PLANNING APPLICATIONS RERCEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING FEBRUARY 2018 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
7 East Overcliff Drive Ref. No. 7-2018-11507-Y
This is an application to construct a four storey block of seven flats on the site of a substantial, inter war family house now demolished and built in Georgian revival style. The site is within the East Cliff Conservation area.
The built foot print of the new structure would be somewhat larger than that of the original building and in both form and appearance would generally resemble an inter war block of flats designed in a stylistic synthesis of Art Deco and International Moderne.
The principal seaward facade would be symmetrical with a recessed, flat roofed, top storey and with a mixture of balancing, two, three, four and five light windows . Each floor would have a communal balcony consisting of horizontal and vertical bars. The rear elevation would encompass a triple articulated, central vertical projection and regularly placed rectangular, bulls’s eye and French windows. The side elevations would consist mainly of wall with prominent string courses and a small number of asymmetrically positioned windows.
In comparison with a previous application for this site, the Society is of the opinion that what is now offered is a reasonably balanced design. In view of the mixture both of significant, surviving nineteenth century buildings in the vicinity but also adjacent modern blocks of flats, we are of the opinion that this, restrained, modern design is probably a sensible aesthetic compromise for the site.
Under the circumstances, the Society is minded to think that since this application generally fulfills the majority of the conservation policy conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( Policy 4.4, 1,ii, iii )
17 West Cliff Road Ref. No. 7-2018-1706-S
This an application to build a four storey block of 20 flats – 14 residential, 6 holiday – on the site of a much altered late nineteenth century villa/former hotel at the junction of West Cliff Road and Chine Crescent Road. The site is just beyond the West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation Area.
The built foot print of the new structure will be in the form of a large triangle and somewhat larger than that of the existing building. It would be designed in the form of a traditional, late nineteenth century block of mansion flats – in effect the modern equivalent of this form of accommodation.
The principal elevation would be architecturally varied by two projections – one ending in a gable; the other, to which a three storey bay window would be attached, ending in a distinctive, separate, pointed roof. There would be a hipped roof with dormers which would connect with a prominent, projecting corner tower at the junction of West Cliff and Chine Crescent Roads. The rear elevation would be a more restrained version of the principal facade with no exceptional projections. Windows throughout would be modern vertical sash and symmetrically positioned throughout the building.
In view of the fact that the site is contiguous with the largely original, late nineteenth century townscape of the inner West Cliff, the Society is satisfied that the proposed design would integrate quite well with the adjacent properties. We also feel that the considerable bulk of the proposed structure would be a reasonable spatial stepping stone between the nineteenth century section of the West Cliff and the commencement of the redeveloped modernist sections of this area just beyond.
Consequently, since we do not feel that any substantial alterations need be made to the proposed design, we have concluded that since this application does not infringe the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.4,i,ii,iii )
Wotton House, Wotton Mount Ref. No. 7-2018-328-H
This is an application to construct a five storey block of 31 student bedrooms in one, two and three bed clusters. The existing building on the site is a rambling and much extended, nineteenth century villa of no exceptional architectural value.
The Society recognise that as the new Landsdowne campus of Bournemouth University steadily expands, the need for further student accommodation in the vicinity will steadily increase. Therefore we think that the site in question which is quite spacious, in short walking distance from the new university buildings, but quite separated from the integrated but quite separated, late nineteenth century, retail area of Old Christchurch Road; certainly lends itself towards student use.
The built footprint of the proposed new structure would be in the form of a extended, bent rectangle and the monotony of both the north and south facades under a flat roof, would be broken up by substantial projections four stories high and distinctive concrete balconies. The fenestration would be designed in a generally regular fashion and achieved by a mixture of modern, vertical casements and French windows.
The Society is generally in favour of what is proposed for the following reasons. Seen from above, the existing villa which stands in very close vicinity to the large and extensive modern structures in Bath Road, cannot any longer be considered to be part of the late nineteenth, integrated townscape between Wotton Gardens and Old Christchurch Road. Indeed the existing villa clearly is separated from the back gardens of Wotton Gardens by a line of mature landscaping. Also we think the height of the proposed building would not be a visual disruption because it would be hidden effectively by the height of the existing buildings in Old Christchurch Road and also by the much higher structures in Bath Road.
The Society has concluded therefore that since this application generally fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19.i,ii,iii )
250-252 Charminster Road Ref. No. 7-2018-5131-I
This is an application for the alteration of an existing early twentieth century building consisting of retail space on the ground floor and residential accommodation above. The proposal is to build a two storey extension to the rear of the property in order to create extra space so that the enlarged structure would then consist of a retail area and eight, small, studio flats (presumably for students?) in the rest of the building. The building work would entail the removal of an existing original facade and the construction of the extension to match the existing side elevation together with an enlarged hipped roof. The new rear facade would encompass French windows, two rectangular casement windows above and a dormer.
The Society feels very strongly that this application is a good example of what is now being increasingly attempted in established areas of Bournemouth – namely the creation of excessive numbers of extremely small and inappropriate, studio flats within the interiors of older buildings that were never designed to be used in this manner. We therefore think that in this case the proposed changes would amount to massive over development with totally inadequate facilities for car and bicycle parking. A local resident has commented that none of the proposed studio flats come near to fulfilling national standards for minimum flat size; amenity space is virtually non existent and that a greater variety of varying sized accommodation in the neighbourhood is what is required instead of yet more badly designed, one person flats.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application in no way comes near to fulfilling the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
6 Nelson Road Ref. No. 7-2018-15040-K
This is an application to build four family dwellings in the form of two pairs of semi-detached, two storey houses on the site of an existing residence in back land off Nelson Road.
Each pair of houses would be parallel to each other in the eastern half of the site and be designed in the form of interwar, detached, suburban residences. The main facades, one with a projection would have gables below a hipped roof. On the principal elevations would be the double entrances and small windows with larger rectangular windows above; the rear elevations would encompass French windows with even larger upper windows. All the gables would be completely glassed in.
Although the Society finds the built foot print and the mass and form of the proposed new buildings reasonably satisfactory, we find the architectural details of both principal facades banal and generally inelegant. In particular we think the fenestration is poorly designed and is not properly integrated with the adjacent parts of the facades. Furthermore local residents have pointed out that what is proposed is out of keeping with the established character of the neighbourhood and that the existing mature landscape would be disrupted considerably. It was also felt that with an increase in the number of residents on this site, there would be an increase in traffic noise and a reduction of privacy for neighbours.
Under the circumstances, the Society has decided that because this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )