PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING NOVEMBER 2018 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Waterfront Site, Pier Approach 7-2018-3432-AJ
This is an application to create a smugglers themed novelty golf course on the site of the demolished Imex building at the Pier Approach. This new feature, for which permission has already been given, will consist of extensively landscaped areas around the site boundaries, a small lake and waterfall and various features that will tell the story of the smuggling history of Bournemouth.
In the absence of major new cultural and leisure facilities that are eventually scheduled to be built on this site in future years this new facility would only be temporary. Nevertheless the Society asks whether this sort of feature in a prominent part of the seafront is really appropriate in an area that has recently been subject to considerable environmental enhancement. We feel that it is likely that this new novelty golf course, together with the now permanent presence of the Bournemouth Eye Wheel, amounts to a creeping reduction of the general aesthetic qualities of the Pier Approach area and could mean the lessening of the status of Bournemouth as the best resort in the country. We note that there exists already several novelty golf courses in the Lower Pleasure Gardens therefore because this open space has now become a very useful location for staging important musical events, the Society feels it should so remain until major redevelopment occurs. Moreover there is always the fear that if rebuilding does not happen within five years, this new golf course could become a permanent feature of the Pier Approach. .
The Cottage, Acarta Gardens, Manor Road Ref. No. 7-2018-6067-S
This is an application to demolish a much altered small late nineteenth century service cottage which is situated at the rear of the spacious grounds that surround the original large villa structure on the north side of Manor Road. The structure lies within the East Cliff Conservation Area. The existing footprint which includes a large extension with a flat room has a somewhat irregular shape and would be replaced with amore rectangular footprint where it is proposed to build a one to two story short terrace comprising one dwelling house and two flats.
The principal one storey façade would have two projections ending in half timbered gables which be incorporated into a traditional pitched roof. There would be two, lower level, gable projections on the rear façade and fenestration would be in the form of casement windows and dormers on the principal façade.
Bearing in mind the existing spatial appearance of the cottage and the hotel the Society feel that what is proposed is better centered at the rear of the property and also appears to take up less space than the old cottage. However although we feel that the visual balance between the original large villa and the new terrace would be considerably improved, we also think that the asymmetrical design of the principal façade is not appropriate in these circumstances. The Society would therefore suggest that the western end of this façade be provided with a projecting gable structure to match the other two – so allowing a degree of symmetry to be restored.
Therefore we have concluded that since this application does not comply fully with the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further improvement rather than be refused. ( Policy 4.4, i.ii.iii )
5-7 Clarendon Road Ref. No. 7-2018-2732-AA
This is an application to construct a two storey building in modernist style for 19 flats on the site of two interwar houses built in traditional style but not of exceptional architectural merit. The site lies within the Westcliff and Triangle Conservation Area.
The new building would be horizontal in appearance and would consist mainly of an asymmetrical arrangement of glass panels (with French windows ) fronted by prominent communal glass balconies –with whole sections of the principal façade bordered by thin concrete strips. There would be a flat roof.
The Society strongly feels that considering that there still remains a fair number of substantial structures of late nineteenth and twentieth century date in the vicinity of Clarendon Road we are amazed that this very un imaginatively designed structure exhibiting the very worst failings of flat blocks from the 1960’s should be considered a suitable replacement for this site. For indeed even if the previous application in the form of a late nineteenth century traditional mansion block was rejected more for spatial in adequacies than for aesthetic reasons we think it is quite obvious that a new building in a more traditional form, would considerably enhance and respect the original character of Clarendon Road.
Moreover in view of the wholesale destruction of fine nineteenth century family houses on the West Cliff during the modernist mania of the 1960’s and their replacement by banal, residential blocks; the Society is of the opinion that the Planning Department can ill afford to allow the already considerably damaged townscape of this area to be degraded further by architectural designs of similar poor quality.
These fears are echoed by 43 letters by local residents whose general fear is that the new structure on account of its size and general design would have a negative impact on the existing social and visual advantages of the area. There was a great deal of concern that the site would accommodate an excessive number of small flats that would be totally unsuitable for family use. Indeed it was felt that these factors, taken in conjunction with the over development of the site and the parking problems that would result, demonstrated that the failings of this latest application were no different to the one rejected in April 2018.
Consequently, after mature consideration, the Society has decided that since this application does not in any way fulfill the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected.
3 Edgehill Road Ref No. 7-2018-27073-A
This is an application to construct three dwelling houses on cleared land; two in the form of a pair of semi-detached houses; the third house parallel to the other two semi-detached structures.
What is proposed in this application is similar to an earlier application. The general design of the properties would be in the form of interwar, suburban houses from the Home Counties. The two principal facades would encompass a two storey bay window that would end in a half timbered gable connected to the pitched roof. The rear facades would have more restrained symmetrical fenestration as would half the double front façade of the semi detached houses.
The Society can find no serious design defect in these proposals. They imitate the inter war architecture of the remainder of Edgehill Road and integrate into the general townscape a formerly empty, open space.
We therefore think that under the circumstances, this application fulfills all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan and should be allowed. (Policy 4.19,I,ii,iii )
35-35a St Clements Road Ref. No 7-2018-13495-A
This is an application to construct a three storey block of six flats on the rear portion of a developed residential site on the corner of St Clements Road and Cleveland Road. The site of the proposed development is at present occupied by industrial workshops of no architectural value whatsoever.
The new building would be of almost rectangular shape with a shallow hipped roof connected to small gables on the SE and NW elevations. There would be symmetrical fenestration in the form of quite large rectangular casement windows on both these elevation and fewer but similar windows asymmetrically arranged on the shorter elevations.
In view of the rather ugly and dilapidated state of the workshops the Society feel that redevelopment of this part of the site as flats in a generally residential area would be a good move. The new block would enable this corner area to be spatially integrated in a more appropriate manner into the adjacent townscape. However although we think the general mass and form of the structure is suitable we are of the opinion that the windows are too large and rather insensitively designed on the principal elevations. Therefore we suggest that a somewhat more enhanced vertical emphasis be given to all the window openings.
Consequently the Society has concluded that since this application does not completely fulfill the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for improvement . Policy 4.19,I,ii,iii .
29-31 Southcote Road Ref. No. 7-2018-5626-I
This is an application to construct 23 small residential units for students on the site of a late nineteenth century urban terrace used as 4 flats .
The new building of necessity will be much wider that the existing structure but the principal road façade will replicate what is now there including two gabled projections. There would be modern casement windows and a shallow hipped roof above.
The Society is happy with the new principal elevation which compliments the existing two storey late nineteenth century townscape of Southcote Road. Furthermore in view of the existing complex useage of this part of Southgate Road: residential, student use and commercial/ industrial, we accept the somewhat higher density of accommodation put forward in the proposals.
We have therefore decided that because this application appears to satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19, i,ii,iii )