PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING OCTOBER 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Palmerston Road Car Park , Palmerston Road, Boscombe. Ref. No. 7-2016-1088-E
This is an application by Bournemouth Borough Council, the owners of the site, to construct 11 two storied town houses in the form of two terraces of three, two terraces of two and one single dwelling.
The houses are designed in a modernized, late nineteenth century, artisan terrace style; each facade being two bays wide with casement windows above and either side of the entrance – and French windows on the rear ground floor. The pitched roofs are enclosed by distinctive, brick/stone substitute edging and there are narrow concrete collars above all the ground floor windows.
Bearing in mind the general physical context of the area, the Society feels that the design is quite appropriate and should harmonize quite well with the adjacent houses. Accordingly, we have concluded that since this proposals fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
36-38 Paddington Grove , Kinson Ref. No.7-2016-10895-A
This is an application to construct two new semi-detached dwelling houses on the sites of two older semi –detached and two further houses . The houses would be constructed in a modernised, early twentieth century, Arts and Crafts style on a generally rectangular built footprint. On the principal facade there would be four narrow, modernist, rectangular windows ( two for each house ) and two entrances – with circular windows between – flanked by rectangular windows on the ground floor. The rear elevation would encompass varied window shapes above and a pair of French windows below.
Although the Society feels what is proposed is not an especially original design, we think that the new houses will not be visually inappropriate in respect to the existing neighbourhood. Therefore the Society has concluded that since this proposal fulfils the majority of the majority of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be granted. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
108 Malvern Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2016-14699-B
This is a planning application to build a three storey block of five moderately sized flats on the site of a modern residential building of no architectural significance. The built foot print is about one quarter larger than that of the existing building and also of the majority of the other structures constructed in this early twentieth century, residential neighbourhood.
The building would be designed in the form of an early twentieth century, suburban villa in traditional revivalist style. There would be two, prominent, two story bays merging into two large gables above on the principal elevation. Apart from the inverted, semicircular gable lights, all the casement windows would be in triplicate with the upper sections internally divided. The rear facade is more modern with two pairs of French windows on both floors along with glass balconies.
The Society is of the opinion that although adjacent properties to the proposed structure are more modern in character, such a new building would generally enhance the more traditional appearance of the surrounding neighbourhood. We do however feel that the rear elevation should be redesigned in a more original fashion. Thus, after due consideration, we think that since this proposal does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
53 New Road, Northbourne Ref. No. 7-2016-25769-B
This is an application to build a fairly large, two/three storey block of seven flats on the site of an interwar suburban dwelling and with a built footprint somewhat larger than the existing one.
The new structure would be built in late nineteenth century, traditional vernacular style. Both principal and rear facades would encompass substantial projections and gables with compartmented windows on the ground floor and double rectangular windows above the set back secondary sections of the building at the extremities of the main facade are reflected in the complex structure of the pitched roof. The side elevations are competently modulated with well positioned, narrow, vertical windows.
The Society notes that the most distinctive feature of this design is the deliberate and partial, unsymmetrical position of the building line of the extremities of the structure. Here the corner elements of the plan are projected as specific shapes in themselves, which adds to the visual originality of the structure.
We do however observe that what is proposed is somewhat larger than other properties nearer towards Kinson in the New Road. And yet bearing in mind the somewhat looser layout and more spacious ordering of this part of the New Road near the New Bridge, the Society feel that the suggested design in this position is generally appropriate. Consequently, we have concluded that since this application complies with the majority of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
79 Lowther Road Ref. No. 7-2014-20301-B
This is an application to substantially extend an existing Art Nouveau, family villa, similiar in appearance to many similar properties that were constructed on the Central Dean Estate between Charminster and Springbourne in the early Twentieth Century. The present structure which the Society thinks, makes a positive contribution to the overall appearance of Lowther Road, has integrated bay windows on the first and ground floors of the principal front elevation and well proportioned side elevations. However the Society notes that the building would have to be substantially altered by an extension one third the size of the original dwelling to the rear.
We note that the main changes would occur to the side elevations which would now take on an unsymmetrical visual appearance and contain irregularly place casement windows of a very conventional design. The new rear elevation would not be an exceptional piece of architectural design.
The Society is of the opinion that with the exception of the retention of the historic principal elevation to comply with the general visual perspective of Lowther Road, the remained of the proposals simply amounts to an attempt to introduce a very conventional flat block into a well designed historical neighbourhood with a minimum level of imaginative design.
Moreover our thoughts are echoed by 11 letters of opposition by local residents who fear too much overdevelopment, inadequate small flats and the loss of existing landscaping and gardens.in what is still a generally a desirable, reasonably spacious neighbourhood.
The Society suggests to the Planning Department that such drastic alterations to these older family houses should be firmly resisted and certainly in the case of this proposal we suggest a conversion – not an extension, of the existing property into no more than three flats. Therefore we feel that under the circumstances, since this application does not satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii, and iii )
59 Huntley Road, Talbot Woods Ref. No. 13944-I
This is an application for the small extension of an existing house built during the interwar years in the form of a very restrained Art Nouveau Villa, and the construction of a smaller, half timbered residence, on the same plot, a short distance from the main structure on the site of an existing garage.
The new house will be partially half -timbered with two large gables on the principal facade. Although a traditional hipped roof would be in evidence here, the other side of the property would have a more modern appearance – partly in the form of a flat roof and also by a continuous, narrow band of linked up sections of rectangular fenestration just below the roof. The extension to the existing house would be in the form of a one storey, narrow, rectangular structure.
Quite apart from stylistic discrepancies, the Society feel strongly that the creeping construction of higher density development – as evidenced in this application – is a serious threat to the visual integrity and social character of the residential neighbourhood of Talbot Woods. We think that the allowing of smaller houses on existing spacious sites will seriously degrade the unique balance between built and unbuilt upon space that is both distinctive to this part of Bournemouth and also one of the finest late national examples of a grand Garden City layout that was originally pioneered in this resort.
These feelings are echoed amply by 33 letters of opposition by local residents who especially fear the degradation of the unique landscape and gardens of the area as existing plots would be split up with a considerable reduction of private space and natural light. Above all there is a feeling that there could be a direct threat to the general environmental quality of Talbot Woods which would threaten the status of the existing Conservation Area . As evidence for this, the negative aesthetic impact of recent residential developments in Roslin Road South has been presented.
The Society therefore very much hopes that the Bournemouth Planning Department will take note of these alarms and evolve a creditable characterization policy that will secure the continued existence of this unique part of Bournemouth. Accordingly we have decided that since this application in no way follows the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.4, i. ii, and iii )