We don't want newbuilds ruining our posh seaside town – they're forcing locals out | The Sun

FUMING homeowners in one of the UK's most expensive areas have slammed the proposed development of newbuilds.

Locals in Sandbanks, Poole, have hit back after previously rejected plans to demolish historic landmarks have been given another chance.

Richard Carr, who is submitting the reinvigorated planning application on behalf of FJB Hotels, says the developer wants to transform the crumbling Sandbanks Hotel into a 38-apartment luxury resort.

Other hotels at risk are The Haven Hotel, Harbour Heights and the Haven.

One scathing resident of 23 years, Alan Lester, told the Mail the new buildings need to reflect the "magnificent and unique" nature of the Jurassic Coast.

"This (Haven) proposal is completely out of character with the area – it might be fine in an inland location but this is an iconic spot and it would not look right," said the 64-year-old.

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"If the hotel is replaced by luxury flats it will be a gated community and gone forever to the public."

Meanwhile, tourist Liz Lidster, has taken many trips to the holiday hot spot over the years and would be sad to see The Haven Hotel demolished along with "lots of happy memories".

She said: "I'm quite sad about it.

"We've had many family holidays here and it is a hotel of historic interest so it would be a shame to lose it, and the public access to the seafront."

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Other opposed to the new luxury flats, John and Ruth Smith, claimed the development would force locals out.

"It would just be for the rich and famous, not the public", said the pensioners.

"We've been coming to this spot for 70 years but we would not be allowed to anymore."

Another holidaymaker simply said the proposed plans weren't needed for the area.

But, local Alan Clarke, offered a more balanced approach to the ongoing battle and said a "compromise" needed to be reached.

The 63-year-old said that while he understands homeowners' fears, the Haven Hotel is in such a state it can't be used anyway.

He said: "The proposals will not harm the business – in fact the flats may improve footfall.

"I understand why the locals are up in arms about it but if the hotel is in the condition people say it is something will need to happen.

"The owners say that it needs pulling down but ideally they will replace it with another hotel."

This comes as Richard Carr, who is submitting the plans on behalf of FJB Hotels, claimed they have already forked out £40,000 for their improved planning report.

It would just be for the rich and famous, not the public."

He also squashed any claims the new apartments would be at risk of flooding – the reason they were previously rejected.

"We have spent an enormous amount of money on the report and we would like to think that we have solved the problem," he said.

"This will be a great thing for Bournemouth and Poole because there will be a huge amount of investment coming in."

Mr Carr claimed there were "a great many number of benefits" for the area if plans get the green light.

These include an influx of employment opportunities, and environmental advantages due to new energy saving technology.

"It ticks an enormous amount of boxes," he added.

Chairman of the Sandbanks Community Group, which boasts 600 members, Norman Allenby-Smith said they are "disappointed" with and "oppose" the Haven Hotel redevelopment plans.

"Fortunately, there is a better alternative for residents and visitors alike.

"A better alternative scheme must open up access to the site for the benefit of residents and visitors, resulting in a significant increase in the public realm and public activities.

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"We must utilise a once in a lifetime opportunity to landmark the approach to Poole Harbour from the sea and provide a focal point for all in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area."

The Sun Online has approached Poole Council for comment.

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