DEVELOPERS have cleared an important hurdle in the major redevelopment of Barclays House in Poole

Town hall planner Gareth Ball has given the go-ahead for VCRE Four Poole Limited to convert the historic building into a 362-bedroom apartment block. 

Barclays House, in Wimborne Road at The George roundabout, was bought last year for £5.3 million, according to documents. 

Mr Ball said Barclays House is an “aesthetically unique, recognisable building” and has become a “striking and key local landmark... forming a strong historical connection with the community”. 

Approval has come with a number of conditions for the developers, however, including a £48k contribution to the NHS due to the extra residents it would bring along. 

Future new households will also be offered a free voucher of either a 90-day bus pass or train pass or a year’s membership with minutes for Beryl or a car club. 

No parking spaces will be available for the future residents, as noted by BCP case officer Mr Ball as being in accordance with the council’s rules. 

Instead, the development will come with 488 cycle spaces - or one space for every resident. 

The scheme will feature a gym, communal workspace, squash courts, a games room with table tennis, pool, video games, surfboard storage and a rooftop garden.

Read more: How much BCP Council spent on due diligence for Barclays House

Additionally, the 362 apartments will comprise a mixture of 192 one-bedroom suites, 72 one-bedroom apartments and 98 two-bedroom apartments across eight floors. 

And it seems residents are overwhelmingly in favour of the redevelopment: 101 people wrote to BCP Council to support the scheme compared with two who were against. 

Opened as an office block with a 1,100-space car park in 1976, Barclays used the site for around 2,500 employees at one time.  

However, the bank moved its 700 remaining staff out of the block and into new offices in Bournemouth in December last year. 

It was originally thought the building could have been flattened and redeveloped by Richard Carr, after his company Fortitudo made a £6.5m bid for it.  

But it later emerged that BCP Council made an even higher offer. The authority placed a controversial and unconfirmed £17m offer, causing outrage among residents and councillors. 

After a period of due diligence costing the council £115,656.09, former council leader Drew Mellor said the proposal would “not fit in with intended plans”.  

 Current council leader Vikki Slade said it had been a “complete waste of money” while Cllr Stephen Bartlett added it was “disappointing” that leadership “wasted” taxpayers’ money.