CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a former Christchurch hotel to make space for new homes have been thrown out.

BCP Council has refused the scheme for 37-39 Mudeford after concluding it would be an “overdevelopment” with an “unacceptable impact”.

The planning application was first submitted by Appletree Developments Ltd in March of last year.

It sought the demolition of the former ‘Pines Hotel’ and an adjacent bungalow to make space for five three bed homes.

The plans detailed the properties as being of a three-storey height.

The application received 29 letters of objection, with concerns noted about protected trees, parking provision, the houses being “too tall” for their surroundings, and having an “intrusive and dominant” design.

Bournemouth Echo: Proposed front elevations Proposed front elevations (Image: ARC Architecture)

One objection said the proposed dwellings “would look atrocious”, while another complained about a potential “loss of daylight and sunlight” to neighbouring properties.

The scheme was recommended for refusal by a planning officer at the beginning of this month.

In a planning report, the officer noted the proposal would have “unacceptable impacts” on the site’s existing habitats and areas at risk of flooding.

They also said “the scheme is considered to have significant environmental harm”, “results in a poor form of development for future occupants” and would apply “future pressure to prune or fell” protected trees on-site.

Concerns about the development’s potential harm to highway safety were flagged too.

Bournemouth Echo: The former Pines HotelThe former Pines Hotel (Image: Google)

The officer concluded: “The proposal would make a very small contribution to the housing supply in Christchurch but the identified harm would significantly and demonstrably outweigh this small benefit and therefore there is a clear reason for refusal as the proposal.”

Christchurch Town Council raised no objection to the planning application, but expressed concerns over “insufficient parking provision and the potential increase in the traffic in the area”.

BCP Council then refused the application on Tuesday, March 5.

It is not the first application for the site that Appletree Developments Ltd has had rejected.

In 2021, the developer applied to demolish the buildings and replace them with a new building of ten flats with on-site parking.

The scheme was refused, and although it was taken to appeal, this was dismissed by the planning inspectorate in October 2022.