Bournemouth's East Cliff hotel and flats complex approved

Plans for East Cliff redevelopment Image copyright quantum group
Image caption The plans include two assisted living apartment complexes (left and middle) and a hotel by the seafront in East Cliff

A hotel and apartment complex in Dorset has been approved despite English Heritage stating it would be a "hammer-blow" to the area.

Three Victorian hotels will go to make way for a six-storey, four star hotel and two assisted-living apartment blocks, at East Cliff in Bournemouth.

English Heritage strongly objected to the scale of the development in what is a designated conservation area.

But, councillors voted seven to three in favour saying it would help tourism.

Chair of the planning board and Conservative ward councillor David Kelsey, said the buildings earmarked for demolition were nice but no longer "necessarily functional".

Image copyright Alwyn Ladell
Image caption The plans will involve the demolition of three hotels including Bay View Court

"They've come to the end of their working lives, we need to preserve the tourism aspect while improving living for older people in the town," he said.

"The loss of buildings and trees are always regrettable but we can't stand still, we need to move forward."

The site on Grove Road and East Overcliff Drive will get a 90-room hotel along with a nine-storey and seven-storey building, comprising 122 assisted-living apartments.

Applicants The East Cliff Project LLP will demolish Bay View Court, The Cottonwood and the Ocean View hotels.

The council received 246 letters supporting the plans.

Forty-nine residents and the Ancient Monuments Society wrote to object to the demolition, stating that despite being altered, they still "give a sense of the historic character of the area".

English Heritage said the scale of the development would cause "severe harm" to the conservation area.

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