Bournemouth Waterfront height 'cut' to boost sea views

The Waterfront building Plans for a permanent attraction have been put on hold until market conditions improve

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Bournemouth's Waterfront building could be reduced in height to "improve sea views", if a council plan is approved.

The building, which houses restaurants and a former Imax cinema, had been earmarked for redevelopment.

Plans for a permanent attraction on the site have been put on hold until market conditions improve.

Bournemouth Borough Council wants to reduce the height of the building and "soften its appearance" as an interim measure costing around £1.5m to £2m.

The council is due to decide on the proposal on Wednesday 15 December.

Public wish

If approved and planning permission is granted, work could begin in spring 2011.

Council leader Peter Charon said: "We know that the public's number one wish is that we reduce the height of the building to improve the sea views.

"We are also aware that people in Bournemouth are expecting something to happen quickly."

He added: "Leisure operators are experiencing difficulties in the current economic climate and an interim scheme will allow time for the markets to stabilise and the leisure sector to recover.

"Our aspiration is to create a permanent all-weather leisure attraction that we can all be proud of and waiting for the right market conditions will ensure we have the best options available to us."

Suggestions for the site have included a water park or arts centre.

The Imax cinema opened in 2002 but closed three years later after problems. Only three restaurants still operate inside.

The building has been called an "eyesore" by critics. It currently blocks the view of the coast from Bath Road.

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