Market invited to submit development plans for Happyland Bournemouth

Posted on Thursday 7th June 2018

Bournemouth Council and the Gervis Meyrick Estate have together launched a market-testing exercise to understand the potential interest in a prime development site on Bournemouth’s award-winning seafront.

Identified as a key location in the Council’s Seafront Strategy, both partners as co-owners, have instructed Savills to market the Happyland site. They are seeking interested parties keen to enhance the site by creating a vibrant destination venue given its unique beachside location and character.

Located close to Bournemouth Pier and Bournemouth International Centre, the Happyland site originally comprised of a bathing station, but was refurbished to serve as an amusement arcade from the late 1960’s.

As part of the market-testing exercise, interested parties are being encouraged to consider development ideas which will deliver high-quality facilities, which respond positively and sympathetically to the immediate surroundings, and improve the links between the cliff top and the beach.

Councillor Pat Oakley, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure and the Arts, said: “Working in partnership with the Gervis Meyrick Estate, the Council wants to deliver a high-quality development creating a vibrant world class year-round destination point for Bournemouth and its seafront, offering a selection of tourism and leisure facilities for both visitors and residents alike.

“As part of this initial market testing exercise we want to understand the potential interest in Happyland as a development opportunity. The feedback we get at this stage will influence how we move forward with this site and I am very much looking forward to seeing what the market brings back.”

Sarah Hordern of Gervis Meyrick Estate, said: “The design of any new development will need to be both of a high quality and fit well with both its immediate surroundings and Bournemouth’s ongoing vision as the nation’s leading marine resort. How any new building looks from the beach side will be highly important, as well as the way in which it nestles into the surrounding cliff.”

An initial appraisal of the site has already been undertaken and has identified cliff stability and planning policy as key constraints. These constraints will inform the scale and massing of any future building.

Michaelis Boyd Architects, whose previous projects have included Soho House and Babington House, as well as restaurant brands such as Byron, Cabana, Hush and The Groucho Club, has drawn up an initial concept to act as a guide for what could work well in this location. The Michaelis Boyd concept includes:

– 50 south facing bedrooms with balconies and stunning sea views
– Roof-top feature
– Roof-top spa and pool
– Beachfront access open to the public creating a destination that enhances the existing provision along the seafront
– Enhanced public access from the cliff top improving the 365-day appeal of the seafront.

Savills are seeking initial expressions of interest by mid-July to inform a formal tender process in the autumn.

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