A recently-formed Protect Sandbanks Group (PSG) is opposed to the proposals lodged by businessman and entrepreneur Richard Carr earlier this year.
Proposals have been registered to demolish three hotels, the Sandbanks Hotel, the Haven Hotel and the Harbour Heights Hotel.
Under the scheme, drawn up by Mr Carr on behalf of the owner of all three properties – John Butterworth of FJB Hotels – the Haven would be replaced with 196 residential apartments, the Sandbanks Hotel would be replaced with a new 175-bedroom hotel, and the Harbour Heights replaced with a 40-suite apartment hotel.
PSG chairman David Morley said: “Families from all over the country and abroad have enjoyed use of a hotel on this site for over 130 years.
“From talking to people – residents and visitors alike – it is clear that many strongly object to losing the hotel and replacing it with a huge block of 196 flats that is completely out of character for the area.
“The towering height and relentless bulk of the proposed mass development will have a devastating impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Jurassic Coast and the iconic entrance to Poole Harbour.”
Mr Carr said that surveys, commissioned by the FJB Group, show the steel frame of the Haven Hotel is corroding substantially, and that the building has a probable lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
“At that stage the hotel will have to be pulled down as it would not be fit for purpose,” said Mr Carr. “The shareholders commissioned me to come up with a plan for the future.
“The Haven Hotel apartments would generate the cash to redevelop the other two sites.
“I have some sympathy with the people who like the building, I too have been coming here for many years. However, we have to have progress.”