Height of waterfront building in Dorset to be halved

Image caption,
How the view down Bath Hill Road will look by summer 2012

A controversial building that blocks views of the Bournemouth coastline and the Purbeck hills is to be reduced by about half of its existing height.

Bournemouth Borough Council will lower the Waterfront building and create a rooftop terrace on top of it.

The rear of the building will be reduced in height from 43ft (13m) to 18ft (5.5m) while the front will be reduced from 62ft (19m) to 36ft (11m).

Work is expected to begin in March and should be completed by summer 2012.

The planning board approved the application with the condition that artwork be included on the back of the building at Bath Road South.

Leisure operators and developers are now being sought by the council to come forward with proposals for suitable all-weather leisure and/or cultural attractions.

The Waterfront currently houses restaurants and a former Imax cinema.

Council leader Peter Charon said: "We want to give the public improved views and what better way to do this than by creating a public space on the rooftop with a fantastic, uninterrupted viewpoint across the Purbeck hills and Pier Approach.

"The extensive public consultation that we carried out earlier in the year clearly shows that residents strongly dislike the height and appearance of the existing Waterfront building."

Leases, on individual or multiple units within the building, are available for up to 10 years, but possibly more if the right offer is made.

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