PLANS to demolish a row of bungalows and build a block of retirement flats have been submitted.

Ringwood-based Renaissance Retirement announced its proposal in October last year. It would see the homes at 14-20A Belle Vue Road knocked down to make way for a block of 40 sheltered flats for those aged 55 and above.

The scheme has attracted a number of objections from residents.

In a letter to the council Anthony Dix, of Newstead Road, said: "It is simply not reasonable to put up a four story building where bungalows are currently present.

"I observe that Renaissance Retirement are already advertising this development as soon to be available on their website.

"The council should demonstrate that such arrogant disregard for the planning process cannot be tolerated and reject the proposal."

Christine Brooks, also of Newstead Road, said: "This corner of Southbourne, Belle Vue Road, represents some of the older and nicer aspects of old Southbourne-on-Sea.

"Close by stand the Coach House, an early Victorian School House, almost opposite is Cliff House Hotel another former Victorian school house, 22 Belle Vue Road, is a fine old Victorian Villa, which sits at the eastern end of the proposed development and will be completely overshadowed by this monstrous structure."

And Morwenna Gower, of Belle Vue Road, said: "To demolish five unique bungalows in this popular family residential area is an outrageous proposition, particularly given the intention to replace it with a overbearing, enormous structure which will harm the character of the local neighbourhood."

In its submission, the applicant says: "David James Architects and Partners have designed a visually attractive building that successfully addresses the constraints of the site and is sympathetic to the character of the area and specifically to the neighbouring properties and the wider character of the area."

It adds: "The proposal would deliver much needed older persons’ housing in a sustainable location that is suitable for intensification."

The flats would come with balconies or access to a communal landscaped garden, with other communal facilities including a lounge, guest suite and concierge.

There would also be a dedicated seven-seat minibus for residents.

Last year, the developer's project manager Peter Tanner told the Echo: "Given our ever ageing population, there is a now a real need for an increased supply of retirement housing to be delivered in our towns and cities.

"By making sure our elderly are well provided for in terms of suitable housing, schemes like the one we’re now proposing help release existing homes onto local markets benefit first and second time buyers alike."