion using rigid trackway will be in place around the site for pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users, and those with pushchairs.

Work still needs to be done to procure an operator for the proposed permanent restaurant.