PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JANUARY 2017 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
3 Wickham Road Ref. No. 7-2017-2071-O
This is an application to build a three storey block of ten flats on a double site within a neighbourhood of semi-detached, artisan houses put up as a purpose built neighbourhood in the vicinity of Pokesdown Station during the rapid expansion of Boscombe and Pokesdown during the late Nineteenth Century.
The site is at present occupied by a large industrial building that formerly was used as a store. This structure, originally built in the 1890’s, is unique in that it combines utilitarian purpose with blank arcading design in the then fashionable but short lived neo-romanesque style.
The proposal is to build over practically the entire site in the form of a massive, generally rectangular block in modernized Arts and Crafts style with a complex, prominent pitched roof containing dormers. The principal facade which would display a long gable ended projection towards the street, would have casement and French windows on the ground and first floors – while the rear elevation would have two shorter, gable ended projections at each corner and similar fenestration. The very long side elevations would contain a smaller number of windows, but one side would contain the main entrance in a small recessed courtyard; the other would embrace hardly any fenestration. The new structure would appear to be joined to an existing neighbouring building.
The Society strongly feels that the mass and form of the new development is far too large and intrusive (the roof ridge is much higher than those of the adjacent houses ) to be able to fit comfortably into the existing scale and spatial structure of the surrounding townscape. We also think that the style of building would be inappropriate in comparison with the more traditional terraced house appearance in the area and widely seen in late nineteenth century urban neighbourhoods.
Indeed these observations have been taken up by 18 letters about this proposal sent in by local residents. Quite apart from considerable mention of the need to preserve the old store house as an architectural rarity, it was also felt that if new homes were to be built, there should be a smaller number, either in the form of new semi-detached houses or in smaller, more complimentary, flat blocks. There were also fears for loss of privacy due to the closeness of the building lines to neighbouring properties and the inadequate facilities for parking – already a considerable problem in this road.
In conclusion the Society would point out the increasing tendency of some developers in Bournemouth to try and obtain permission to build excessively large blocks of flats disguised in historic styles within inappropriate locations throughout well established residential neighbourhoods. We would also suggest – as in this case – that the very high percentage of a site that has been used for industrial purposes, simply cannot be used in the same way if the site is then to be devoted to residential use. In this application over 85% of the site would be built on; there would be minimal open space and no room whatsoever for proper landscaping. The Society think that the building of this structure would be an outrage against all the civilized building conventions that have evolved in Bournemouth over the previous 150 years.
Consequently after mature consideration, we feel that since this application in no way satisfies the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
212 Malvern Road Ref. No. 7-2017-6151-l
This is an application to reconstruct the corner of what was originally a block of several shops that were built in the form of a flat roofed terrace built in quasi-Georgian revival style during the interwar period.
The intention is to build a two/three story block of four flats to compliment the residential facilities already constructed where the other shops were located. The principal facade would have a central gabled projection and the fenestration would mainly be in the form of pronounced, rectangular casement windows; the rear facade would be contiguous with the existing terrace.
The Society find the principal elevation exhibits a poor lever of integrated design with the adjacent terrace and a local resident has also pointed out that the proposed pitched roof is incompatible with the adjacent, classical flat roof.
We would also echo this resident’s additional fear over insufficient parking spaces and in addition point out to the Planning Department that the loss of corner convenient stores in residential areas where there are few other retail outlets, can be considered on occasions, a significant reduction of essential urban amenities.
The Society has therefore decided that under the circumstances; since the the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have not been fully observed, the application should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
8 Wimborne Road Ref. No. 7-2017-10348-F
This is an application to alter and extend existing structures on the site to create 14 flats. The principal building on the site is a large, family, holiday mansion built in a romanticised, traditional style that was very popular at the more exclusive maritime resorts at this time. A fair number of such properties still exist in the immediate area of Wimborne and Braidley Roads and they form a principal visual element of the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods Conservation Area. The other structure on the site is the former coachhouse.
The principal change to the main building would be a small, three story addition to the east side. On the principal facade this would include addition vertical sash windows and a shallow pitched roof. To the rear, the new work would be mainly in the form of an integrated blank wall, capped by a French chateau, separate roof.
After much thought the Society has concluded that the extension is not sufficiently prominent, fundamentally to change the basic proportional balance of the two principal facades. However we think the new glass panelled structure created between the two chimneys on one of the side elevations could be better designed and that the new pitched roof on the principal elevation should be made more prominent. We are satisfied that the low rise extensions to the old coach house are in accordance with the traditional artisan style of the original.
The Society has therefore decided that since this application does not entirely fulfil the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.4, i, ii, iii)
88 Strouden Road Ref. No. 18325-D
This is an application to create four terraced, staggered houses on the site of a disused builders yard on backland in the midst of an early twentieth century residential neighbourhood of small, mainly detached houses. The new entrance to the development would be via an existing private drive.
Apart from the retention of the old office, the site would be almost completely built over. The principal and rear facades of each house would be designed in an austere modernist style; the fenestration arrangements on the front elevations would be in the form of narrow vertical lighting strips on the ground floor with larger rectangular apertures above. Larger rectangular lighting frames would grace the rear elevations.
The Society takes the view that the general mass, form and style of the proposed development would make it totally unsuitable for the more traditional layout of this part of Bournemouth. We think the density of the construction – occupying over 85% of the site – is simply not compatible with accepted planning practices in the town – and in this case it is especially ill advised to be located on an interior site that can only increase in a negative way, excessive overcrowding. Six letters from local residents express fears over the alien appearance of the proposed development in comparison with the existing townscape as well as problems relating to inadequate car parking and loss of privacy.
The Society suggests that a semi-detached pair of houses on the site might be the best solution.
Therefore, we have decided that because the application does not abide by all the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19. i, ii, and iii )
6-10 North Avenue Ref. No. 7-2017-26430-A
This is an application to build nine terraced dwelling houses on a large plot in the midst of a post war, small scale, residential neighbourhood .at Kinson, between New and Wimborne Roads. Some demolition of existing structures on the site is necessary and eventually four houses would be sited in a terrace facing the road with smaller sections containing the remainder of the properties, behind and to the side.
The new development would be designed in a modernised Arts and Craft style with a white plastered first floor, casement windows and a shallow pitched roof. The Society is convinced that the site is just about spacious enough to contain the projected layout and that the general design is reasonably compatible with the adjacent buildings.
Accordingly, we have concluded that since this proposal fulfills the general conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )