Councillors at Bournemouth have finally rejected a proposal for developing the area on Exeter Road crescent into a leisure centre.
The contentious issue of whether the multiplex, containing several restaurants,a cinema and a multi-story car park should be set up on the land developers Licet Holdings Pvt. Ltd., has been put aside for now.
The Council unanimously voted against the plans at Wednesday’s Cabinet session, since it did not meet the requirements of the Council’s Area Action Plan for Bournemouth.
The Area Action plan has allocated the space on Exeter Road for building a bus shelter that will provide more parking space for Bournemouth’s buses.
“We have given Licet Holdings the offer that unless they submit a planning proposal, which integrates bus parking on the leisure site, they will not be given planning consent for the development. However, we are holding closed-door negotiations with Licet and it is a sensitive subject for the Council,” said David Smith, Cabinet member for Communities and Welfare.
In early 2009, the Council had agreed to sell land on Exeter Road to Licet Holdings for a leisure scheme with a multiplex, restaurants and a car park.
However, after the scheme encountered funding problems the plans were shelved. A new plan for Exeter Road was introduced by the Council in mid-2009 that made provision for a bus shelter.
Council leader John Beesley, who urged fellow councillors to reject planning permission for the leisure centre, said: “It is a shame that this scheme was not started in 2009.”
Cllr Beesley also pointed out that he did not feel another multiplex would be of benefit to the town centre.
“The Town Centre Area Action Plan now identifies the NCP car park site as the only option for a bus hub, which is a key provision of the Town Centre. But the door is not closed for Licet and they will need to propose a plan that integrates public transport parking.”
Licet Holdings are yet to release an official statement on the development.