A £60 MILLION redevelopment of Bournemouth seafront has been sunk after the local council rejected the developer's proposals.
Mowlem's regional subsidiary Ernest Ireland was lined up to build the project, after its consortium led by developer Dawnay Day clinched preferred bidder status in June 1998.
Bournemouth Borough Council has now dumped Dawnay Day's proposal, which featured a major hotel, leisure attractions and luxury homes.
Council leader Bob Chapman said: 'The current presentation gave us no comfort as to when any development would be achieved. I am disappointed with the performance of [Dawnay Day]; the last thing we need for this site is another set of failed development proposals.'
Miller had also been talking with Dawnay Day about taking a stake in the proposal, but is now expected to take no further part in the redevelopment of the site, known as Honeycombe Chine.
But the council is willing to keep Ernest Ireland on board.
And Steve Bradley, commercial manager at Ireland's Bournemouth office, is convinced the firm's own proposals could work.
He said: 'The council said they are willing to keep talking to us but we have heard nothing yet.
'We think we have a scheme that will work and which doesn't need an outside funder, but we are probably too late.'
The council is considering a Public Private Partnership scheme to redevelop the run-down Honeycombe Chine, focusing mainly on housing.
Any proposals would have to include proposals to save the near-derelict adjoining Boscombe Pier, which needs £4 million-worth of repairs.
A Dawnay Day spokesman was unavailable for comment.