PLANS to further transform a town centre with a new development encompassing flats and a commercial unit have been proposed.

Developers wish to build a new five-storey building in Poole town centre containing 32 residential flats and a roof garden, but no car parking.

Located in High Street North Road just opposite The George pub, the building – which is named Northwoods – would add to a burgeoning number of similar developments in the centre of Poole, including an under-construction block of 118-apartments less than 100 yards away.

The existing building, known as Equity Chambers, is a three-storey property with trading commercial units at the ground floor, including Butterfingers Sandwich Bar and a Goadsby estate agents.

Bournemouth Echo: Equity Chambers in High Street North Road in Poole.Equity Chambers in High Street North Road in Poole. (Image: Google)

While the current ground floor space houses three commercial units, developers plan to reduce this to form one large 74sqm retail unit.

In a heritage statement published on behalf of developer AJC Group, Equity Chambers was described as having “little architectural interest”.

It said: “The original shopfronts have all been replaced in modern times with frontages of low architectural quality, considerably diminishing any architectural interest.”

In a pre-application submission, concern was raised by BCP Council planners who felt there could be overlooking and privacy issues for adjoining properties.

Bournemouth Echo: Artist's impression of new apartment block in High Street North Road, Poole.Artist's impression of new apartment block in High Street North Road, Poole. (Image: AJC/Arc Architecture)

Responding, developers adapted the built form and redesigned the residential units to enable habitable room windows to look down the side of the building “to ensure that outlook and privacy with the neighbouring residential units is not compromised for the existing occupants of the neighbouring blocks”.

No parking is proposed to serve the development, while an enclosed bicycle storage facility would be placed to the rear. Planners defended the decision for no parking by describing the town centre location as “highly sustainable” with strong public transport links.

If approved, the new accommodation would comprise of 28 one-bedroom and four two-bed apartments, which AJC Group says “will meet the identified need” for such homes in the region.

Planners Chapman Lily said: “The applicant believes that the submitted scheme with its combined scale, mass and height of this building would sit comfortably within the street scene and complement the modern contemporary buildings in close proximity to the application site, and thus be a harmonious addition to this ‘evolving’ street.”