PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JULY 2019 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
29-31 Hamilton Road , Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2019-12171-E
This is an application to construct two, two and a half storey blocks, each containing 12 flats on the site of two, late nineteenth century, individual houses.
The built foot print of each structure would be considerably larger than those existing – extending close to the property boundaries of the adjacent plots. The architectural treatment of the principal elevations of both buildings would be similar to each other and would be conceived in traditional Arts and Crafts form. There would be two projections at the extremities of the elevations, from which would project two storey bay windows culminating in a distinctive hipped roof with dormers.
The sash windows, all with integrated upper sections, are symmetrically arranged across the facades and the roofs.
Although the Society find the new designs reasonably presentable in themselves; in comparison with the general mass and form of the neighbouring properties, we think that the general size of what is offered is excessive and would disruptive the aesthetic perspective of this part of Hamilton Road. Therefore we would suggest a somewhat narrower built foot print and that the height of each storey and the depth of the roof be slightly reduced.
Therefore since this application does not fully conform to the townscape policies of the ournemouth Local Plan we suggest it be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
47 Manor Road, East Cliff Ref No. 7-2019-14494-B
This is an application to build a five storey annexe of 14 flats in place of the Bijou hotel beside Manor Road. This building occupies part of the larger site of Radcliffe Court – a once palatial Victorian villa where permission has been granted to build a modern block of flats. The new structure would be five storeys high and designed in a conventional modernist style in the form of a concrete rectangular cube with French window and traditional balconies for every apartment.
The Society very much agrees with local comment which sees the new development being designed on a too massive scale causing over development of the site; by generating more noise and other disruption, so reducing the amenity value of the area and by its unimaginative design failing to enhance the aesthetic harmony of the area or respect the aims of the Conservation Area hereabouts.
Consequently we are of the opinion that since this proposal does not fulfil the conservation policies of the conservation local plan within the East Cliff Conservation Area, it should be refused.
Woodlea House, Crantock Grove, Strouden Park Ref. No. 21819-C
This is an application to replace an existing Health Centre that was originally built as a mid Twentieth Century family house, with a three storey block of 9 flats. The new rectangular built foot print would be substantially larger than the existing one and although built of brick with a substantial pitched roof the new structure would exhibit a distinctive modernist ambience. The facades would have very slight projections which would support metal framed two storey window frames. The fenestration on all the facades would consist of large single or triple vertical windows.
Although the Society feels the proposed new structure is not excessive ugly, we think it is rather banal and its mass and form is excessive for the scale of the adjacent neighbourhood. We also agree with local opinion that the existing house on the site makes a significant contribution to the character of the neighbourhood and that the continuing reduction in good family residences for an excessive number of small flats should be checked.
And so under the circumstances , because this application in no way enhances the townscape characteristics of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be refused.
52 Queen’s Park Avenue, Queens Park Ref. No. 7-2019-22114-F
This is an application to construct two semi-detached family houses in place of quite a substantial bungalow that was built when this part of Queens Park was laid out in the mid Twentieth Century.
The new building, two stories high, although having a built foot print not so different from the present building, will be more substantial in mass and form and will have an ambience towards the austere modernist residential forms of the post war era. Below a hipped roof, there will be symmetrically arranged casement windows and French windows on the ground floor to the rear.
The Society strongly feels that the new structure would have a negative impact on the visual spatiality of the immediate neighbourhood; indeed local opinion is that the unfriendly appearance of this development would over time degrade the present integrated character of the neighbourhood. It was felt that the original pleasant aspect of the garden area would be reduced and that the subsequent increase in traffic would be dangerous to pedestrians.
Therefore, as in the preceding application, we feel that the gradual reduction of good family residences for too many apartments must be dealt with effectively soon if the established family character of well established residential neighbourhoods in Bournemouth is to be preserved
Therefore after considerable thought, the Society has decided that since this application does not effectively comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
411 Wimborne Road
This an application to construct 24 student accommodation units, above existing retail units; in existing and new structures around the rear courtyard and in a three/four storey new block at the far end of the site.
Apart from the older structure along Wimborne Road, the proposals show quite an eclectic collection of structures in variations of the current modernist style around the rear courtyard. At the rear of the site there is a three storey section with modern, rectangular windows and the 3/4 storey block (with fashionable sloping roof), which apart from further rectangular windows, is covered with a modern cladding materials.
Considering that the greater part of the buildings will not be observable in relation to any street, it is not easy for the Society to make an objective judgement on the overall design. We would suggest that the architect has obviously has used this opportunity to indulge his creative abilities to the full. However the Society would suggest that a somewhat more restrained and balanced elevation of the ¾ storey block as seen from the rear of the site, would be more appropriate.
Under the circumstances, because this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement
Former churchyard of the Pokesdown United Reform Church, Southbourne Road Ref. No. 7-2019-20577-M
This is an outline application to construct two pairs of semi detached, two storey houses on the site of the old burial ground of Pokesdown Reform Church.
Both the two new structures would be designed in modernised, Arts and Crafts style, each with a shallow, central projection with gable above and merging into a substantial hipped roof. Fenestration would be symmetrically arranged on the principal facade in the form of double sash windows with integrated upper sections.
Although the Society find the built foot print and the general appearance of the new buildings relatively compatible with adjacent semi-detached structures, we are aware that the site in question is at the centre of a very historic part of Pokesdown and we have sympathy with local opinion, expressed in 21 letters, that this existing open space being part of the grounds of the listed former church, together with the well established fauna and flora should continue as a valuable public amenity. The damage done to the boundary wall to create access way to the site and the impact on the character and setting of the listed former church cannot be underestimated. Considerable fear has also been expressed by the local population that the neighbourhood was already at a high density so that even further development would make parking even more difficult and a further increase in traffic would be an increased threat to school children and elderly pedestrians.
Under these circumstances the Society feels that even though the design of the new buildings is reasonable, the heritage, conservation, amenity and transport issues raised by this application are not so easily solved. We therefore believe that as the proposals do not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan they should be refused.
24-26 Studland Road, Westbourne Ref. No. 7-2019-7545-E
This is an application to construct one four storey block seven flats and one two and a half storey block of six flats on the site of two mid twentieth century buildings of no great architectural significance.
The first block would be designed in the International Moderne style of the 1930’s; the street elevation would have slight corner projections and there would be a recessed penthouse storey with a flat roof. The corner projections would be glass fronted in International Moderne style and the central part of the facade – where the main entrance would be situated would be lit by a combination of smaller rectangular windows and oeil de beurf openings.
The street elevation of the second block would be designed in a modernised Arts and Crafts style and would consist of two very shallow and wide end projections with prominent gables merging into a substantial hipped roof. Fenestration would be in the form of double, triple and quadruple vertical windows, the larger lights being incorporated in two, two storey, bay windows attached to the two projections.
In assessing this proposal, the Society , quite apart from agreeing with much of local opinion that what is planned would add greatly to the existing car parking problems of the area and that the increased size of the new built foot print would threaten the mature landscape of Alum Chine, have observed a fundamental flaw in the general design of the whole project.
We see to our amazement that each block would be constructed in completely different styles. Quite irrespective of the fact that if built the four storey International Moderne block would be totally out of keeping with the much greater proportion of more traditional buildings that still exist in this section of Studland Road; the Society strongly believes it is almost unheard of under the natural rules of correct aesthetic design procedure for a single built entity to be deliberately stylistically divided against itself according presumably to the personal whim of the architect. The Society never thought it would ever see this phenomenon occuring in Bournemouth; a resort where there has always existed a proactive policy of harmonious architectural integration in relation to the surviving original elements of historic residential neighbourhoods. .
Therefore, we would strongly recommend a complete redesign of the four storey block of seven flats and so because we feel the existing application does not reflect the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement
58/59 Richmond Wood Road Ref. No. 7-2019-14671-B
This an application to construct two pairs of semi-detached dwelling houses on two adjacent sites in a residential neighbourhood of family houses constructed during the 1920’s.
The properties which would take up a considerably larger built footprint than the existing building, would be designed in the form of a late nineteenth century suburban terrace with first floor window bays on the principal elevation – together with steep hipped roofs with dormer windows. The principal facades would also contain garage door entrances. The rear elevations would have gables and French windows on the ground floor.
Although the Society feels that the general elements of the design is, in absolute terms, reasonably acceptable, we think the higher density, general appearance of the building does not integrate well with the lower density lay out of the adjacent family houses. Indeed much local comment fears that if development such as this are allowed, the general character of this quiet road will be degraded. There is concern that an atmosphere of ephemeral multi-occupancy will eventually replace the more settled life style of this well established residential neighbourhood.
The Society therefore has concluded that as a result of serious social concerns over this proposal, it does not completely fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan and should therefore be deferred for further consideration and improvement
Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Castle Lane Ref. No. 5913-EQ
An extensive grant of £147 million has been made for further development of Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals and outline plans for Bournemouth have been made public. There will be two principal structures: a seven storey medical building located at the corner of Castle Lane and Deansleigh Road and a somewhat smaller building, adjacent which will be the new visitors’ multi-storey car park. The new medical building will contain additional operating theatres; new maternity and children’s departments and an expanded Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit.
Naturally, the Society fully appreciates that in the designing of new hospital buildings the dictates of medical care must always take precedence. However that being said, the massive block like structure of the new medical building is a complete break from the low density architectural planning which up to now has controlled the spatial layout of Bournemouth Hospital. It would of course be pleasant if the new buildings could be constructed in the same attractive laid back, low rise and low density spirit that characterised the original construction. However a glance at a birds eye view of the hospital complex shows only a relatively small amount of vacant land that can be developed. Therefore the Society is obliged to speak out strongly against any further tendency to encircle the low density nucleus of Bournemouth Hospital by excessively large, unrelated extensions and so try to ensure that the sun will still penetrate the inner garden courtyards of the building.