THE developer behind plans to build a 2,000-seater underground cinema complex near Bournemouth Pavilion says he has not ruled out including a casino on the prestigious site.

The Odeon group, which owns both cinemas in Westover Road, has been talking with the Trevor Osborne Property Group about moving into the multiplex if the scheme is given the green light by planners.

Mr Osborne hopes to hold a public meeting before Christmas to explain his revised plans, which include 14 restaurants and could free up the ABC, Odeon and ice rink for retail development.

Last week, the company announced it had drawn up new proposals for the site, which “could remove the casino element altogether and replace it with a nine-screen cinema complex”.

But Mr Osborne has now said it is for councillors and residents to decide what they want on the site. “We are listening. If the council decides it doesn’t want a casino, we won’t have a casino.

“We had to make sure we put something there that would attract footfall,” he said.

“The council has to decide whether it wants a cinema, casino, restaurants, gardens and an amphitheatre; a casino without a cinema; or a cinema without a casino.

“It’s got to be led by what people want.

“We’re going to have a bigger car park and it will be below ground.

“This has got to complement the operation of the theatre and all the things that have made the Pavilion the place it is.”

He ruled out the idea of using the former Imax cinema, saying it was not big enough to convert to a multiplex.

And he added: “The Imax has totally failed as a place for restaurants.”

Mr Osborne said he would be looking to include “quality” eating places in the new development.

“Not everybody can afford a top class meal, so it’s got to be across the price range.”

He urged townspeople to support the scheme, which goes before planners next week.

“We’re eager to move forward and have invested a lot of money.

“It’s a big opportunity for the council to do something.”