THE last piece of the puzzle for two seafront complexes will soon be placed in Sandbanks as plans for the second Rockwater village are finally approved.

Just over one month since entrepreneur Luke Davis’ planned transformation of the Branksome Chine cafe into a new community complex was given the green light, approval has been given to a sister site at Sandbanks café.

While the now under construction Branksome project drew a large backlash from residents and had to be decided by BCP Council’s planning committee, the Sandbanks proposals have been generally welcomed – attracting just three objections.

Mr Davis’ vision for Rockwater Village’s at Branksome and Sandbanks are modelled on the successful operation he runs in Hove and will feature new hospitality and community offerings.

Bournemouth Echo: Sandbanks CaféSandbanks Café (Image: Newsquest)

Due to lack of concerns raised by residents, councillors or official consultees, the application was decided by council planning officers.

In their report, they said: “The proposal would enhance the existing restaurant provision in this established tourist location and would boost the local economy in a manner that would not be detrimental to the character and appearance of the area.”

Despite having to redesign the Sandbanks site due to nesting lizards in sand dunes – which Mr Davis jokingly dubbed ‘Lizard-gate’ – it is hoped work will begin within the coming weeks.

Bournemouth Echo: Before and after CGIs for Rockwater development at Sandbanks beachBefore and after CGIs for Rockwater development at Sandbanks beach (Image: Rockwater)

Mr Davis told the Echo: “I’m relieved and excited, it’s been a long road but we want to get cracking now and create something the community loves.

“We had a few very loud local detractors in Branksome, that didn’t happen in Sandbanks. We had a very good dialogue with the residents' association and still have.

“People may be set in their ways about what Rockwater is, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Bournemouth Echo: Luke Davis, founder of RockwaterLuke Davis, founder of Rockwater

“Once both sites are done people will realise it’s for the whole community.

“As a business it’s not viable unless locals are going in the winter and you can’t build a sustainable business by just targeting summer tourists – our interests really are aligned with local people.

“Rockwater is for everyone.”

It is hoped the main Branksome development will be finished by this summer, while Sandbanks will likely open later on in the year – but pop-up shacks are planned for the summer months as primary building work goes on.