BOURNEMOUTH town centre’s old Pizza Express unit, which has been empty for six years, could become a takeaway under new plans. 

A developer is looking to convert the empty unit on the corner of Old Christchurch Road and Glen Fern Road, from restaurant use to hot food takeaway use. 

Part of the former restaurant could be turned into four flats consisting of two two-bedroom flats and two studios. 

The rest of the restaurant could be converted into a “flexible commercial class E hot food takeaway use”. 

Bournemouth Echo: The unit has been empty since 2018The unit has been empty since 2018 (Image: Daily Echo)

Park Place Properties’ proposals include a reconfiguration of the basement, which had three flats, down to two with bin and cycle storage. 

More recently the empty unit was the Brazilian restaurant Casa Brasil before it closed down in 2018. Before that, it was home to Pizza Express before it moved to BH2. 

A design and access statement by Chapman Lily Planning, on behalf of the applicant, said the plans would support the town centre’s economy. 

It said: “From an economic perspective, the proposal will make a more efficient use of this highly accessible site, supporting the local economy through the delivery of additional residential apartments whose occupants will contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of Bournemouth town centre.  

“The proposal will provide a more flexible commercial unit which responds to the demands of the market. 

Bournemouth Echo: Pizza Express in 2009Pizza Express in 2009 (Image: Google)

“From a social perspective, the proposal will provide additional accommodation which will be of an appropriate design, will respond well to the character of the area and shall be highly accessible to local services.” 

After Casa Brasil closed in 2018, a homeless man was snapped sleeping in the doorway sparking much debate around the issue. 

The rough sleeper, who had constructed a makeshift bed, was surrounded by possessions including suitcases and a fan when the image was taken in August 2018. 

At the time, Bournemouth council officials insisted they were committed to tackling homelessness in the town.