PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JULY 2018 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
19 The Crescent, Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2018-1598-C
This is an application to construct a very small three storied dwelling house on the site of a small outbuilding in part of the rear yard of 19 The Crescent at the junction with Walpole Lane. The main function of the latter is as a service road and adjacent sites are mainly filled by garage terraces.
The new structure which would be built in an austere modernist style is, in effect, a rectangular concrete box with a recessed top storey where there would be a balcony placed on top of part of the first floor. On the west side, is the entrance, three vertical windows and a five light horizontal window on the second floor.
In view of the absence of any meaningful architectural order along Walpole Lane the Society is less concerned with how this very banal structure fits in with the adjacent buildings than whether or not such a development will set a precedent for ever more urban development in an already densely built up, historic residential neighbourhood. Therefore although such a small structure might appear to be just appropriate; we feel that in order not to encourage future residential development of the adjacent garage terraces, the proposals must be considered inappropriate.
Consequently, the Society feels that since this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Plan, it should be refused. ( Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
859 Wimborne Road Ref. No. 7-2018-19548-C
This is an application to extensively demolish and reconstruction an early twentieth century shop (with accommodation above) to form two flats.
The justification for the extensive reconstruction is the poor structural state of the present building. What is proposed is a larger built footprint in the form of an extended rectangle, together with a somewhat less elaborate replication of the existing Art Deco front facade and a simpler version of the latter to the rear. The Society is generally quite content with the proposed design, but we feel strongly that the reproduction of the shop windows at the front where the new uses of the space behind would be as bedrooms, would be totally inappropriate. Therefore we suggest that the former retail area be retained in the proposed development.
And so the Society has concluded that because this application does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. (Policy 4.19, i,ii,iii)
40 Wordsworth Avenue Ref. No. 7-2018-10793-A
This is an application for retrospective planning permission for a new glass balustrade for a terrace at first floor level to the rear of the property.
This might appear a straightforward decision, but the Society has been considerably moved by a letter of comment written about this matter by a neighbour. In it, the abrupt and extensive loss of privacy both in relation to the rear garden and through the upper windows of the property is graphically described and complained about. We would therefore suggest to the Planning Department that all cases of retroactive planning legislation, always should be most carefully examined, and where personal privacy is the main factor, not always be granted.
Therefore the Society thinks that because this planning application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
Addiscombe, 8 Cranborne Road Ref. No. 7-2018-24688-D
This is an application to construction a six storey block of 23 flats in modernist style on the site of a late nineteenth century mansion block on the corner of Tregonwell and Cranborne Roads.
The built footprint of the building would be somewhat larger than that of the existing structure in the form of a large rectangular shape taking up just over one third of the site. There would be several slight projections and a somewhat more prominent one between Tregonwell and Cranborne Roads. The facades of each storey would be almost entirely filled by glass panels and French windows bordered by prominent, glass balconies. Part of the top story would be recessed in the form of a penthouse.
The Society is of the opinion that this proposal is entirely inappropriate in relation to the general scale and appearance of the majority of adjacent properties. It is no different from the numerous unimaginative and banal flat blocks that have appeared in Bournemouth during the last few decades. And indeed our feelings are fully shared by the general comments of local residents.
In addition we think this design is inappropriate for the following reasons:-
- Irrespective of the new structure being constructed in the near vicinity of the Bournemouth Hilton flats in Upper Terrace Road and the future planned modern buildings of the Winter Gardens development, the main visual perspective of the new block of flats would be from the south along Tregonwell Road which is one of the finest surviving examples of a residential street from the mid to late Nineteenth Century in central Bournemouth. Consequently if this structure is built, the pleasing long perspective of this vista from Priory Road would be broken. It is our opinion that there would only be a weak integrated urban connection at best between the new building on the site in question and the more extensive modernist developments further north and east.
- If the current proposal were to be constructed, there would a most glaring inconsistency of stylistic planning that would be highly inappropriate for this well established part of central Bournemouth. Considering that two important hotel sites in Tregonwell Road opposite Addiscombe are now very likely to be built upon in the form of more traditional, late nineteenth century, mansion blocks, the visual discrepancy at the junction of Tregonwell and Cranborne Roads would be palpable. We therefore suggest that a more restrained, modern design –one storey lower and with greater vertical emphasis be substituted for this site.
Consequently the Society strongly urges the Bournemouth Planning Department always to be fully aware of the need to preserve an appropriate aesthetic context for the surviving historic elements in the town centre. We have therefore decided that since this application in no way relates to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused. ( Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
27-31 Southcote Road Ref No. 7-2018-5626-G
This is an application to construct a modern three to four storey block of 10 student residential units between the rear of three semi-detached late nineteenth century houses and land fronting the main railway line through Bournemouth. At present the site is occupied by an extensive commercial structure of no architectural value.
The built footprint of the proposed new building would be in the form of a rectangular block (with recessed top storey) connected at the extremities to two, slightly lower wings of unequal length enclosing a landscaped courtyard. On the principal elevation fenestration would be symmetrically integrated in the form of single and double vertical windows. Commercial office space and small (student) flats would share the upper three floors; the ground floor being reserved for garage and general service use.
The Society note that in comments from local residents there has been criticism that the proposed development would be far too close to neighbouring properties along Southcote Road, which in addition to inadequate motor access to the site, would reduce the peace and tranquility hitherto experienced by adjacent house holders.
While fully appreciating these concerns, the Society in making a judgement about this matter, has to bear in mind the established, somewhat complex physical structure and economic and social usage of Southcote Road
Up to now extensive commercial enterprises have existed immediately behind this section of the north side of Southcote Road. Moreover, three large student hostels have recently been constructed just beyond the northern boundary of the site next to the railway. Also quite recently, further along Southcote Road in the direction of St. Swithuns Road, a large courtyard development of small flats in more traditional style has been built and now, permission has also been given for another flat block on a site much nearer to 27-31 Southcote Road. In both instances, very close unplanned commercial premises were removed and in the latter case the planning inspector was of the opinion that given the existing density of urban surroundings, the new accommodation would not be unduly light restricted.
Therefore the Society is of the opinion that, given the gradual clearance of unplanned commercial premises along the northern side of Southcote Road, and the already existing multipurpose physical character and usage of this part of Bournemouth, we feel that provided proper zoning measures are integrated into new developments here, then there is no reason why residential units, office facilities and the remaining commercial operations to the east of the site could not continue to exist together reasonably well.
Consequently we have decided that in these particular circumstances, since the general conditions for the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have been observed, the application should be granted. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
65 Malmesbury Park Road Ref. No. 7-2018-15343-A
This is an application to construct a new dwelling house beside an existing one in a late nineteenth century artisan neighbourhood. The new structure would replicate the appearance of the adjacent property and include a two storey bay window on the principal facade and a double hipped roof.
However the house would be built in the triangular cut away section of the existing developed plot . It would therefore be only half the size of the adjacent building and very close to the boundary fence. The Society therefore feels that the new house would amount to over development and in addition, local comment has expressed the fear that the property would not be built as a family residence but as an HMO. We therefore appeal again to the Planning department not to allow further inappropriate residential speculation within the rear small areas of historic residential neighbourhoods around the town.
Consequently, the Society has decided that because this application in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
87 Southbourne Road Ref. No. 7-2018-4684-N
This is an application to build an extremely small bungalow, almost no more than a granny flat, in modern style to the rear of the existing property on the site. It is quite obvious to the Society that the site is far too small for the existing development and therefore should not be allowed
Consequently we have concluded that since this application in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused. (Policy 4.19, i,ii,iii)