Licet Holdings has secured planning approval for a £55m retail and leisure scheme at a former bus station site in Bournemouth, Dorset

The London-based developer, which is a joint venture between Apollo Real Estate and London & Paris Estates, plans to develop a three-storey 70,000 sq ft (6,500 sq m) scheme. It will be known as West Central and will include the town’s first nine-screen Odeon cinema and 17 restaurants and bistros.

The 1.5 acre (0.6 ha) site is in the centre of town, next to the grade II-listed Bournemouth Lower Gardens. It has been used as a car park for the last 20 years and car park operator NCP will manage a new underground facility with secure parking for 212 cars.

In October last year, Licet submitted a revised planning application for its scheme four years after its original application had been rejected by the council because it cast an ‘unacceptable’ shadow on the neighbouring grade II-listed Bournemouth Lower Gardens. Other objections included the ‘excessive provision’ of drinking establishments and the scheme’s design impact.

The council unanimously approved the revised application, which does not include any provision for pubs or clubs, and reduced the scheme’s height by one storey. The building has also been designed to better facilitate pedestrian flow between the gardens and Exeter Road.

Licet development director Chris Milne said: ‘Bournemouth is a busy and affluent town but lacks a covered entertainment facility and demand for space is strong.’

Construction will begin in mid-2007 and will take 18 months to complete.

Broadway Malyan is the architect. Goadsby and Donaldsons are the joint letting agents.