PLANS for a new casino in Bournemouth's town centre BH2 development appear to have stalled.

BH2 operator Legal & General/Licet Holdings has put forward a bid to change the use of the units hitherto earmarked for the casino to one permitting to various leisure activities.

The firm says it has ten-pin bowling and indoor golf providers expressing an interest.

The casino proposal, linked to chain Aspers, had been heavily criticised by councillors who argued that a gambling facility should not form part of a 'family-focused' entertainment venue, although it was nevertheless granted planning permission.

In its application, L&G/Licet says: "Although planning permission was granted on January 24, 2017, for the use of the combined premises as a casino, the proposed operator is not in a position to proceed.

"As such, further marketing for letting has been undertaken.

"This has resulted in tenancy interest from several family entertainment uses, including ten-pin bowling and indoor golf.

"Both are leisure activities, hence the application for D2 use of both units."

Referring to the council's plans to develop the Winter Gardens site on the other side of Exeter Road, the application adds: "The location is eminently suited to leisure uses, particularly family entertainment, which will be complimentary to the other uses at BH2.

"This will further strengthen this part of the town centre, and will compliment other schemes and projects that are planned for the area."

The new use allows such uses as cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls, swimming pools, skating rinks, gymnasiums and other indoor sports.

Town centre councillor David Smith last year said he was "disappointed" with the "underhand" way Legal & General brought in the casino plans.

He told the Echo he is "delighted" the plans have been dropped.

"I think a family entertainment and leisure centre such as BH2 would be better off with a bowling or similar attraction, rather than more gambling facilities.

"There are already two casinos in the town which I think is adequate if people wish to gamble, and I welcome the fact we will not be mixing hard core gambling with family facilities."

Back in July last year, an Aspers spokesman said the firm was "committed to bringing a new, state-of-the-art casino to Bournemouth" and that BH2 was the "preferred location".

The facility was to be spread across two floors, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with live jazz music, a VIP area, and electronic gaming machines.