Comments on Planning Applications
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING DECEMBER 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Roland House, Hinton Road. Ref. No. 7-2016-22046-H
This is an application to add a fifth and sixth floor in order to create five flats to an existing, mid twentieth century , five storey building, originally used as an office block but later converted to flats.
The Society is pleased to observe that in comparison with the ugly and top heavy proposals that were contained in the previous application for this site, the new designs are a considerable improvement.
The extensions would keep to the existing dimensions of the structure and in respect to the principal elevation: the fifth floor would be divided up by three, three light casement windows and the sixth floor would be in the form of continuous glass panels, separated by regularly spaced concrete/metal divisions. The side elevations are quite restrained with better integrated fenestration and a more restrained use of glass balconies.
However although we are more satisfied with the new design, we feel that the extended structure is still too tall; it looks quite ungainly beside the neighbouring office block. We also think that the contrasting forms of fenestration design on the fifth and sixth floors, visually do not go together in any way. We therefore suggest that one extra floor only be added and it should encompass the divided glass panel format proposed for the sixth floor with a well designed entablature above.
Consequently the Society have concluded that since this proposal does not comply fully with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be deferred for further discussion. (Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
91 Curzon Road, Springbourne. Ref. No. 24038-C
This is an application to construct a new dwelling house connected to an existing semi-detached property, originally built when this artisan/working residential neighbourhood was laid out in the late Nineteenth Century.
The new structure would be of two stories and would give the impression of a large granny flat. The design would be generally sympathetic to the existing appearance of the neighbouring building. There would be vertical casement windows appropriately positioned and French windows to the rear on the ground floor.
The Society note that just under 50% of the site would be built upon and take the view that building new structures in the small rear gardens of existing properties within historic residential neighbourhoods in Bournemouth should be strongly discouraged. However in this case, bearing in mind the existing high density use of adjacent sites ( notably in South Road ) and accepting the likelihood that the new property could be for the use of relatives of the occupants of 91 Curson Road, we feel that there is reasonable justification for the new construction. Therefore the Society has concluded that because this application fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
13 Glenferness Avenue, Talbot Woods. Ref. No. 7-2016-5275-F
This is an application to build a two/three storey block of 10 flats in the form of a vernacular styled, late nineteenth century, mansion block, on the site of a low rise 1960’s, family house of no exceptional architectural importance. The site stands in the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods Conservation Area.
The site of this application near the junction with Rothesay Road stands at the point between the hill section of Glenferness Avenue where there are a fair number of modern blocks of flats and the flat section of the same road where there are numerous examples of large family houses, constructed mainly in modernized Arts and Craft style during the Interwar period.
The new structure would follow, in general the built footprint of the existing house taking up about one third of the site. However the mass and form of the new structure would make it far more prominent than the present building.
The principal elevation would encompass quite a complex but well integrated frontage. Either side of a prominent half-timbered main entrance, there would be two elaborate, canted, three storey , bay window projections ending in distinctive gables that would merge into a prominent hipped roof. Vertical one and two light windows with upper divisions would be symmetrically placed across the entire facade with French windows on the ground and first floors at the elevation extremeties . Balconies to the first floor would be carried on pillared projections and four light window openings in the large gables would be provided with separate high balconies. The rear elevation would also be a balanced design with mini-pitched roof dormers and encompassing smaller projecting bay windows. The side elevations would be more asymmetrical in design with half timbering decoration just below the roof line. The SW elevation would contain more regularly spaced two light casement windows than the NE elevation.
The Society is of the opinion that while what is proposed is a competent enough design , the proposed site is the wrong context for this particular building. We are of the opinion that since Talbot Woods – and especially the greater part of Glenferness Avenue – contain a considerable number of the best surviving examples of large scale , late Arts and Crafts style houses in Southern England and while a replacement of the existing modernist family residence is to be welcomed; a modernized version of an Arts and Craft structure would be a more appropriate replacement in respect to the adjacent spatial character of the neighbourhood.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by 11 letters about this matter written by local residents. There were fears that not only would the proposed development be detrimental to the existing urban scale of the area but would cause parking and traffic problems and intrude excessively into the privacy of householders in Rothesay Road.
The Society is well aware that because of the position of the site, it is very problematic whether or not a new structure in an appropriate style should become a block of flats or a single family residence. We realise that in such circumstances, a well designed block of flats might be feasible; but at the same time a replacement house would be more appropriate to the existing appearance and usage of the area and would prevent further attempts to build new flats beyond the hilly part of Glenferness Avenue.
The Society has therefore decided that because this application does not meet the conservation conditions of the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods Conservation Area within the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
17 Wimborne Road , Ref. No. 7-2016-7035-R
This is an outline application for the erection of a three storey block of nine flats on the site of a modern family house of no especial architectural pretentions. The site is surrounded by several blocks of flats that were built in the then current modernist style during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The principal elevation would contain a narrow projection encompassing the main entrance and vertical fenestration above for the main staircase. Vertical windows would also be placed at the extremeties of this elevation and French windows ( with glass balconies for the first and second floors ) would exist on every floor between the centre and edges of the facade. To the rear there would be an asymmetrical variation of the front elevation with only one section with French windows and balconies. The side elevations would consist mainly of large asymmetrical sections of blank walling with a small number of rectangular windows.
While being certainly in favour on this site, of a well designed, modern block of flats, the Society is strongly of the opinion that what is at present offered – built on a considerably larger footprint than the present building – is totally lacking in aesthetic co-ordination and indeed resembles the poorly designed smaller blocks of flats that began to appear in parts of Bournemouth about 40 years ago. We think that not only is the building too large for the site, it makes absolutely no visual contribution to the adjacent townscape and indeed the existing house is a better adornment to what is proposed.
The Society therefore has no hesitation in suggesting that since this application in no way fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19,i, ii and iii )
1374 Christchurch Road , Iford. Ref. No. 7-2016-1810-X
This is an application to construct a three storey block of 18 flats in fashionable modernist style on the site of a defunct garage and beside undeveloped land on the boundary between Bournemouth and Christchurch at Iford.
The flat block would be in the form of a large rectangular building on the corner of Bridle Lane and Christchurch Road. The design would have a strong horizontal emphasis; a considerable part of the principal elevation would consist of four integrated concrete rectangles filled with glass panels, while the remainder of the elevation would contain four regularly spaced rectangular windows with some glass balconies on the third floor. The rear elevation would contain more concrete boxes and a high proportion of French windows and further glass balconies
The Society is of the opinion that the large size and overt modernist appearance of the proposed building make it completely unsuitable to become an harmonious addition to the more traditional, smaller scale spatial structure of the surrounding area.
And what we felt was fully amplified by the 33 letters of objection to the scheme sent in by local residents. In sum the basic argument put forward was that the planning proposal was completely out of scale with the existing neighbourhood; it amounted to a far too intensive development of the site; it threatened the adjacent Green Belt along the Stour Valley and by introducing such a disruptive visual and social element into the local street scene , it was completely against the aims of the Local Plan.
The Society has therefore decided that since this planning application in no way fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected . (Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
9 Walpole Road , Boscombe. Ref. No. 7-2016-4074-D
This is an application to build four terraced houses in a staggered form within the site of an existing semi detached residence, built during the rapid expansion of Boscombe in the late Nineteenth Century.
The properties would be built in artisan cottage style with pitched roofs. Each front facade would encompass a front door and a modernised, venetian style window on the ground floor and a large, triple casement window ( with overhead projection ) above. To the rear there would be French windows below.
The Society is of the opinion that in spite of the acceptable design, the development would result in an excessive over development, with over 50% of the site built up. We suggest to the Planning Department that this and similar schemes should be strongly resisted to prevent further negative encroachments to the existing balance of built to un built on space in less spacious, historic residential neighbourhoods. We would recommend only one pair of semi detached houses on the site.
Accordingly we have decided that since this planning application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
64 Irving Road , Southbourne. Ref. No. 7-2016-26105
This is an application for the construction of five dwelling houses to be built in part of the back garden of an existing late nineteenth century house. The dwelling houses would be arranged at right angles to the original property with access via a public right of way, in two pairs of semi detached properties with one in between.
The new dwellings would take the form of old estate cottages and each front facade would have a projection with an entrance and a four light, Tudor style window. The upper floor would be under a pitched roof with a narrow, vertical window. There would be prominent chimneys and the rear elevation would include French windows on the ground floor.
In spite of the balanced, picturesque design, the new buildings would take up nearly 70% of the available space leaving virtually no room for proper landscaping or parking. Even though we may think that there may be room for two semi detached houses at the most, we feel such development should not go ahead so as to discourage strongly, such planning degradation within the restricted sites of the smaller Victorian properties of Southbourne.
Accordingly consider that since this planning application does meet with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
6 Merlewood Close, Meyrick Park. Ref. No. 7-2016-526-CC
This is an application to construct a three/four storey block of seven flats on a generally triangular site at present occupied by a post war family house which is situated on the far north eastern corner of the Wychwood Estate adjacent to Meyrick Park. The greater part of the Wychwood Estate has been developed in recent years by a mix of individual houses and smaller flat blocks built in generally traditional style. The developed estate is entirely separated from several modern blocks of flats in the near vicinity of St Valerie Road by a high bank upon which is situated a thick belt of mature trees and other vegetation. The site lies within the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods Conservation Area.
The new buildings would be constructed in the fashionable modernist style in the form of integrated concrete rectangles within which would be fitted glass panels, French windows and glass balconies with smaller square shaped windows towards the rear. The side elevations would consist mainly of blank wall with three square windows each.
The Society suggests that as seen from the air, the absolute necessity of the aesthetic and spatial separation between the high rise modern flat development in St Valerie Road and the low rise more vernacular appearance of the Wychwood Estate would ensure an aesthetic discordance of exceptional proportions if the proposed modernist block were to be constructed on the above mentioned site. We feel that the new flat block would in no way reflects the unique appearance of this portion of Meyrick Park and can in no way be considered as a fitting adornment to the existing conservation area. Indeed the Society finds it quite incredible that the Design Statement asserts the very opposite of these conclusions. It seems to us that the main purpose of this proposal is to ensure a substantial income with no regard what so ever for any need to integrate, in a sensitive fashion, the shape and style of the building into the existing characteristics of the surrounding gardenesque townscape.
The Society has therefore decided that because this planning application in no way reflects the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( Policy 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
Addendum to earlier observations on the Odeon 37-41, Westover Road . Ref. No 7-2016-891-AA
Further to an earlier application for the Odeon Cinema in Westover Road to construct a retail area within the ground and first floors of the building with six stories of flats above and behind; a later application has been received in which it is proposed to preserve only the Italianate front facade of the Odeon and behind would be constructed a huge 14 storey block of flats with a narrower extension towards Westover Road which would have a concave rounded roof. As with the earlier application, facades of the upper 14 storeys would encompass glass panels, French windows and prominent glass balconies. The lower three storeys of the main flat block would take the form asymmetrical, modernist fenestration.
In response to this monstrous concept the Civic Society can only repeat with even greater force, the feelings it expressed in respect to the earlier application: namely by the sheer bulk of what is now proposed and by reason of the totally insensitive way the new structure would be rammed down on top of what little would be left of the elegant principal elevation of the old Regent Cinema; what little remaining style and social renown still present in Westover Road would be completely destroyed; it would be an aesthetic catastrophe for the townscape of Central Bournemouth; the cultural standing of the town would be degraded and the existing positive repute of the Planning Department would be much reduced. There are 14 letters from Bournemouth residents that express the same sentiments as ourselves.
We would again suggest that the best use to which the old fabric of the Odeon could be put would be either as a cultural/community centre within the restored auditorium or as an up market retail galleria in conjunction with the adjacent floors of the old Westover Ice Rink.
Consequently the Society very strongly is of the opinion that since this unbelievable application can in no way be said to comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be roundly rejected. ( Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
5 Florence Road , Boscombe. Ref. No. 7-2016-2055-l
This is an application to construct a two to three storey block of nine flats on the site of a middle class family villa that was constructed in a purpose built holiday neighbourhood during the rapid expansion of Boscombe at the end of the Nineteenth Century.
The proposed building would be similar in general appearance to the flat blocks that have already been created at 7 and 9 Florence Road. In each case the has been considerably larger than the existing one – nearly 50% of the site being built over with little room for landscaping.
The development would take the form of a modernised late Victorian suburban villa under a prominent hipped roof and with a wide gabled projection on the principal facade from which a two storey bay window would protrude. The fenestration, including the dormer and gable windows, would be in the form of two light vertical windows, symmetrically arranged. The rear elevation would also be regularly organised but with French windows and glass balconies. The side elevations would be eight bays long.
The Society finds the design competent, if not exceptionally creative; the rather excessive length of the side elevations are somewhat monotonous and the inevitable glass balconies to the rear could be better designed. However we accept that in a prime seaside neighbourhood such as Boscombe, where a degree of urban speculation has always existed, that the re-development potential would always be present. Under the circumstances, we think that the proposed new building is acceptable but we ask the Planning Department to ensure that a reasonable number of original family villas in this neighbourhood are preserved for the purposes for which they were built.
The Society therefore has concluded that since this proposal generally conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( Policy 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Wessex Hotel, West Cliff Road . Ref. No. 7-2016-2037-AG
This is an application to construct two, six storey flat blocks and a six storey, one hundred room hotel on the site of the Wessex Hotel within the West Cliff Conservation Area. The present building is a large, somewhat rambling structure which, although having been altered and extended, has remained an important example of late nineteenth, traditional seaside architecture in Bournemouth, ever since the building first opened as the Hawthorn Hotel in 1891.
The proposed design would consist of three large rectangular built footprints on a curved building line facing on to West Cliff Road – the two larger being placed at the extremities of the oval site and the shorter third block in the centre. The easternmost block would be the new hotel and the principal facade would consist of vertical French windows giving on to integrated balconies in the centre with large vertical windows at the extremities of the facade. The wide side elevations would be arranged in a relatively symmetrical form with a combination of sets of vertical and rectangular window sequences (including some vertical French windows and glass balcony elements on the west`side facade) and the entire building would be topped by a shallow hipped roof.
The principal design elements of the two flat blocks would consist of symmetrical ( or near symmetrical sections on the long side elevations of the buildings ) of combinations of five storey, canted bay windows with integrated recessed balconies – with large and small dormers within shallow hipped roofs. With the exception of the larger French windows fronting the balconies, the generally two light, vertical windows would be arranged in a very regular fashion across all the facades. The extremeties of the two principal facades that face on to West Cliff Road would be emphasised by narrow, square shaped tower projections capped by separate turret roofs.
The Society observe that with the exception of the rather austere appearance of the facades of the hotel; from a strictly, objective, non contextual, architectural point of view, the general design of the two flat blocks is a reasonably accomplished piece of work and could without too much difficulty fit into a hypothetical late nineteenth, residential townscape. However, bearing in mind the unique spatial position that is occupied by the Wessex Hotel within the townscape of the West Cliff; the special, even iconic place it holds in the renown of Bournemouth as a celebrated maritime resort and the distinguished architectural quality ( in the form of the famous belvedere tower ) of the principal entrance front; we feel very strongly that the end of this famous structure would be not only a serious cultural loss to the facilities of central Bournemouth but also by the replacement of the existing number of hotel beds by a lesser number, the economic structure of the West Cliff would be seriously affected and thus the general viability of the tourist industry for the entire town.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by 18 letters concerning this proposal, written by local residents. In particular there was considerable fear that the exceptional ballroom facilities that are a feature of the Wessex Hotel that are greatly liked by local people of all ages and are a considerable draw for visitors to visit Bournemouth from every part of the country, would simply not be fully replicated to the same extent in the new development – thereby tempting many potential holiday makers to travel to resorts such as Torquay or Blackpool instead. Respondents also worried that other hotel features such as the health club, the swimming pool, the spacious reception suites, the conveniently positioned car park and the well known Italian restaurant, would all go with the demolition of the existing Wessex Hotel and not be replaced.
In sum, the Society is of the opinion that the planned development would be aimed at generating maximum income without any consideration for the need to ensure an harmonious synthesis between the new buildings and the existing well balanced townscape of this important conservation area – a much loved Bournemouth icon would be needlessly destroyed.
As an alternative plan, we would suggest that the existing hotel structure could be extensively renovated and even extended in the southern part of the site towards West Cliff Road and a smaller block(s) of flats, designed in a sympathetic style could be constructed to the rear of the site between the existing hotel and Hahnemann Road.
Consequently, the Society has decided that because this application has not complied with the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
TWO PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING DECEMBER 2016
A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
37-41 Westover Road – Redevelopment of the Odeon Cinema Ref. No. 7-2016-891
This is an application to alter very extensively, the original structure and appearance of the former Regent Cinema, now the Odeon, built in 1929 in spectacular Italianate style with a grand, classical loggia on the first floor of the principal facade facing on to Westover Road. Since the present cinema complex is now set to move to a new entertainment centre beside Exeter Road in 2017, a new use of the building is required if continuing cultural and entertainment uses are not possible.
What is proposed is the creation of two levels of retail space , on the ground and first floors, within the existing structure and the construction of a six storey block of flats which would be positioned along the original foundations of the old cinema behind the original principal elevation. The full width of the Westover facade of the flat block would be positioned just under half way back with a narrower projection towards the front ending in a semi-circular curve. The six storey flat block along Hinton Road would be constructed upon a new lower facade of three stories which would also support the two long side elevations.
The altered principal facade would consist of the original Italianate facade – minus the present distinctive hipped roof – above which would rise abruptly the six storey flat block elevation, consisting entirely of glass panels ( with French windows ) and extensive, horizontal glass balconies and interrupted only by three, equally spaced, concrete supports. The rear facade to Hinton Road would likewise be fronted by horizontal glass panels and balconies – while the lower three stories would encompass relatively asymmetrical, vertical and horizontal fenestration in modernist style, in place of the three, round arched blank niches of the original facade.
The two side elevations would be divided between a combination of horizontal glass panels and balconies above – together with more conventional sections of wall and vertical windows – and asymmetrical forms of modernist fenestration in the lower three stories.
Irrespective of the fact that the rounded projection of the upper principal facade exhibits a certain, general aesthetic merit; it is the considered opinion of the Civic Society – that in comparison with a great many designs of planning applications that have come before us in recent years, we have never seen such an inept bringing together of incompatible historicist and modernist built forms in such a totally insensitive and downright ugly form. It is as if what is offered contains not the slightest respect for the visual sensibility that distinguished the appearance of the original Regent cinema and where the main purpose of the additional structure appears to be to cram as many inadequate and unsuitable small flats on to the site as possible without the slightest consideration to preserve the distinctive silhouette of the present building as a fine adornment to the townscape of Westover Road. Moreover although there seems to be at present, very little interest in preserving the original appearance of the central auditorium; as a result of independent research and subsequent publicity, carried out by James Weir of the Civic Society, a considerable amount of the original decoration of the interior has now been discovered – which may well enable the Odeon to be listed by English Heritage and eventually restored.
Certainly the general feeling of the writers of the 17 letters that have been received about this planning application is that the existing proposals are totally out of keeping with the existing spatial character of Westover Road and that the best use of the building should be for cultural or entertainment purposes. It was felt that the old cinema is a well known historic icon in the town and that the popularity of Bournemouth as a desirable holiday resort would wane if the centre became as commercialised as any other conventional, town centre.
We certainly believe that whatever ultimate use is found for the existing cinema, the present dimensions should be kept. A massive flat block added above would ruin completely the carefully integrated proportions of the original structure. We also feel that whether the interior is eventually adapted as a cultural centre or a retail galleria, a considerable proportion of the original decorative scheme should be reutilised.
In sum the Society simply cannot believe that this outrageous concept will even make it to the Planning Board – let alone be granted time for serious discussion. Quite frankly, we truly believe that if this design were allowed, it would be an aesthetic catastrophe for Central Bournemouth and would reduce the existing high level of design and civic cultural enhancement of the Planning Department and Council to the status of a laughing stock.
Under the circumstances, the Society has no hesitation in recommending that since this planning application does not fulfil in any way the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (4.19, i. ii, and iii )
130 Alumhurst Road and 4 Sandbourne Road Ref. No. 7-2016-4751-W
This is an application to construct five dwelling houses and a block of five flats on a triangular site at the junction of Alumhurst Road and Sandbourne Road. At present the site is occupied by several, twentieth century, family houses and it is the intention to construct the block of flats at the junction of the two roads and the individual houses would be built consequtively partly staggered stretching along Alumhurst and Sandbourne Roads.
The new buildings would be mainly of two stories and similar in general appearance to the late nineteenth century adjacent properties. The general style would be suburban Arts and Crafts and architectural features would include: distinctive hipped roofs, several two storied bay windows and appropriately designed and integrated , vertical sash windows.
The Society has no strong objections to the chosen style of the development, but we believe very seriously that the mass and scale of the proposed structures is simply too large for the lower density layout of this part of the Alum Chine Estate. The building lines do appear to be too near the site boundaries of each property with a resulting lack of privacy ; indeed such a layout might be more appropriate in a metropolitan context – for example a well-to-do, early twentieth century, residential development at Ealing, outer London.
Certain 11 letters have been received; the majority complaining that the new plans would bring about massive over development – resulting in a reduction of the aesthetic qualities of more individualistic housing units and a negative impact on the natural landscape .
We would suggest that if new development is to take place, it should be reduced in density; thereby allowing more open space between each structure.
Consequently, the Society feels that since this planning proposal has not fulfilled the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused .(4.19, i. ii, and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED TO THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING NOVEMBER 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Lansdown Drill Hall, Lansdown Lane Ref. No. 7-2016-941-F
This is an application to construct a 3/4/5 storey building to contain 9 commercial units and 34 small residential units – most probably for students. The site is an old drill hall tucked away beside Lansdown Lane beyond Lansdown Road and generally surrounded by high density, late nineteenth buildings.
The main structure would be grouped around an irregular, polygonal courtyard which would contain access to an underground car park; the main entrance to the complex would be via a wide opening facing on to Lansdown Lane. The principal facades to the south and west would be of four stories and either side of the main entrance to the courtyard the facades would be of three and five stories respectively. Together with a penthouse storey and flat roof, the basic elevations of the structure are fairly standard for a modern flat block. However the five storey section is partially encased by projecting concrete frames and there is a three storey connecting section on the north side.
Although the Civic Society is satisfied with the built footprint and general proportions of the building and we are also happy with the generally symmetrical fenestration along the more integrated south and west facades; we think that the five storey section could be reduced by one storey and that a fair number of the windows do not need to be over emphasized by projecting concrete frames. Consequently we would recommend a more balanced, overall design for the principal facades with generally far less concrete framing in the modernist style
We have therefore concluded that because this application does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. 4.19, i, ii, and iii)
5 Ferncroft Road Ref. No 7-2016-3094-E
This is an application for the construction of four dwelling houses in the form of two pairs of semi-detached properties to be built on the site of a bungalow within a mid twentieth century residential neighbourhood between Kinson and Bear Cross. The houses would be contained in two structures, each built in the form of an interwar, suburban Arts and Crafts style residence. Features would include pitched roofs, gables, double and triple windows and French windows and the main entrance on the ground floor.
Although the general design is quite competent, the Civic Society has noted that there is considerable opposition (nine letters from local residents ) to the generally high density of the building which would be constructed within a residential area containing many bungalows and reasonably spacious gardens. There were also fears that increased motor use would worsen existing traffic problems cause by the adjacent day centre and Masonic Hall.
In view of the fears expressed above, we feel that although the general appearance of the proposed buildings would be reasonably harmonious in respect to the existing street scene, further discussion is necessary in respect to the wider community implications of this development.
Consequently the Society feels that since this application falls somewhat short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.(4.19, i, ii, and iii)
17 Howeth Road Ref. No. 7-2016-4587-B
This is an application to build a one storey small bungalow within the rear garden area of an existing house. The fenestration is in the form of French and casement windows and the principal facade is of no particular artistic significance.
The Society note that here is yet another example of an attempt to develop small portions of backland in a most unsatisfactory, over intensive manner. In this case the proposed structure in taking up nearly 60% of the site, is far too large – leaving virtually no room for a garden and barely enough space to park a car. We think that such developments are totally incompatible with the spatial balance of the neighbourhood and should be resisted where ever they occur.
Consequently, we have concluded that since the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have not been followed, this application should be refused. (4.19, i, ii, and iii )
938-946 Ringwood Road Ref. No. 7-2016-187-N
This is an application to construct a three storey block of 15 flats on a triangular site – at present in use as a garage – between Ringwood Road and High Howe Lane at Northbourne.
Although there are gradient variations across the site the new structure would respect the low rise adjacent urban surroundings and would be designed with an Art Nouveau historical ambience with variations in the overall pitch of the roof. There would be considerable variations of shape including a polygonal tower structure at the apex of the west and east facades – the latter being canted with a further two storey projection. The east facade itself would encompass two large gables and a penthouse and across most of the elevations the fenestration would consist of double sets of vertical windows with upper divisions.
Generally speaking the Society is generally happy with the overall design; however we feel that the tower structure could be somewhat reduced and the penthouse story should either be removed or made less prominent.
We have therefore concluded that since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
59-61 Saint Albans Avenue Ref. No. 7-2015-4571-S
This is an application to construct a 2/3 storey block of 17 flats on the double site of a twentieth century care home.
The building would be designed in early twentieth century, Georgian, classical revival style; the built foot print would be in the form of a large rectangle and the symmetrical principal facade would encompass a central and corner projections – the latter being attached to two storied bay windows. The projections would merge into gables which would be incorporated into a prominent pitched roof. The rear elevation would be somewhat more asymmetrically designed with two projections. Windows would be generally of four lights with French windows on the ground floor.
Although the Society finds the design itself generally quite acceptable, it would appear rather dominant in comparison with the smaller scale of the individual family houses of the adjacent townscape.
Moreover, considerable fears that the new building could change the existing character of the street have been expressed in a fair number of letters from local residents. It has been suggested that the existing sense of community in Saint Alban’s Avenue might be eroded – especial by reason of the need to provide for ever more traffic and car parking.
We would suggest that the impact of the new building could be reduced if the main facade could be broken up into two complementary stylistic elements.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application does not fully comply with all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
38 Southbourne Grove Ref. No. 7-2016-2695-D
This is an application to construct a small house within the rear area of a substantial commercial property. It would be designed in a generally traditional, rectangular form with regular vertical fenestration.
The Society feels that the significance of this application is not so much the appearance of what might be built but the attempt to fill up open space that was originally created to be an essential element of the adjacent building. We think the site is far too small to take a new property and even if similar intrusions do exist nearby behind other properties in Southbourne Grove, the Society strongly thinks that for the sake of the future well being of the neighbourhood, this practice should not be encouraged.
Accordingly, because this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
181 Holdenhurst Road Ref. No. 7-2016-12111-C
This is an application to construct a small house in the corner of the rear garden of a larger existing property on the corner of Holdenhurst Road and Portchester Place.
The new building would be a restrained , two bay structure of two stories with roof dormers. Fenestration would be casement with French windows on the ground floor with the main entrance on the side elevation.
Again the Society observes that here is another example of an attempt to construct something on a site that was never intended to take a building. We would suggest that the Planning Department should evolve a precise policy in order to prevent this visually and socially degrading practice from spreading within the historic, residential neighbourhoods of the town.
Consequently, the Society recommends that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
1-5 The Green, Branksome Hill Road Ref. No. 7-2016-2557-G
This is an application to build five dwellings and two four story blocks of 20 flats at the junction of Branksome Hill Road and Glenferness Avenue on the site of five post war family houses which would be demolished.
The built foot print of each block is not completely rectangle but consists of a long narrow, irregular shape made up of three interlocking smaller rectangles connected to a larger rectangular section with a prominent curved corner to one side.
The principal facades of each block would exhibit the usual characteristics of many other recently blocks of flats in the conurbation. That is to say each floor would have double or triple groups of French windows behind prominent horizontal strip, glass balconies. In the rear elevations of each block there would be some variation; name large sections of blank wall containing smaller sequences of fenestration.
The Society is of the opinion that in spite of the unconventional basic shape of the two blocks, they demonstrate minimal imagination and would create a most negative aesthetic ambience in what is predominantly a low rise, well established , residential neighbourhood. Furthermore we are strongly against the presumption that the demolition of five existing family houses to create these new blocks would be an improvement. On the contrary the Society think that the unique quality of the existing townscape is made up of all the houses in this neighbourhood, irrespective of architectural value.
Indeed these sentiments are overwhelmingly reflected in the 37 letters sent in by local resident about this development. The main argument is that on aesthetic as well as social grounds it would be folly to demolish quite recently built, family houses for which there is a continuing demand – in order to replace them with totally inappropriate high rise flats. Further – quite apart from fears concerning the increase in traffic – it was also considered likely that the existing balance of low rise townscape and mature landscape of the area would be seriously compromised by the upstart glass boxes; in particular the perspective view of the neighbourhood as seen from Glenferness Avenue as the road descends to Branksome Wood Road. Finally fears were expressed that the protection of the Talbot Woods Conservation Area would be seriously compromised.
Therefore the Society has concluded that since this application has not fulfilled in any way the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
140-142 Holdenhurst Road Ref. No. 7-2012-4052-AA
This is an application to convert the existing bar and restaurant situated on a triangular site between Holdenhurst and Northcote Roads into 27 student residential units. The present building is a competent example of the Italianate classical style and was widely in vogue when this structure was built in the late Nineteenth Century. The premises subsequently became a very well known hostelry known as the South Western Bars.
The intention is to add a further storey in the form of a pitched roof with dormers above the present structure but with little other external alterations.
The Society feel that although what is proposed might be generally visually acceptable, the finished result could appear somewhat top heavy for the original well balanced facades below. Also in view of the high number of purpose built student accommodation blocks that are shortly to be built between the station and the Lansdown, we think that further consideration should be given to try and keep such a well known centre of refreshment functioning well into the Twenty First Century.
The Society has therefore concluded that because this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
241 Charminster Road Ref. No. 7-2016-23358-D
This an application to construct a small one/three storey block of seven flats on Charminster Hill, below the Alma Road/Richmond Park Road Crossroads. The development would consist of a rectangular block on a foot print not so different in size from that of the existing interwar family house.
The mass and scale would also be similar and would include a prominent hipped roof and a small one story extension n to the rear. The principal facade would be in the form of an early twentieth century suburban villa with two, two storey bay windows – ending in gables
The Society generally is satisfied with the new design; however we would suggest that for the sake of a better balance, a window be placed above the central entrance on the principal facade and that the basic dimensions of the property be made somewhat smaller to avoid excessive encroachment by the new block on adjacent site boundaries.
However we feel overall that since this application has generally satisfied a reasonable proportion of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
56 Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2016-2265-E
This is an application to construct a three/four storey block of 32 flats on the site of a much smaller, nineteenth century property
The new design would be in the form of a large half timbered, mansion block; a built form that was very popular in expanding fashionable resorts at the end of the nineteenth century. The main feature of the principal facade would be two prominent half-timbered projections merging into gables around which would be grouped a symmetrical arrangement of large vertical casement windows.
Although by reason of mass, size and style, this property is very different from that which it would replace, the Society think that by reason of the large volume of adjacent structures, it would be spatially harmonious with the existing townscape. However we also note that in other parts of central Bournemouth where new flats are being built, almost identical historisist designs are being put forward. In effect these blocks are in reality modern blocks of flats, cleverly disguised in antique dress. The Society therefore suggests to the Planning Department that where circumstance dictate a new building in an historical style, a much greater variety of older design forms should be considered. To conclude: since this application generally satisfies the majority of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan. we suggest it be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
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 )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING SEPTEMBER AND PART OCTOBER 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
45a – 47a Branksome Wood Road Ref. No. 7-2016-8340-M
This is an application to construct a modern, three storey block of 14 flats on the site of two existing houses. The shape of the proposed structure would be in the form of a large rectangle of an angular appearance, stretching across both sites. On the principal elevation there would be two projections, symmetrically positioned and encased in distinctive concrete frames. The majority of the fenestration would be in the form of large, rectangular windows faced by concrete and glass balconies. The top floor would consist of an arrangement of French windows, smaller windows and conventional doors opening on to `a common balcony with a flat roof above.
The Civic Society considers the general design of the proposal to be very unimaginative, even banal and totally inappropriate to be placed amongst structures of more traditional design within a mature, residential neighbourhood. Indeed we think the poor co-ordination of the appearance of the third floor could bear a passing resemblance to the design of some social housing from the 1950’s.
Not surprisingly, 16 letters expressing alarm over the proposed development have been received. There is much criticism over the proposed design; that it would not blend in with existing property and that the general character of this part of Branksome Wood Road would be destroyed with the consequent loss of too many family houses. There were also fears that the new built footprint would leave too narrow a gap with the eastern boundary of the site and that there was insufficient provision for the extra parking spaces that would be needed.
Under the circumstances the Society feels that since this planning proposal in no way complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
1 Lorne Park Road Ref. No. 7-2016-2035-H
This is an application to build a four storey block of 20 flats in the style of a late nineteenth century mansion block of apartments.
The proposal would be in the form of a massive rectangular block and the principal elevation to the south would be faced by three distinctive projections that would support three prominent gables that in turn would be incorporated into an elaborate, pitched and spiky roof. Vertical windows, including gable windows fenestration and dormers, would be regularly positioned across the facade.
According to the Design Statement, the original intention for the site was to add an additional storey to the existing building to create a smaller block of flats. However modern residential redevelopment at 4,6 and 8, Lorne Park Road had encouraged the developers to put in for a larger structure extending the existing built footprint to the side of the site. It was felt that the new block would retain a sufficient amount of the character of the original building to fit comfortably into the existing street scene.
The Society does not agree with this deduction. We feel that although the proposed development would be constructed in the historicist style of the late Nineteenth Century; the scale of the structure and the stylistic characteristics create a resemblance nearer to the contemporary mansion blocks of Hammersmith or Fulham than to the more domestic scale of residential development then going up in Bournemouth.
We therefore suggest that the existing building on the site , along with other adjacent properties of the same date, should be preserved as a complete piece of nineteenth century architecture for the benefit of the town.
Consequently the Society has decided that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Former Belvedere Hotel, 14 Bath Road Ref. No. 7-2016-5940-S
This is an application to build an eleven storey tower hotel and a seven storey block of 44 flats on the site of the former Belvedere Hotel – a much extended and altered Arts and Crafts building, built in the early Twentieth Century and boarded by Parsonage Road, Bath Road and St. Peter’s Road. The hotel premises are at present unoccupied and have been subject to vandalism.
In visual terms this is very important site, being the meeting point of relatively high rise modernist architecture on one side of Bath Road; interwar eclectic styles on Bath Hill and beyond and a mixture of generally late nineteenth/ twentieth century hotels and residential structures on the East Cliff.
In these circumstances the Society is of the opinion that a strong emphasis on any particular style for the new development would not be appropriate and has concluded that the two contrasting architectural shapes of a rectangle and a broad tower designed in a restrained and academic, modern style would be the best visual solution for the site.
The most distinctive elements of the two principal facades of the tower hotel – which face Bath and St. Peter’s Roads – are the narrow, grid like, concrete divisions which encompass the deep vertical windows on two stories at once . This form of cladding created a foreshortened height perspective on the towers and so prevents the full number of hotel floors from creating a sense of excessive un proportional height. There are also subtle differences in the basic window shape between the Bath Road and St. Peter’s Road elevations and in the prominent penthouse story, the window encasements on the Bath Road side are seamlessly transformed into a spacious loggia.
The lower, seven storey, apartment block is in the form of a large rectangle with a smaller, four storey extension to the north. With the exception of the ground floor, which by means of its several entrances, is devoted to public space, the upper floor facades – including the penthouse storey are made up of individual apartment patios divided from each other and all sharing a prominent, white communal balcony on each floor.
Generally speaking, the Civic Society welcomes and approves of the planning proposals outlined in this Planning Application. In particular the hotel tower balances the British Telecom Tower on the other side of St. Peter’s Road and yet is both sufficiently distant from the lower part of Bath Hill not to appear domineering and yet still provides a good end point for the perspective up from the Pier Approach.
We welcome the creation of the new public realm and accessible space around the hotel and the pine tree lined pathway that continues the existing historic planting along Bath Road.
The flat block, we feel, has been given the right dimensions for the site – and certainly in this respect the general proportions of the townscape – especially around Bath Hill Court – will be considerably enhanced.
However the Society does think that a relatively minor aesthetic design change would greatly enhance the general appearance of this portion of the development and hope it can be considered. We are of the opinion that irrespective of the appropriate balance of horizontal to vertical architectural shapes to be observed in the general spatial relationship between the proposed hotel tower and apartment block; a more subtle balance of horizontal to vertical forms on a smaller scale could also be achieved by vertical decorative/architectural forms to be placed on the white, horizontal sweep of the balconies between the main, white, vertical divisions that divide every apartment on all the upper floors. Moreover we are pleased to point out that several facades of new developments such as the new Hilton Hotel and the new flats built on the site if the Bournemouth International Hotel in Priory Road have been improved in this fashion by consultation with members of the Bournemouth Civic Society. We are therefore certain that such relatively modest design alterations would enhance this very well meant project.
In conclusion therefore, the Society whilst welcoming and supporting the overall design concept, has concluded that since this application has not yet fully complied with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
54 Elgin Road Ref. No. 7-2016-3871-G
This is an application for the construction of a small detached family house built in debased, suburban, interwar, Arts and Crafts style. It would be build in the spacious grounds of a large inter war residence with grounds that stretch from Elgin Road to Glenferness Avenue.
The main facade which would face Glenferness Avenue, would have a selection of single, double and quadruple windows and a conventional pitched roof. The most unique feature of the new building would be the very large sloping roof to the rear which would descend directly to the ground floor; there would be French windows on one of the side elevations.
The Society observe that the most unique aspect of this proposal is not the conventional interwar design but the presumption that such a small house that would be more at home in a less pretentious residential neighbourhood, might be constructed in one of the most prestigious suburbs of the town.
We note in the 20 letters of objection to this scheme that have been received by local residents that fears have been expressed that such “fill in” housing speculations could in time seriously damage the distinctive spacious character of Talbot Woods where the majority of sites are occupied by large houses surrounded by large – sometimes semi-wild gardens. There was particular apprehension that such speculative properties would encroach well beyond the deeply set back building line with the subsequent loss of enclosing landscape cover. Other letters expressed the view that such a development opposed the environmental policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, not to mention the safeguards put in place by the Talbot Woods Conservation Area.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application does not fulfil the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (4.19, i, ii, and iii )
47-49 Withermoor Road Ref. No. 7-2016-15202-G
This is an application to build 6 dwelling houses – in a block of four and in a block of two as an infill development on garden/back land via an entrance to the grounds of an existing house in Withermoor Road.
The main facades of each house would consist of high vertical French windows of the ground floor and pronounced horizontal windows in the Interwar Moderne style on the first floor.
The Society considers that the general proportions of the facade designs to be poor. The excessive height of the two floors in relation to the inadequate size of the pitched roof is very noticeable. In addition, the windows of the first floor are very poorly integrated into the overall design.
Finally and most important, we consider that the number of terraced houses proposed – six – is far too large for this infill site. We feel four might be adequate but none would be better to prevent the general spread of over development in already fully developed urban areas
The Society is of the opinion that since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
1 Burnaby Road Ref. No. 7-2016-11289-I
This is an application to construct a four storey block of 14 flats in classical International Moderne style on the site of an older building originally built for private residential use and then until recently as an hotel. If built the main facade would take the form of a symmetrical composition with rectangular windows – with divisions – an indented penthouse and a flat roof. But while the rear facade would be blank, one side elevation would offer an oeil de beauf window the other would be of a somewhat asymmetrical design.
For the Society, the main point at issue is whether or Bournemouth Council wish to continue building modern blocks of flats along Studland Road, or to preserve the remaining stretches of late nineteenth century townscape there as part of the urban heritage of the town. We appreciate that both forms of development are possible but perhaps a specific characterisation policy on this conundrum is now appropriate.
Under the circumstances, since we feel that the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have not been fully accepted by this planning application, we suggest that it be deferred for further consultation. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
17 West Hill Road Ref. No. 7-2016-1706-R
This is an application to build a four/five storey block of 27 flats for both residential and holiday use on the site of an old hotel – the Chequers.
Although this site is just outside the designated West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation Area, the nearness of the site to virtually complete nineteenth century residential/holiday neighbourhoods, has influenced the developer to submit a project designed in historicist style.
The principal facade has three main projections ending in a belvedere tower, a conical tower and a gable. Apart from these elements, the main facade consists partly of symmetrically positioned windows and partly of asymmetrical architectural elements including traditional balconies and rectangular windows. Above everything is an elaborate pitched roof.
The Society feels that although the general style is generally appropriate for the neighbourhood, the somewhat over elaborate Victorian design could be improved by the better integration of particular architectural elements. In particular we think that the rather excessively induced visual irregularities in respect to balconies and their position could be tidied up. The general mass in relation to the built footprint could also, perhaps, be reduced.
We have therefore concluded that because this application does not completely follow the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
2 West Hill Road Ref. No. 7-2016-557-Q
This is an application to demolish an early twentieth century house and erect a cottage style property in Arts and Crafts style to contain 8 flats. The site is within the Poole Hill and West Cliff Conservation Area. We think that in contrast to the unsatisfactory part vernacular-part modern design synthesis of the previous proposal, the new proposal is more appropriate to the predominantly late nineteenth century urban character of West Hill Road.
The proposed building would have a traditional pitched roof (with dormers) and a large projecting bay window and gable . We are also certain that the general decorative design of the facades will produce a very suitable addition to the historic architectural landscape of West Hill Road.
Consequently the Society fully recommends this project and since it properly fulfils the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be allowed. (4.4, i, ii, and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING AUGUST 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Roland House, Hinton Road Ref. No. 7-2016-22646-G
This is an application to heighten by two floor levels a five storey office block, built in a debased classical style during the mid Twentieth Century. The existing building has already been converted into flats.
The proposed extension would be designed in the modernist style and would consist essentially of a large glass box over two stories with minimum wall divisions on the principal elevation towards Hinton Road; a much higher proportion of wall to the rear elevation and glass balconies on the side elevations – some of which would be triangular on account of the irregular shape of the main building. Moreover, there would be a pronounced overhang above the original side elevations by the new glass side elevations above and a flat roof above.
The Society has concluded that the new extension – far from providing what the Design Statement calls an “aesthetically pleasing solution” will instead create an over blown, top heavy and architecturally inept building that will in no way enhance the visual appearance of Hinton Road. If any extension is required for Roland House; according to the natural laws of architectural proportion, it should taper away towards a reduced void above and be composed of building materials that can be more closely related to the existing structure below.
Therefore we think that since this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19. i, ii, and iii )
Woodland Point, Wotton Mount Ref. No. 7-2016-8627-J
This is an application to build a seven storey block of 36 flats on the site of an existing building in the general vicinity of a relatively complete, late nineteenth century, mainly retail neighbourhood near Old Christchurch Road and also within a relatively short distance of several residential high rise blocks in Bath Road. The proposed site which connects with both the historic and modernist sectors of the neighbourhood, is quite extensive and secluded by mature landscaping.
In the proposed block, the main N.W. and S.E. facades would be composed by a combination of a series of vertical and horizontal windows arranged in a regular formation; much of the rectangular fenestration are surrounded by concrete collars and serviced by small patios with glass balconies. The short N.E. side elevation is overwhelmingly just wall with a central vertical line of small square windows while the corresponding S.W elevation has a double phalanx of triple rectangular glass panels on each floor. The ground floor is devoted to service functions with few openings and a porte cochere and the top story is in the form of a slightly indented penthouse.
Although the proposed building is quite near a fair amount of modern architecture, the Society feel that because its actual position is somewhat nearer the late nineteenth century architecture along Old Christchurch Road, its large bulk and uncompromisingly contemporary style would create a disorientating visual influence within the surrounding area. In addition we think that the structure:
- a) Would destroy the spatial intimacy of Wotton Mount
- b) Would go against the restrictions of Bournemouth Council on high buildings in the vicinity of well integrated, historic urban areas .
- c) Would encourage more demolitions of older structures and an extension of high rise areas by stealth.
Under these circumstances we conclude that because this planning application has not fulfilled the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
8-10 Yelverton Road Ref. No. 7-2016-5535-AP
This is an application to extend upwards by three floors, an existing, three storied, commercial building built as offices for the regional electrical company during the inter-war period in order to create a total of 20 flats.
The existing structure is quite a distinguished example of Art Deco architecture and consists of a pillastered ground floor; above which are two stories of closely positioned vertical sash windows with two slight projections at the two extremities. The main entrance facade at the corner of Yelverton Road and Verelum Place is an accomplished piece of architectural design and there is a further short extension, three windows wide at the opposite end of the building.
The proposal is to add a further line of vertical windows, symmetrically positioned but fewer and not in the same pattern as the original fenestration. The original projections and the far corner by Richmond House would be carried up into the roof to form gable type windows and there would be two stories of smaller dormer windows across a prominent hipped roof.
The Society fully realises that the creativity of the original design would be considerably reduced by the proposed extensions. Although elements from the existing structure are used, they are not utilised in the same aesthetic spirit as the latter – indeed the built forms of the new upper part do not seamlessly integrate visually with what is below.
However even if the skyline silhouette of the existing building does appear to form a satisfactory gradual step upwards of the building heights from the Old Christchurch Road end of Yelverton Road towards Richmond Hill; we feel that viewed in the opposite direction, a heightening of this Art Deco building would enable a more uniform and balanced line of street facades to be achieved along Yelverton Road in the other direction.
The Society thinks that the following question must be posed: what is more important in this particular urban context; a general improvement in the visuality and the economic and social viability of the street or the preservation of the unique features of the building as it now stands? This conundrum must be decided by the Planning Department. If it is considered advisable to make an extension to the present structure then we feel strongly that this change should be carried out with considerable sensibility.
Firstly the Society urges that the extension should be only of two floors and that the fenestration pattern should follow far more closely the proportions of the existing window to wall balance. Secondly the Mansard style roof should not be nearly so prominent and thirdly the gable tops of the two projections should be finished off by distinctive Art Deco sculptural flourishes.
We realise how difficult it is to resolve this application – thus, since it has not fully complied with the townscape policy conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Durley Road Car Park Ref. No. 7-2016-25651
This is an application for the construction of a five to six story block of 44 flats to be built on the site of the present public,Car Park by Bournemouth Council and private developers.
The site of the planning proposal was originally covered by large mid to late nineteenth century family villas set in spacious gardens and similar to adjacent structures now converted into hotels. However as a result of the considerable re-orientation of the road system on the West Cliff, the new flat block would be constructed on an exceptionally large ‘island site’ and completely surrounded by elements of the original urban structure of the area. It has therefore been suggested that in these circumstances, a somewhat larger, somewhat more modern structure might be more appropriate in helping to integrate in a more meaningful way, the adjoining historic townscapes in the West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation Area.
The proposed structure would consist of two blocks, joined at right angles to each other and positioned in the very middle of the site so as to avoid the destruction of the roots of mature trees.
The principal elements of modernist design would be in the form of vertical concrete collars framing windows on several floors as well as French windows with prominent glass balconies – especially on the Wessex Hotel and Hahnemann Road elevations. However more traditional architectural features such as horizontal brick banding between floors and modernized versions of canted bay windows have also been incorporated; especially in the most symmetrical principal elevation of the new block facing Durley Road. The remaining three facades exhibit a more asymmetrical character and include large gables of open modern design; and above is a traditional hipped roof containing two stories of prominent dormer windows in modern form.
The Society has concluded that in contrast to generally poor aesthetic results where traditional and modern architectural forms are mixed together; in this case the result is reasonably satisfactory. There is a proper balance of horizontal and vertical architectural elements and an attempt has also been made to capture a reasonable degree of the visual ambience of late nineteenth century seaside villas albeit on a much larger scale. We feel that the more spatial dimensions of the site will enable the distinctive features of what is proposed to be properly set off to the general advantage of the West Cliff.
We would however suggest a reduction of the impact of the concrete collar that surrounds the stair windows above the main entrance on the Hahnemann Road elevation; a more elegant design for the fenestration in the large gables and the replacement of all the glass balconies by substitutes in the form of more traditional iron railings.
Consequently the Society has decided that because this application has not fully satisfied the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.4, i, ii, and iii )
Saint Stephen’s Road car park Ref. No. 7-2016-7044-H
This is an application to create two six and seven story buildings containing 49 flats and town houses.
The Society feels that the proposed design is a considerable improvement on the last application which was too linear and contained an irrelevant free standing high rise block. It would appear to us that both blocks have evolved into two more integrated built entities with a greater vertical emphasis and a more compact built footprint which allows a much greater proportion of the natural vegetation on the site to be preserved along St. Stephen’s Way, alongside the Fern Bank block of flats and above St. Stephen’s Hall
With regard to the modulated architectural elements of the principal facades of both structures and the wider, related spatiality of the latter to the general contours of the site, the Society thinks that a reasonable level of co-ordination has been achieved.
The principal elevation of the larger block at the corner of St. Stephen’s Road and St. Stephen’s Way, exhibits a convex curve while the smaller block beyond is L shaped. The basic facade construction is a combination of traditional sections of wall and vertical window interspersed by horizontal elements where glass communal balconies front vertical glass panels. The roofline in the larger block has an asymmetrical appearance with different sized lighting, while that of the smaller block is in the form of a large penthouse with vertical windows. The ground floor of both blocks has rectangular and vertical fenestration with the main entrance of the larger block on the lower ground floor.
Although we are generally satisfied with the final result we think that because of the difference in building levels along St. Stephen’s Way, the lesser block should be reduced by one story. We also think that in both blocks, the vertical divisions of each apartment should be made more distinct along the communal balconies.
Therefore under the circumstances, the Society has concluded that since this proposal does not fully satisfy all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
33 Grand Avenue Ref, No. 7-2016-5699-A
This is an application to build a small three story block of six flats on the site of a competently designed late nineteenth century suburban villa. It would be built in a similar style to the original structure – but of more varied materials and without chimneys – and include a canted three story bay window that ends in a gable in one corner of the pro0minent hipped roof. There would also be small dormers just above the principal and rear facades and the side elevations would contain a variety of single, double and triple, vertical windows.
The Society believe that although the replacement design quite closely follows the design of the existing structure, the overall, virtually complete visual character of Grand Avenue would be considerably degraded by the proposed building, which if allowed could herald the beginning of a progressive undermining of the existing aesthetic integrity of the road.
Thirty One letters from local residents have been received by local residents expressing fears that the new block of flats would be detrimental to the existing uniformity of the street scene; that the present attractiveness of Grand Avenue would be diminished and that conversion would certainly be a better alternative to run of the mill, modern flat replacement.
Under the circumstances we have concluded that although what is proposed is a reasonable design, because of the unique character of Grand Avenue, such a change should not be contemplated.
The Society therefore suggests that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
23-23a Bournemouth Arcade Ref. No. 7-2016-6315-AI
This is an application to install a new, more symmetrically balanced shop front in place of the existing, much altered two shop fronts at the Gervis Place entrance to the Gervis Arcade –one of the most important historic sections of central Bournemouth and part of the Central Conservation Area.
The style of the new windows will be similar to the shop replacements that were carried out on the other side of the entrance to the Arcade in 2007 and the Society feel that these works will result in a huge improvement to the general appearance of the older buildings flanking the Arcade.
The new design envisages a new, more central entrance with three display windows either side. Further curved new windows in the same style would be constructed at ground floor level, following the circular shape of one of the Regency style towers that flank the Arcade entrance.
The Society recommends this imaginative piece of restoration without reservation and therefore since this proposal fulfils the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest that it be granted. (4.4, i, ii, and iii )
33-35 Old Christchurch Road: McDonalds Ref. No. 7-2016-1442-BI
This is an application by McDonalds to alter the appearance of the ground floor of a significant Art Deco style commercial building that was constructed during the inter war period and is within the Bournemouth Centre Conservation Area.
The changes would involve the removal of one of the two symmetrically positioned entrances and the complete covering of the original architectural features of the present exterior – including the pilasters – with green aluminium green foil.
The Society observes that in the Design Statement, the alterations proposed are classified as corporate reimaging in order to create a so called modern corporate identity for their burger chain. We can only conclude that we have seen no better example than this plan in which a large commercial organisation is absolutely determined to enforce its uniform and usually extremely unimaginative aesthetic values in circumstances which are nearly always totally inappropriate to the visual context.
The Society is therefore well aware that if this preposterous alteration were allowed it would drive a coach and horses right through the enlightened policy of Bournemouth Council to ensure the preservation – and where necessary the reconstruction – of the original ground floor appearance of historic shop premises . We feel that if these structural changes were carried out, there would be absolutely nothing left to distinguish the ground floor of the existing building from any other McDonalds in any other town throughout Great Britain.
We therefore most strongly urge the Planning Department to reject this irresponsible project; and so since the planning application in no way conforms to the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest that it is not granted. ( 4.4, i. ii, and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JULY 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Punshon Memorial Church Site, Exeter Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-643-U
This is an application to construct in neo modernist style, a 6/7 story block of 97 flats (with retail outlets on the ground floor facing Exeter Road ) on the site of the recently demolished Punshon Memorial Church.
Irrespective of the quality of the proposed design, the Civic Society is well aware that the exigencies of the war time destruction of the original Punshon Church on Richmond Hill was probably the main reason for the construction of the Punshon Memorial Church on a site – originally part of the grounds of the Royal Exeter Hotel , which under normal circumstances, would never have been considered suitable for a major building.
Moreover we are of the opinion that only the unprecedented cultural circumstances of the post war era would have allowed such a structure to be constructed within such an historic part of central Bournemouth, in such an uninhibited and radical, modernist style. It is therefore not so surprising that the present redevelopers, in attempting to follow the built foot print and visual imprint of the demolished church, should wish to perpetuate the same general modernist forms.
The present application – the third for the site – consists of a large rectangular structure of 6/7 stories in which the principal north and south elevations consist of many glass panels – interleaved with insubstantial vertical supports and with the glass areas divided into insignificant, vertical shapes. Along the concrete divisions of each floor run continuous glass balconies; there is an indented penthouse just below the flat roof and part of the retail ground floor along Exeter Road is faced with a selection of (artificial ?) stone and brick. The shorter east/west elevations consist of a series of part/asymmetrically positioned, vertical windows of varying sizes and a fair proportion of unsymmetrically intruded stone and brick cladding. The upper two floors are stepped down at the western corner near the Royal Exeter Hotel.
The Society is of the opinion that just as with the previous two applications, the form and mass of this latest application are completely out of order for this important location. Far from being complimentary to the existing important historical buildings (the Royal Exeter Hotel and the Punshon Memorial Hotel), as claimed in the design statement, we are certain that if built, the structure would hugely intrude upon these adjacent hotels and ruin the entire visual context of this important part of central Bournemouth – including the future setting of the International Hotel planned for the opposite side of Exeter Road. In effect we think that this significant seafront area would be completely dominated by a most boring and banal structure no different from many recently built blocks of flats all instantly forgettable.
The Society therefore suggests that a less grandiloquent design which respects and combines some of the older architectural forms of the adjacent hotels would be a far better adornment for this exceptional site.
Consequently, we have concluded that since this application does not appear to respect all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected. (4.19, i, ii, and iii)
28 Tregonwell Road : Ref. No. 7-2016-1367-G
This application is for the conversion and extension of an existing mid to late nineteenth century family villa, at present used as six flats, into a block of ten self-contained flats. A separate garage-coach house would also become a flat. The site lies in the West Cliff Conservation Area on back land and would be reached by a drive beside a neighbouring house near the junction of Tregonwell and Cranborne Roads. The existing building, which has been somewhat altered over the years, has some pretentions to nineteenth century, Romantic gentility including a striking oriel window on the west elevation.
The general area and square shape of the building would be expanded by one third and the various unsympathetic alterations, especially on the west side by means of pitched roofed extensions within the same general genre of the existing building – together with a number of more artistically designed and positioned, casement windows and further French windows. However we think that the original, Romantic proportions of the building would be changed for ever.
For what it sets out to achieve, the new shape is not that ugly – but the Society feels that the resulting structure will no longer be able to make an original contribution to the appearance of one of the least altered, earliest nineteenth century vistas in Central Bournemouth.
The Planning Department must consider seriously whether to allow the further conversion of older buildings which in effect are applications for the creation of new structures in historical disguise. The Victorian Society has already commented on the negative effects of this tendency on the West Cliff.
In effect we think what has to be decided is whether some properties can be visually and economically improved by considerable alterations or whether their architectural qualities make it essential that they be archeologically restored as near as possible to how they were originally built.
Under the circumstances the Society has concluded that since the application does not fully conform to the Conservation Area Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and a much improved and smaller scheme. (4.4,i, ii, and iii)
11-17 Wycliffe Road : Ref. No. 7-2016-26294
This is an application to build three, one and a half story, small houses, parallel to each other in the rear garden of an existing, late nineteenth century, semi-detached property.
Each house will be in the form of an old workman’s cottage with a pitched roof, a dormer, casement windows – but with French windows at the rear.
Although the Society feels that the general appearance of the new buildings is appropriate to the location, we think that three properties would be an over development of this restricted site. Indeed we ask the Planning Department to take steps to prevent the recent trend by developers to try and build houses at the rear of small, already developed sites, that were never designed for further conversion. We therefore suggest that if development is to take place, it should be limited to two houses.
Consequently we conclude that because the full conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have not been met, this application should be rejected. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Medina Lodge, Dunbar Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-4342-X
This is an application to build a two/three story block of 9 flats within the Meyrick Park Conservation Area, on the site of a large, and not very inspiring, family house that was built during the 1960’s, in the then fashionable, modernist style.
The built footprint of the proposed building is about one third larger than the average size of those of adjacent properties and the principal elevation displaying a hipped roof, symmetrical casement windows and half timbering, is in the style of a prosperous Tudor yeoman’s residence from the Sixteenth Century. The rear elevation is, however, quite modern with extensive, ground floor French windows and first floor Juliet balconies.
Generally speaking, in view of the fact that the existing property was the only inharmonious structure in an area of fine, turn of the century, Arts and Crafts, family houses, the Society is quite satisfied by the general design of this proposal. However although the overall asymmetrical appearance of the side elevations are also quite acceptable, they are excessively long – given the general shape of neighbouring houses; and if built a reduction of light and privacy could result.
We therefore suggest that a good solution would be the reduction in the number of proposed flats to six which would thereby improve the overall exterior appearance of the new structure.
Consequently we recommend that since this application does not fulfil all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
411 Wimborne Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-10214-D
This is an application to build/reconstruct an existing retail unit and 15 flats in a new block extending back into the long rear yard of the property.
An extra short storey would be added to the shop facade and the flats would be contained in a large rectangular block containing modernist style casement windows and resembling the less exclusive, stuccoed, smaller blocks of flats that were built in Bournemouth during the inter-war period.
The Society strongly feel that the mass, form and appearance of the flat block is totally inappropriate for the relatively lower density, commercial townscape of Wimborne Road. Moreover, as far as we can see, there has been no attempt to create an integrated design; and this can be observed in the heightening of the shop facade, where the proportions of the extra story do not in any way `synthesise in a pleasing manner with the appearance of the floors below.
We would therefore suggest to the Planning Department that such applications be strongly resisted in order to prevent further attempts by developers to erode the basic visual elements and social cohesion of the older established commercial areas of Bournemouth.
Consequently after proper consideration, the Society has decided that since this application in no way abides by the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (4.19,i, ii and iii )
32 Winston Road: Ref. No 7-2016-3866-A
This is an application to build a small two story house in suburban, inter war style complete with bay window and pitched roof. It would be built within the lower part of the rear garden of an existing property that stands at the junction of Winston and Bankside Roads.
The Society thinks that since over 50% if the site would be built upon, there is hardly sufficient land for a house – even a small one – to be built at this location.
Several letters of complaint fearing that the quiet character of the neighbourhood would be degraded by the construction of the new property, have been received. Again may we draw the attention of the Planning Department to the present environmental danger of allowing too many small sites in older residential areas to be over developed by excessive numbers of extra properties. A working and viable policy on this important matter could surely be worked out and applied.
The Society has therefore decided that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
80 Holdenhurst Road: Ref. No. 8189-AR
This is an application to construct a two story entrance and atrium (with staircase) – together with a connecting gallery on the adjacent long elevation – alongside the present main entrance on the side elevation of a large, 10 story office block, built during the 1970’s.
The new extension would be simply designed in the modernist style and consist of large glass panels held together by steel and concrete vertical stanchions and capped by an enveloping concrete collar.
Although this extension is in the modernist style and adjacent to a range of late nineteenth century traditional buildings, the Society is pleased to observe that in strictly architectural/proportional terms, the new proposal will considerably dilute the present aesthetic abruptness of the ten story office block in relation to the lesser mass and scale of the adjacent buildings in Holdenhurst Road. Indeed we are aware that the practice of disguising the insensitive impact of high rises at ground level by means of smaller structures more in tune with the restricted proportions of the surrounding townscape, has become standard practice in a number of large urban locations over recent years.
The Society therefore feels that because this application observes the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
6 Merlewood Close: Ref. No. 7-2016-526-CB
This is an application to construct a 4 storey block of 7 flats on the site of a modern detached family house built during the post war era. The proposed structure would be in the form of a large rectangular block, not so very different in mass and form from the two previous applications for this site.
The principal elevation is made up of three inter-related rectangular shapes; two such projections, delimited by prominent concrete collars, are connected to the larger main facade and – glass panels with glass balconies are inserted across the entire elevation. The first three stories of the rear elevation is a combination of a central section with traditional wall and window form – with glass panels either side and a top story with rectangular fenestration. There is also weatherboarding at this level here, as also in vertical sections on the principal elevation.
Irrespective of the Report for a previous planning appeal on this site which states that it is architecturally appropriate for a modernist building to be constructed on the site in question, the Society completely rejects the visual reasoning of the inspector.
On the contrary, we strongly feel that it would be aesthetically very detrimental for a block of flats, generally similar in mass and form to the adjacent blocks of flats in Saint Valerie Road to be built at the far end of Merlewood Close. This site is an essential part of the low rise development of the former Wychwood School Estate that was laid out in the 1970’s and is part of the Meyrick Park Conservation Area. In no way can this location be considered merely as an extension of the high rise townscape beyond the dense vegetation that seperates Merlewood Close from Saint Valerie Road.
In addition, the Society also believes that the site in question, far from being of no architectural significance, is, in its present modern-vernacular form , the perfect visual foil for the modest, semi-detached houses that have been built on the east side of Merlewood Close. Therefore we think the excessive scale and disruptive style of the proposed building would have a most negative effect both on the appearance and the present, family character of the area. And these considerations, including fears about parking and loss of privacy have been echoed by 16 letters of objection by local home owners.
Therefore in recommending the unsuitability of this project, we strongly urge the Planning Department not to be too influenced by the distant attitudes of civil servants but be more moved by the local people that live closely by the site in question.
Under the circumstances, since this application does not fulfil the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society recommends it be refused. ( 4.4, i, ii, and iii )
22a Ridley Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-9439-A
This is an application to build a small pair of one and a half storey, semi-detached houses in the rear garden of an existing property that would be reached via the existing drive of 22 Ridley Road.
The building would be constructed in the restrained style of a nineteenth century workman’s cottage and the principal facade would encompass both entrances, modern double sash windows either side and double dormers above in a pitched roof.
Generally speaking for environmental and social reasons, the Society is against the present trend whereby some developers attempt to construct minute properties at the rear of existing developed sites. In this case, we are given to understand that a local builder wishes to use the long existence of a now defunct commercial structure on the site of the proposed houses as a precedent for the new development.
In spite of this proviso, the Society still think the site could be too small to take a fresh property and there is also local opposition to the general mass and form of the new structure.
Consequently we feel that under the circumstances, since this application does not fully satisfy the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Aspen Licet Holdings, Exeter Road, Units UG6 and LGB: Ref. No. 7-2016-2052-BM
This is an application to allow flexible planning permission to be granted for both a restaurant and a casino in two of the retail units in the new multiplex leisure centre between the Lower Pleasure Gardens and Exeter Road.
The units would be situated in that part of the building that abuts Exeter Road and Exeter Crescent and so far the Society can see, would not involved any outside changes to the structure.
We are of the opinion that the existing number of casinos in the town centre is quite sufficient for the requirements of visitors who are in need of such facilities. In addition the Society also thinks that in order that Bournemouth may continue to promote itself as a first class, family holiday resort, permission should be granted for the operation of a restaurant only.
Consequently we have decided that since this application does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
9 Yelverton Road : Ref. No. 7-2016-2053-AW
This is an application to construct a pair of black lacquered, decorative steel gates across the original main entrance of the New Royal Theatre in Albert Road, built in 1882 and currently used as a casino.
The Society observes that in contrast to the elaborate, neo-baroque design of the upper part of the principal theatre facade, the present appearance of the ground floor of this facade is visually very depressing and considerably neglected. We therefore feel that the new gate will improve considerably the visual impact of the old theatre building and also prevent the further degradation of the old main entrance which is currently utilised by rough sleepers and for other more improper purposes. We also think that in view of the extensive renovation and rebuilding of the opposite side of Albert Road, the new gates can only further enhance the general character of this central Conservation Area. We understand that the old main entrance will continue to be used as an emergency fire exit.
Therefore the Society is of the opinion that since this application fully abides by the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan,= it should be granted. (4.4, i, ii, and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JUNE 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO THE BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
8-10 Maderia Road.
This is an application to build a four to six storey student accommodation block for Bournemouth Arts University on the site of two large late nineteenth century villas in Madeira Road opposite the newly constructed Bournemouth Police Headquarters.
The main structure which would take up a considerable portion of the front part of the site facing Madeira Road consists of a large rectangular block of six storey with two projecting wings of between three and five storeys along Stafford and Trinity Roads forming a small interior courtyard to the rear. The main entrance would be in Madeira Road and the entire building would be capped by a recessed penthouse story above which would be a distinctive entablature in classical style enclosing a flat roof.
In the principal elevation along Madeira Road, the six storey facade would consist of a central section made up of a symmetrical series of vertical windows and flanked by two extremities of more articulated and asymmetrical, vertical fenestration encompassed by distinctive concrete collars. On the courtyard facade, the upper five floors would contain regular bands of smaller rectangular windows while the lower two storeys would consist of considerably larger rectangular lighting strips and include a prominent concrete portal enclosing glass doors. The shorter and lower side wings are designed in a combination of architectural forms taken from the central portion of the Madeira Road frontage and the courtyard facade of the main block.
The Society is of the opinion that in comparison with the previous application for this site, the general design quality of the proposed building – but quite irrespective of urban context – has been improved. However we strongly feel that even with the stepping down of the height of the side wings to accommodate the generally lower height and lesser dimensions of the adjacent, older, more traditional townscape between Madeira, Stafford, Old Christchurch, Lorne Park and Trinity Roads, what is now proposed is still far too out of scale in relation to the properties on the south side of Madeira Road.
In the Design Statement, it is suggested that the new student accommodation blocks, taken in respect to the adjacent recently built student accommodation blocks and the police administration buildings on the north side of Madeira Road, is sufficient justification of the proposed design of the new Arts University Accommodation Block. On the contrary, the Society thinks that this assertion simply does not fully appreciate how completely Madeira Road now separates the new modern townscape on the northern side of this road from the generally much less dominant, more organic architecture on the southern side of the road. Furthermore the predominant use of red brick on this side of the road would be rudely interrupted by the planned use of harsher blue and white bricks to construct the new building.
It is quite obvious to us that if the proposed application is allowed, an unfortunate precedent could be established that would result in the eventual replacement of the older buildings with modern unsuitable structures all the way from Stafford Road to Leyton Mount.
Therefore if it is felt that small sized, flatted accommodation of one sort or another is considered appropriate to this site, the Society suggests that an amended design which breaks up the monolithic shape of the present proposals should be substituted. Each element should be at least two stories lower and be surmounted by a more traditionally shaped roof.
Consequently we have concluded that since the present application does not properly fulfil the townscape policy conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
46 Southbourne Coast Road Ref. No.2179-U
This is an application to build two detached, chalet bungalow style houses, on the site of a small, rambling inter war bungalow of no architectural significance. The total built footprint of both properties would take up considerably more space than the existing bungalow ; both new built footprints being rectangular and parallel to each other. The quasi-traditionalist design of each structure would enclose neo-modernist features – thus exceptionally prominent gables enclosing very large windows and encased with concrete collars would be seen on the Southbourne Coast Road facades. There would be two dormer windows on each of the rear elevations and on the ground floors, garage entrances ( with roller doors ) together with house entrances, partially enclosed by concrete frames.
The Society is of the opinion that what is proposed is a generally unimaginative and too high a density a design that in form and style is totally inappropriate for the surrounding, more spacious bungalow neighbourhood.
Such views are expressed in a fair number of letters of objection written by local residents. There is the general fear that if permission is granted for this development, precedents may be given for a considerable change for the area from a neighbourhood of well established family residences to a place of second holiday homes with little communal permanence and little Sense of Place.
We would suggest that if two households are considered feasible on this site, they should be combined in a single structure designed in the visual form of a medium sized, interwar, chalet bungalow.
Consequently, the Society feels that since this application does not completely fulfil all the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. (4.19, i, ii and iii )
51-53 Shelbourne Road Ref. No. 7-2016-25677-B
This is an application to build three, two-storey dwelling houses in the rear gardens of two semi-detached houses which border Shelbourne Road. The new built footprint stretches across the entire width of 51/53 Shelbourne Road – but the new properties will be only two thirds the area of these late nineteenth century properties at the front of the site.
The proposed three houses would be quite simply designed in the form of a nineteenth century artisan terrace – with three entrances asymmetrically positioned on the ground floor of the front elevation together with casement windows positioned across the remained of the facade. The rear elevation would contain three casement windows above and three French windows below.
The Society thinks that the restrained appearance of the three houses could be appropriate for the rear positioning of residential development behind the modest late nineteenth small villas of this area of Springbourne.
However the Society is mindful of the ever present threat of town-cramming, back land development and the negative impacts of new, higher density development in such neighbourhoods as this and so is wary of supporting a proposal that could set a precedence and become the first of similar that could be repeated through the area.
Therefore, the Society, after consideration, has concluded that because this application is likely to transgress the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (4.19, i, ii and iii )
25 McKinley Road Ref. No. 7-2016-9473-J
This is a planning application to extend an already extended, fine, Arts and Craft family house on three floors to create three more flats. The converted building is in a road of especially fine late nineteenth century, landscaped mansions which form an important part of the West Overcliff Drive Conservation Area.
The extension would be on the north east corner of the building and would be brick and tile hung in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The new built footprint would be in the form of a rectangular block which would be about one sixth the area of the existing house. There would be composite hipped roofs and the south west elevation would include a two storey bayed window. The remainder of the not especially well positioned fenestration would be of standard casement dimensions of the type frequently found in neo-Georgian residential developments.
Thus although, at first sight it might appear that the proportions and style of this extension appear quite in order; on closer analysis by the Society it is clear that not only would this new wing seriously unbalance the original proportions and therefore the heritage value of the original building, but also that the architectural detailing of the facades – especially the design of the new windows – would be entirely inappropriate to the original appearance of the structure.
Similar fears were taken up in numerous letters of complaint by the residents of McKinley Road. There was a general fear that this ad hoc method of extending and converting listed historic nineteenth/early twentieth century houses was not only aesthetically inappropriate to particular structures but also diminished the general cultural value of the entire Conservation Area by degrading the quality of the accommodation offered.
Consequently we feel strongly that since this application in no way fulfils the conservation area criteria contained within the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.4, i, ii and iii )
13 Glenferness Avenue Ref. No. 7-2016-5275-E
This is an application to build a two to three storey block of 12 flats on the site of a modern 1960’s style family house of doubtful architectural pretention. The site is within the Talbot Woods Conservation Area.
The built footprint is substantially larger than that of the existing building and the general design of the proposed structure is in the form of a substantial facsimilie of a late nineteenth century family villa in historicist style.
The principal facade is symmetrically set out with two elaborate gable projections – with attached, two storey, canted bay windows – either side of the main entrance. The extremities of the facade enclose French windows on both floors with wrought iron balconies on the first floor. Prominent hipped roofs incorporate four light windows in the gables and two large dormers at each end.
The Society cannot deny that what is proposed is a competent, if somewhat predictable design presented in traditional form. We think the problem is whether such a building is absolutely appropriate on this site, which stands at the border between the really fine series of substantial, single family houses built during the interwar period in modified Arts and Crafts Style in the flat section of Glenferness Avenue and the steep section of the same road just beyond devoted mainly to relatively uninspiring post war blocks of flats.
We feel that irrespective of what ever style in which the proposed structure may be built, its presence on this spot could pose an ever present threat to the continued existence of older adjacent properties. Sentiments that have been reflected in many letters by local residents who have no desire to see the flat section of Glenferness Avenue extended beyond Rothesay Road with the subsequent loss of privacy and family settings.
If however it is decided that the site in question – being on the divide between existing houses and flat blocks – should be devoted to multiple residential use, the Society feels that the somewhat exuberant existing proposal should be adapted or replaced by a design of less excessive dimensions and more apposite to the Arts and Crafts Style of the surrounding houses.
We have therefore concluded that since this application does not fully comply with all the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion (4.4, i, ii and iii )
9 Grand Avenue Ref. No. 7-2016-10761-N
This is an application to convert a detached, late nineteenth century villa into four flats; the property stands within a substantial and largely unaltered residential area of West Southbourne that was built during the period of exceptional expansion of eastern Bournemouth after 1880.
The alterations consist principally of the remodelling of the ineptly altered rear facade of the building and the provision of new dormer windows in the roof. The new facade would be more symmetrically arranged with modern, vertical, casement windows, a sun lounge/French windows on the ground floor and a balcony door above. The new French window and balcony originally shown on the first floor of the front facade will not be built.
The Society regards this project as a good example of how, nineteenth and early twentieth century properties in older residential neighbourhoods in Bournemouth can be successfully adapted and modernised to meet the changing needs of modern seaside resorts. We recommend it without reservation.
Therefore since this application fulfils the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING MAY 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
17 Stourwood Avenue Ref. No. 7-2016-26241
This is an application to build a three to four story block of 17 flats on the site of a substantial early twentieth century family villa built in Arts and Crafts style and similar in appearance to traditionally designed properties in the general vicinity that exhibit brick walls and hipped roofs.
The structure which would take up a considerable area of the spacious site would be of modernist design and consist of three stories and a recessed penthouse floor at the top. The design of the principal elevation would comprise a non-symmetrical concrete grid including frontal supports and a prominently projecting concrete pillar towards the central part of the facade. The elevation would consist mainly of vertical glass panels – together with glass balconies – and various strips of vertical weatherboarding which would distributed across the elevation in an irregular way.
Having carefully examined this proposal, the Society has come to the conclusion that the design is really no different from a fair number of unintegrated, rather uninspiring schemes – much influenced by the fashionable conventions of the neo-modernist style – that have appeared in the area in recent years. We feel it has nothing in common with most of the adjacent properties and if built it would have a negative impact on the general aesthetic qualities of the surrounding neighbourhood. Consequently the Society simply cannot accept the assertion made in the design statement that the proposed building would fit harmoniously into the established character of development of West Southbourne. We also note that up to eight letters from local residents echo widespread fears over the alien intrusion of this new block of flats in relation to the existing character of the area.
The Society respectfully reminds the Planning Department that several applications for the construction of inappropriate structures along the Southbourne Overcliff have been turned down within recent years. However although we are not against development on this site with modern pretensions – we strongly feel that the massing, the spatial structure and the architectural form of the elevation should respect to a reasonable degree the existing visual ambience of the neighbourhood.
Therefore under the circumstances, because we feel that this application in no way respects the townscape conventions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest that it be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
2 West Hill Road Ref. No.7-2016-577-P
This application is for the construction of a three story block of ten flats that would be built on the site of a small, early twentieth century brick house, built in the Arts and Crafts style. This structure is next to a much larger building in the same style now used as offices and opposite a considerable number of high density structures constructed in historicist styles that were fashionable in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.The site lies in the Poole Road and West Cliff Conservation Areas.
The latest scheme follows an earlier one that was refused in February 2016 because it was considered too bulky for the site. The built foot print of the one now under consideration is still considerably larger than the present structure and bears the general characteristics of a neo modernist flat block design.
The main elements of the structure consist of three separately designated but interlocking, rectangular wall sections where some small rectangular windows are inserted; but in which the greater proportion of the principal facade consists of vertical glass panels ( with glass balconies to the upper floors ) which are partially framed by irregularly positioned, concrete collars.
The Society accepts that in different spatial circumstances, the general competence of the submitted design would be quite appropriate. However after proper consideration we feel that this latest proposal – by reason of its uncompromising and austere asymmetricality – is no more complimentary than the rejected scheme towards the greater part of the existing townscape. If built we think that the new building would considerably disrupt the present generally harmonious and visually congenial appearance of this fine late nineteenth century road.
At the same time, while we take note from the Design Statement that a new building with some modernist pretensions might be acceptable for this site, we would suggest a far more sensitive contemporary design that respects the basic forms of the older original buildings in the vicinity would be more appropriate. Indeed we think it should be noted that the full impact of the recent, adjacent modern extensions to St Michael’s school, is considerably softened by the high, late nineteenth century wall that separates these new structures from West Hill Road.
Finally we should like to remind the Planning Department that other unsatisfactory planning applications for sites along West Hill Road between Poole Hill and Hahnemann Road have been turned down in the past year or two; therefore we very much hope that whatever eventually may be put up at 2 West Hill Road, will properly enhance the visual context of this visually significant part of the West Cliff.
Accordingly the Society feels that since this application does not fulfil the Conservation Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.4,i,ii and iii )
41/45 Poole Hill Ref.No.7-2016-4249-S
This is an application to renovate an architecturally very elaborate three story building constructed in historicist style in 1880 for the Bournemouth School of Art, in order to open a bar/cafe restaurant and to establish a brewery within the building. The site, which is within the Poole Hill and West Cliff Conservation Area, is quite extensive and stretches from Poole Hill back to rear premises along West Cliff Road.
The principal elevation of this structure gives the appearance of an eighteenth century town hall built in the classical style. The central section of the facade is crowned by a well designed pediment with balustrading either side. Four giant pilasters frame the outer and central sections of the facade which encloses six arched windows and the central balcony door on the first floor and seven vertical windows above. Pilasters are also placed between each window on both floors The rear facade is less symmetrical with a Flemish gable and a baroque dormer at both extremities with pilasters enclosing single, double and triple sets of windows on the first and second floors. The ground floor consists of several un-coordinated entrances including a roll up metal guard.
The new proposals involve the creation of a traditional Victorian public house facade on the ground floor which would consist mainly of arched windows and a new main entrance with skylight above. Also the surviving original interior decoration would be fully restored and a new traditional style entrance would be made on the rear elevation.
Generally speaking, the Society is very pleased to recommend this highly original endeavour that seeks to bring back into full use a fine late nineteenth century building that has been neglected for too long. Furthermore we think that the very palpable contrast should be noted between the generally exemplary rehabilitation suggestions for 41/45 Poole Hill and the very insensitive design that has been proposed for 2 West Hill Road in the same immediate vicinity.
However we would suggest that regarding the appearance of the new arched ground floor facade on Poole Hill, the main entrance should be centred directly beneath the pediment with arched windows either side. If this were done, we think a better overall sense of symmetry would be achieved.
Consequently, because this application does not yet fully comply with the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan we feel that it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.4, i.ii and iii)
New University Buildings, Saint Paul’s Place/Lansdowne Road Ref. No. 7-2016-11301-CE
This is an application for the construction of a new building for the Faculty of Social Health at Bournemouth University. It would eventually become part of the expanding campus of the university that would be concentrated principally between Wessex Way, Oxford Road, Holdenhurst Road, Christchurch Road and Saint Swithun’s Road. The proposed site which is completely vacant is bounded by Landsdowne Road, Wessex Way and Saint Pauls Road and abuts the Asda Roundabout.
Overall, the Society the Society is quite impressed by the imaginative design for this site which offers considerable integrated variation in form and mass and facade design.
The principal north eastern elevation that would be seen approaching central Bournemouth along Wessex Way would consist of four rectangular architectural elements descending from seven to four stories and extending from Saint Pauls Road along Wessex Way to Landsdowne Road. Beyond would by further four story ranges on the western and southern sides of the site that would terminate in a wide and deep, glass atrium/entrance that would be linked to the main seven story block by a series of stepped stories enclosing continuous lighting strips.
The two central sections of the four architectural elements of the main north facing elevation would be in the form of unrestricted glass facades made up of vertical glass panels secured by unobtrusive interior supports; and each section would be divided from its neighbour by prominent concrete party walls that would project above the roof height of the top stories.
The two outer sections of the north facade and also the interconnected facades of the four story west and south ranges would be composed of vertical lighting strips arranged in an amalgam of varying lengths and related to each other by a restrained synthesis of vertical and horizontal lengths of relatively narrow solid wall .
However irrespective of our general welcome for the proposals, it is the opinion of the Society that the design of the two glass facades is too aesthetically unbounded – that these two central sections simply are not properly integrated into the overall spatial structure of the entire north facing elevation. However we believe this deficiency could be solved as follows:-
A substantial entablature along the edge of the topmost story of each facade could be added of exactly the same width as that section of the party walls that project upwards in a somewhat unnecessary neo-modernist gesture above the roof level of the two facades.
Also in order to give a more interesting shape and greater depth to the glass sections, the two centrally positioned, concrete supports on each glass facade should be made far more prominent and project outwards from the flat surface of the glass elevations. In this way the two central sections of the north elevation would be more robustly related to the whole and so present a more pleasing picture for visitors to Bournemouth arriving along Wessex Way.
Accordingly, since we have come to the conclusion that this application does not fully abide by the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
8 Carbury Avenue Ref. No. 7-2016-2515-F
This is an application to construct two chalet bungalows on the site of one bungalow that was constructed, along with the existing neighbourhood in the same form on spacious plots during the interwar period.
Each new bungalow attempt to imitate the general style of the adjacent properties and consists of a rectangular box ( with pitched roof ) fronted by a two story projection made up of horizontal rectangular fenestration with French windows and balconies on the first floor. The main entrance in imitation International Moderne form is in one corner of the ground floor.
The Society thinks that two bungalows on this plot is too high a density for the area and also the quality of the design falls short of the general quality of the adjacent properties; criticisms which in addition to fears of excessive traffic, that are echoed in six letters of objection by local residents. Quite apart from detracting from the general appearance of the neighbourhood, it was also considered that the enlarged built foot print would have a negative effect on the fauna and flora of the surrounding healthland. We suggest that if development must occur, a more sensitive design limited to one relatively spacious would be the best answer.
Accordingly, the Society feels that since this application falls short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
6 Nelson Road Ref. No. 7-2016-15040-H
This is an application to build five two story town houses on a rectangular piece of enclosed land reached by a narrow road off Nelson Road, Westbourne.
Four of the houses would be in the form of two pairs of semi-detached properties placed beside each other, parallel to the approach road in the centre of the site and the other property would be on the other side of the road near the site boundary. Each house would be built in somewhat eclectic style; a combination of a traditional shape ( with hipped roof and gables to the principle elevations ) but with quite distinctive fenestration.
On both principal elevations – apart from extensive gable windows – the windows on the first floor would be in the form of distinctive rectangular shapes with prominent framing. The main entrance and much smaller rectangular windows on the ground floor of the N.W. Elevation would be partially encased by concrete collars; French windows would make up the S.E elevation.
The Society feels that because the site is quite well secluded by trees and is relatively distant from the line of houses along Nelson Road, a greater freedom of design for this site is possible. However bearing in mind comments from local residents about increased parking problems and that the lay- out of the proposed development is not in keeping with the more dispersed, general character of the neighbourhood, we would suggest that a single built foot print – similar in area to the adjacent properties would be more appropriate. In addition, such a layout would preserve a greater proportion of the natural fauna and flora of the area.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application does not properly comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (4.19, i, ii and iii )
Radcliffe Court, Manor Road Ref. No. 7-2016-12459-L
This is an application to change under Reserved Matters of the Planning Application Procedures the architectural form and style of the five story block of 14 flats that was submitted as Planning Application 7-2014-12459-K and subsequently allowed by the Planning Board.
However in February 2016, a letter was sent on behalf of the developers seeking to alter the appearance of the Manor Road and Bournemouth Overcliff Drive elevation by the substitution of Art Deco facades on the north and south elevations of the proposed block. The letter fully acknowledged that Bournemouth Council was not really happy with the approved modernist design and, in the Society’s opinion, graciously offered to change the architectural design so as to make the proposed new structure more complimentary to adjacent buildings which are in the East Cliff Conservation Area. Although we fully accept that no replacement can equal the classical style Victorian mansion that is not likely to be restored, we certainly feel that what is now proposed is a considerable improvement on what was originally envisaged.
The north facing facade, and to a lesser extent the south facade, resembles to a reasonable degree the Art Deco hotels such as the Suncliffe and the Cumberland that were constructed east of the Carlton Hotel in the 1930’s. From the asymmetrically positioned central entrance projection which encompasses a very prominent lighting strip, a series of rectangular 1930’s style windows extends outwards on every floor, which, with the exception of the ground floor, are partially faced with solid balconies in appropriate Art Deco style. The south facing facade is more restrained and consists mainly of French windows and continuous part glass/part concrete balconies. The top story of the entire building would be in the form of a large recessed penthouse.
Under the circumstances, the Society concludes that since the new design now fulfils a considerable proportion of the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (4.4, i, ii and iii)
Burlington House, Burlington Arcade Ref. No.7-2016-1617-AY
This is an application to construct ten further flats above the Burlington Arcade; a modernist structure built on the site of West’s Cinema which was destroyed during the Second World War.
On the Old Christchurch Road frontage the extra story will make the height of the facade more compatible with neighbouring buildings. In Saint Peters Road the increased height will give the facade a better individual appearance but the differences in height between the Burlington Arcade elevation and the adjacent Victorian terraces will be further exaggerated.
Generally speaking, the Society approve of the alterations; at the very least they will achieve a relative improvement to a very unimaginatively designed, post war, concrete box. However we feel that the fenestration on the Old Christchurch Road facade should be set out in a more regular manner.
Accordingly, the Society thinks that since this application does not fulfil all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii and iii)
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED DURING APRIL 2016 BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO THE BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
6a Warren edge Road – Ref. No. 7-2016-26201; 7 Warren Edge Close- Ref. No. 7-2016- 6416-A; 8 Warren Edge Road – Ref. No 7-2016-2365-C
Since these three applications are all situated extremely close to each other, it has been decided by the Society to deal with the projects together in order to demonstrate more clearly the aesthetic and planning pressures that occur in established cliff top, residential neighbourhoods such as East Southbourne where already considerable visual and spatial changes have to be balanced by continuing demands for further residential development in a possible variety of stylistic forms.
The new building that is planned for 6a Warren Edge Road would be built on the site of a small but well integrated Arts and Crafts, mid twentieth century bungalow and where the rectangular shaped, built foot print would be considerably enlarged. Consequently the general mass and form of the structure would be greater and relate to the very modernist style of the proposed, three story structure which we feel would consist of a number of asymmetrically unconnected, rectangular architectural elements containing rectangular windows of varying sizes on the elevation and French windows with glass balconies to the rear – the side elevations would be mainly blank wall and the pitched roof would be shaped according to separate, differently angled elements.
The proposed buildings for 7 Warren Edge Close and 8 Warren Edge Road, both come from the same source. The site of no 7 is at presented occupied by an unexceptional, interwar bungalow while that of no 8 is occupied by a very fine Edwardian family house built in the Arts and Crafts style. The principal elevations of both planned replacements – as in a fair number of previous flat block applications are in the form of a quasi- traditionalist design – complete with hipped roof and end projections with gables – enclosing modernistic design elements such as large and small variably sized windows. The Society think that the fenestration on both the front and rear facades of No.7 are less regularly arranged than No 8 where the fenestration on both main facades consists of large, vertical French windows with glass balconies. Side elevations consist mainly of wall with a few fenestration lighting strips.
The problem as we see it is that none of these three applications seem to relate in any way to either the existing low level Arts and Crafts appearance of much of the surrounding bungalow neighbourhood – nor to the clutch of quasi-traditionalist/quasi- modernist, small blocks of flats that have been built without any particular integrated plan in the Warren Edge, Church and St. Catherine’s Roads district in recent years.
The Society feel that there seems to be no proactive spatial planning and characterization planning policy that is able to ensure a viable aesthetic and social balance that on the one hand will preserve the original, low density, family community of the original neighbourhood that is still greatly desired by the inhabitants and the inevitable need for some more modern, but sensitive development of seaside flats as the reputation of Bournemouth as a first class, international, seaside resort increases.
We have therefore concluded that a synthesis combining the best of more traditional mid-twentieth century residential design with more moderate, modernist, contemporary influences and with a greater regard to the particular existing spatial forms of the different roads of the area would be a good beginning. For without the evolution in the near future of a more co-ordinated policy for this area; in ten years time the urban scene in East Southbourne will have become merely an unplanned jumble of second rate pieces of disregarded , modernist designs.
Therefore we most earnestly ask the Planning Department in their pre-occupation with extensive private/public developments in the town centre, not to neglect the proper needs and requirements of the residents of well established but lesser known areas of the town further out.
Thus, the Society was not surprised to come across 17 letters of objection to the proposed development at 6a; 19 letters of objection to the proposed development at 7 and 11 letters of objection to the proposed development at 8.
The complaints in all three instances were the same: that the proposed buildings would be far too massive for the existing urban topography and would be constructed in architectural styles that would not encourage the existing social communalism of the area. In addition – that the size of the new structures would considerably reduce the privacy of the neighbourhoods and with it the ability of the inhabitants to enjoy a quiet and civilized life style; a situation that would be considerably worstened by the increased amount of on street parking.
After mature thought, we have decided that the application for No 6 would be far too visually disruptive for the adjacent townscape to allow us to recommend acceptance in respect to the Bournemouth Local Plan; but that the applications for Nos. 7 and 8 might be able to be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii and iii)
22-24 Calvin Road Ref. No. 7-2016-4861-D
This is an application for extensive alterations and extensions to an existing pair of semi-detached , late nineteenth century, artisan houses to create a larger, two story block of seven flats. The new structure of two and a half stories with a pitched roof, will also be in late nineteenth style with two, two story, bay windows at the extremities of the principal facade merging into gables in the roof.
Although the Society fully accepts the general appropriateness of the new design, it has been suggested to us that the mass and form of the new building is too large in comparison with the smaller houses of the original adjacent townscape. We are also minded to observe that this application is likely to have been influenced by the continuing need for the accommodation of students attending Bournemouth University. Consequently the considerable number of letters of objection that have been received in respect to this application complain about steady loss of the family character of this part of Calvin Road, caused by the recent erection in the area of blocks of small flats. There are also grumbles over insufficient parking, noise and bad behaviour.
The Society therefore earnestly hopes that the Planning Department will continue to encourage Bournemouth University to create more purpose built student accommodation at Wallisdown and the Landsdown and make every effort to ensure that family houses in north Bournemouth at present occupied by students are returned to their original purpose as soon as possible.
Accordingly, since this application does not fully the townscape policies as outlined in the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be refused. ( 4.19,i, ii and iii )
1-5 Hanford Road Ref. No. 7-2016-977-H
This is an application to create five dwelling houses on an old builders’ yard at Ensbury Park. One house would stand separate and the other four would be in the form of two pairs of semi-detached houses.
The structures would be of two storeys ; they would be well spaced and be constructed in a modernised version of inter war suburban. The principal elevations would contain well spaced, rectangular, casement windows; there would be a pitched roof and there would be contrasting building materials on the ground and first floors. The rear elevations would appear more modern with French windows on the ground floor and a row of very small rectangular fenestration above.
The Society is generally satisfied with what is offered but we note in letters of objection that in some cases bungalows that offer more privacy than the houses proposed, would have been preferred.
Under the circumstances we feel that since the majority of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have been met by this application, it should be allowed. (4.19, i, ii and iii )
12 The Triangle Ref. No. 6285-F
This is an application to create a three story, slight extension to the inner facade of the building in order to increase the size of the existing accommodation on the first and second floors. Also the ground floor retail area would be improved and modernised.
Since we can seen no negative visual change that is likely to occur by this project in an important conservation area in Central Bournemouth, we support it without reservation.
Consequently as the application satisfies all the conditions of the Conservation Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society suggests it be approved without delay. (4.4, i, ii, and iii)
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING MARCH 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
2 Lorne Park Road Ref. No. 7-2016-3144-P
This is an application to construct two extra floors on top of an already existing, three storey, commercial property that was built in the then fashionable, International Modernist Style, over two decades ago. The two new floors would be stepped back in a similar way to the existing floors – which means that each higher floor would be smaller than the floor below and that part of the roof of each floor would serve as a terrace to the floor above. The long elevations of each new floor would replicate the long elevations of the existing floors which would be in the form of rectangular concrete sections filled with vertical glass panels.
The general impression of the new building would be that of a white ziggurat made of concrete and glass; however the resulting symmetrical appearance would be qualified by the presence of a solid wall across half the topmost storey of the narrow south elevation, where service facilities and a staircase would be located.
The Society is well aware of the considerable controversy caused by the original building in view of the unsympathetic impact of this structure on the adjacent , late nineteenth century properties in Lorne Park Road. We are well aware that the new extension will in no way put an end to this problem – but at the very least the finished result will give this building a better level of depth which will enable it to relate better to the adjacent modernist block of retail and residential facilities at Leyton Mount . Under the circumstance, the Society would observe that a distinctive mini-townscape has emerged within a more conventional one and that is the best that can be said in respect to this application.
139-141 Southbourne Overcliff Drive Ref. No. 7-2016-1512-AH
This is an application to build a two and a half to three storey block of 10 apartments on the site of two interwar bungalows.
The structure would consist of two principal interlocking rectangle shapes where each floor of the principal elevation would consist of vertical glass panels fronted by continuous, prominent, glass balconies. There would be three large gables above filled with very big windows in front of a lower pitched roof. Very prominent concrete collars would encase the ground and first floors.
The Society observes that in common with other, previous applications to build flats in historic, residential neighbourhoods, the design for this site consists of a vaguely traditionalist shape which is used as a general container in which to squeeze fashionable, inelegant , modernist architectural forms. In our experience this eclectic devise is never a success – indeed we feel that the resulting chunky and overbearing result would be both too massive for the dimensions of the site and very unsympathetic in relation to the general character of the surrounding, generally low rise neighbourhood. Ironically we think that a provisional design for a new property on this site contained at the very bottom of page 9 of the Design and Access Statement which accompanied an earlier, unsuccessful application in February 2013, would be more suitable than what is now proposed.
The Society strongly feels that a presumption to allow the gradual redevelopment of this part of the Southbourne Overcliff in the form of higher density blocks of flats should not be considered a foregone conclusion. We respectfully remind the Planning Department that the spatial structure of the Southbourne Overcliff is very different to the Boscombe Overcliff. For we believe that in the latter case, the larger sites enable a degree of planning flexibility to be exercised; however at Southbourne, the much larger number of smaller houses and bungalows must surely imply a greater restraint on redevelopment proposals.
It seems to the Society that at a time when Bournemouth needs to preserve and expand numbers of reasonably sized and priced family homes as much as possible, the last thing that is required is the deliberate aesthetic and social disruption of a well established family neighbourhood in a good position near the sea.
Consequently since this application has failed to fulfil the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel that it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
45 Southbourne Coast Road Ref. No. 7-2016-2179-T
This is an application to build two, two storey houses on a curving corner site at the junction of the Southbourne Coast Road and Dalmeny Road in an overt modernist design. The site occupies a highly visual position between the environs of Hengistbury Head and the commencement of the Southbourne Overcliff – and in the vicinity of a considerable number of spacious, post war (chalet) bungalows.
The proposed houses would be in the form of two separate structures, closely spatially related to each other. The basic shape would follow to a reasonable degree the curved boundaries of the site; in both houses there would be considerable areas of floor to ceiling, vertical glass panels, held together by a prominent concrete framework and including wide balconies at first floor level and distinctive flat and partially angled, flat roofs.
Irrespective of the absolute level of competence displayed by the proposals, the Society is of the opinion that the new building by reason of style and general size would be extremely inappropriate for this particular site. This is a point of view in many letters of objection to this scheme. Other matters raised by this correspondence include: the impact of a building of such high density in a prominent position; the disconcerting impact of the abstract architecture and the need to encourage more house building of a more conventional design instead of speculative development for the holiday home market.
Under the circumstances, we have decided that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we recommend that it be refused. (4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Beales Store, 35 Old Christchurch Road Ref. No . 7-2016-726-AH
This is an application by the Investment Trust that owns the freehold of Beales store to convert the existing 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th retailing floors into 76 flats.
There would be some loss of retailing space on the ground floor to enable a separate entrance to the flats to be created; but no significant alteration to the present outward appearance of the building. The flats themselves would be in the form of long, fairly narrow rectangular shapes that would be aligned along a broad central corridor on each floor.
The Society is convinced that such a drastic proposal would have an extremely negative impact on the general renown of Bournemouth as a first class holiday resort and these fears were expressed strongly in 71 letters written to oppose the scheme.
In specific terms we feel that the flats would be small and rather cramped and that the whole scheme is more than likely a way of raising higher income from the building irrespective of the importance of the present function of Beales as one of the principal attractions of the town.
The general feeling is that if half the retail floors are converted into flats, Beales as a general departmental store would eventually not be viable as an economic proposition. If this happened considerable numbers of people would be put out of work and such an action would hasten the decline of the centre of Bournemouth as a premier shopping centre. This in turn could bring about eventually the waning of Bournemouth as a desirable, national holiday destination.
Consequently the Society most fervently hope that this most irresponsible scheme is turned down – indeed we would be happy to hear that this application has not even been granted discussion time at a future planning board.
Thus since the project in our opinion has not fulfilled any of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we recommend it be refused ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
Denham House 8-10 Yelverton Road Ref. No. 7-2016-5535-AL
This is an application to extend upwards by three floors ( including a dormer roof storey ) an existing three story block of shops – with flats above – in order to create an additional 21 apartments. The chosen design would be in the form of a free interpretation of the original, inter-war, Georgian revival style of the original building. In the extensions, the existing, symmetrically orientated, fenestration pattern would be generally adopted; the outer peripheral windows would be generally replicated, while the new central section would be indented in the form of a miniature, neo-Georgian facade with central projection. The new, shallow hipped roof would contain nine well designed dormers – almost all precisely aligned to the line of windows below.
In considering this application, the Society thoroughly recommends what we think is a balanced and competent extension which will also enable the new building to be better aesthetically related to the heights of the neighbouring structures.
Consequently, we have concluded that since this application fulfils all the townscape policy conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
24-26 Studland Road Ref. No. 7-2016-7545-C
This is an application for a site at present occupied by two small interwar houses of negligible architectural value, on which it is proposed to build three, two story, terraced houses – each with a prominent gable and pitched roof. So far as the Society is able to understand the design; the lower two floors would be encased by a thick concrete collar which, we think, would considerably reduce the natural balance of the basic design.
Since we are of the opinion that the general shape of the new building would be a positive compliment to the adjacent properties, we suggest that the removal of the concrete structural elements would substantially improve the appearance of what is proposed. The Society therefore feels that since this application does not yet fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii, and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING FEBRUARY 2016 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Wharfdale Road : Ref. No. 7-2016-9503-P
This is an application to build a six story block of 11 student cluster flats – together with a three story block of seven conventional flats and two semi-detached houses. The student block would be situated at the south end of the site near Wessex Way; the other two structures would be sited parallel to each other across the northern part of the site.
The student flats would be in the form of a substantial rectangular structure; the main east and west elevations would contain symmetrical rectangular, casement fenestration and there would also be a slightly projecting corner tower to the west. The south elevation facing Wessex Way would be just a plain rectangular wall with a central lighting strip while the north elevation would contain a small tower and contrasting horizontal and strip fenestration.
The Society note that the seven conventional flats would be contained within a long and relatively narrow 2-3 story structure that would present an overtly, asymmetrical, modernist appearance. The east elevation would consist of large pieces of wall intersected by three un-coordinated facade sections of different sizes – defined by concrete collars – and containing windows of different shapes. The west elevation would consist of wall slabs punctuated by irregularly positioned, rectangular windows.
The two terraced houses would be divided into two sections – each of two bays and with French windows on the southern ground floor elevation.
In general terms the Society feel that the buildings proposed would result in too high a density of development; well over 50% of the site would be built upon .
Further we would point out that quite apart from the aesthetically inharmonious relationship that would occur between the block of seven flats and the rear elevations of existing properties in Queens Road, the greatest weakness of the proposal is the faulty physical context and mass of the large student block.
In the Design Statement, justification of the position of this building is made by reference to other larger student residences already constructed between Maderia Road and Wessex Way . The Society suggests that these structures are appropriately sited because of the flat nature of the site and the near vicinity of existing large buildings such as the Police Administrative Headquarters.
But we feel that in comparison, the proposed student block at Wharfdale Road would be excessively prominent within in an area of generally low rise buildings. In relation to the general aesthetic appearance of the existing properties that crown the long southern slope of the Central Bourne Valley between Wessex Way and the Central Pleasure Gardens, we are certain that this new structure, if built, would stick out like a sore thumb.
Under the circumstances, the Society suggests that since this application does not conform to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected ( 4.19, l, ii and iii )
Bournemouth Information Bureau, Westover Road : Ref. No. 702016-1593-K
This is an application to convert the existing Information Bureau into a restaurant. So far as the Society can observe; apart from the provision of French windows on the Pleasure Gardens side of the building, few basic alterations are proposed for the long elevations. However for the short side elevations, we note that two large semi circular windows – one on the first floor at one end and one on the ground floor at the other end – are proposed.
The Society is very disappointed that the very elegant , triple semi-circular glass domes that at present terminate the two side elevations will be removed. We strongly advise that these pleasing architectural elements be retained for the new restaurant – indeed we are sure that with some appropriate design adjustment, this change may be achieved.
Therefore the Society has concluded that since this application has not fully met the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
30a Florence Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-13152-E
This is an application to construction a three story extension to the existing late nineteenth century property; originally built as a family villa – now used as an hotel.
The Society is of the opinion that although the planned extension – to create extra bedrooms – is designed in a complimentary style to the existing structure, its construction would lead to an excessive, over development of the site leaving virtually no room for any appropriate landscaping, let alone car parking spaces. We also think that the extension would have a negative physical impact on the privacy of adjacent properties.
The Society therefore feels that since this application does not fulfil the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be rejected ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
677-679 Wimborne Road : Ref. No. 7-2016-4686-AY
This is an application to increase the capacity of the existing structure from one shop and 5 flats to a smaller shop and 10 flats.
In the Design Statement, the Society note that a great deal is made of plans to improve internal planning anomalies and also the exterior appearance of the property. But we feel that such intentions cannot disguise the fact that the main intention of this application is to replace an existing number of already small flats by an even greater number of even smaller ones – some barely the dimensions of standard studio flats. If an extension of accommodation is really needed, we would suggest an extra 3 flats would be a better solution.
In addition we would ask the Planning Department, in view of the very large extension of student accommodation planned for the Landsdown area, to restrict considerably, further permission for the unsuitable overcrowding of older properties that were never designed for such uses.
Accordingly the Society suggests that because the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan are not properly fulfilled, this application should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii)
Roselyn Hotel, 55 West Cliff Road: Ref. No. 7-2016-6469-G
This is an application to create an extension to the existing unauthorized kitchen annexe to form a restaurant area in the now empty Roselyn Hotel. What is planned would take the form of a plain, concrete, rectangular structure with a flat roof which would take up the greater part of the rear open area of the building up to the boundary with the flat block for elderly residents.
The Society feel that although the proposed extension would not intrude onto the well designed, late nineteenth century principal facades of the Roselyn Hotel; the general form and appearance of the extension is not really appropriate for the building – nor the use as a restaurant in an area that has always been either residential or used as small hotels. Indeed we thin k that Westbourne is a far more appropriate location for another restaurant.
We have also taken note of the considerable number of letters written by local residents about this application who have raised fears about the general loss of character to the area, the increase in noise, food deliveries and litter, the insufficient provision for extra parking and the problem of cooking smells.
Under the circumstances the Society has concluded that the change of use of this hotel into a restaurant would not be appropriate – and in this respect we urge the Planning Inspectorate to look carefully into what appears to be a considerable amount of building activity that seems to be going on at the site in question.
We conclude that since this application does not appear to fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
Pre-planning Environmental Impact Statement : Ref. No.7-20168961-F : Prospective new campus for Bournemouth University at Landsdown Road, Saint Pauls Place
This is pre application scenario for the creation of a Department of Social Health, Faculty Building in 8 stories and covering 10,000 sq. metres and a new student accommodation block of between 7 and 10 stories on the site of 21 Landsdown Road and the car park of Cranbourne House containing 550 beds in 4,5 and 6 bed clusters. There would also be provision for another university building of 4000/6000 sq. metres.
This development would be a significant part of the much larger, long term plan to create a principal campus for Bournemouth University stretching from Landsdown Road, Saint Pauls Place and Holdenhurst Road, over Cotlands Road to Christchurch Road and Saint Swithuns Road.
In connection with this pre-application scenario, the Social Health Building would be situated in the northern portion of the site near the Asda roundabout and the junction between Saint Pauls Road and Wessex Way. No detailed plans or elevations are available but it is expected that the structure would have a horizontal ambience with underground parking with the main entrance towards the centre of the site near the present Saint Pauls Lane.
The student block is likely to be given a more varied shape with accommodation placed in cascading height levels; but following current practice, it is unlikely that any provision will be made for car parking.
The Society fully accepts that given the purpose of the proposed buildings, the huge size of the development and the existing presence of numerous modern buildings in the Holdenhurst Road/Landsdown Road area; a modernist idiom is the only appropriate form of design that can be used.
However we strongly feel that all these new buildings should be so designed as to integrate with adjacent large and high structures to create a kind of integrated, sculptured, modernist townscape – similar to but on a smaller scale to, down town Los Angeles – which could in future years become a notable architectural feature of this part of Bournemouth in its own right.
However we should add finally, that although the Environmental Planning Officer has said that the spatial dimensions of the scheme do not require exceptional measures to protect the neighbouring historic neighbourhood of Dean Park, we fell that the end result would be improved if the proposed building heights were reduced by at least one story and the Social Health Building was not planned as a single monolithic block.
Without the full information that goes with a full application, we can only recommend that the Pre-planning Environmental Impact Statement be used as a blueprint for further detailed discussions concerning the planned development of the site.
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED DURING JANUARY 2016 BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
4/4a Morley Road Ref. No 7-2016-7571-E
This is an application to build a two and a half story block of five flats with a short one story terrace of three additional flats to the rear, on a site at present occupied by a late nineteenth century suburban villa of no exceptional architectural significance, together with sheds behind at present used for vehicle repair.
The principal facade to Morley Road would consist of a generally rectangular structure topped by a medium sized pitched roof and built in modernised Arts and Crafts style. Half the facade would be in the form of a shallow projection with an attached two story, canted bay window that would be capped by a large gable at roof level. Either side of the central main entrance, the fenestration would be regularly arranged in the form of vertical sash windows – including a gable light and a prominent, individually roofed, dormer. The rear elevation would exhibit a simpler design with two symmetrically arranged groups of modern windows and a single, central staircase light.
The Civic Society generally approves of the steady rehabilitation of relatively neglected residential areas of East Boscombe and Pokesdown as where the site in question is situated. However we also feel that although a relatively high density of development is appropriate in this well established and busy residential and retail area of Boscombe, we think that the reduction in the general mass and form of this latest application for this site – especially the reduction in the size of the roof – is a considerable improvement. But the Society would wish to suggest that the use of the rear area as three small flats is an over use of the rest of the site and that the number of units here should be reduced to two. If this were done we feel more parking spaces would be left for the cars of the flat holders.
Under the circumstances, the Society has concluded that since this application has not fully complied with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
Manchester Hotel St. Michael’s Road Ref. No. 7-2016-2915-AC
In connection with this application (1/1/16) for the erection of a five story block of 70 standard apartments and 25 holiday apartments to be built on the site of the Manchester Hotel and for the demolition of the existing building which was exhaustively dealt with by the Civic Society in a special section contained in the December Critique, the Victorian Society has written an important letter about this application ( Alex Bowring, Conservation Officer (25,1/16 ) which very closely reflects the views expressed by the Society in the original Critique.
The Victorian Society is of the opinion that the general mass and form of the new replacement is far too large in scale for the existing late nineteenth century architecture in St. Michaels Road . It is also suggested that the earliest part of the existing structure, originally a villa should be preserved and that if a new building for the site is considered necessary, it should be considerably reduced in scale.
The Victorian Society also feels that the growing practice of replacing genuine nineteenth century buildings with larger pastiches in some conservation areas across Bournemouth, could become a serious threat to the architectural viability of these conservation areas as time goes on. We endorse this opinion.
Apostolic Church, Victoria Park Road Ref. No. 7-2016-24839-E
This is the latest application for this disputed site in Moordown and consists of a scheme for the construction of eight, terraced dwelling houses in place of the church.
The building is in the form of three stepped back and interlinked architectural elements where the principal and rear facades are virtually similar; only the front ground floor of each section consisting of French windows with the rear ground floor embracing just one narrow vertical light. The three sections are united by an elegant hipped roof ( with dormers ) but the Society is of the opinion that the prominent concrete collars that encircle the casement windows on the first floor are excessively intrusive for such a small scheme and negatively break up what could be an agreeable integrated design. We therefore suggest that a more restrained treatment for the first floor of this proposed structure be worked out.
Consequently we feel that because this application does not fulfil all the townscape policy conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19,i, ii, and iii )
APPRAISAL AND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE TALBOT VILLAGE CONSERVATION AREA BY BOURNEMOUTH COUNCIL
SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT FOR TALBOT VILLAGE BY POOLE COUNCIL
In early 2016 final preparations of the above mentioned documents are taking place in respect to those parts of the Talbot Village Estate that are administered respectively by Bournemouth and Poole Councils. We welcome and support the proposals being made by Bournemouth Council but have concerns and fears on those promoted by Poole Council.
As a result of the totally different physical evolution of each section of the Talbot Estate either side of Wallisdown Road over the last 30 years, totally divergent policy formulations for either area have been evolved. But the Society is of the opinion that such fundamental differences present an extremely good illustration of the fundamentally contrasting approaches to urban evolution that have long differentiated the Boroughs of Bournemouth and Poole.
Since that section of the Talbot Estate within the Borough of Bournemouth contains virtually all the surviving historic structures of the historic model village, constructed by the Talbot sisters during the 185o’s and bearing in mind that Bournemouth has evolved since the early Nineteenth Century as a collection of residential neighbourhoods where the Romantic Gardenesque planning ethos has always been very strong, it is perhaps not surprising that the principal aims of the Bournemouth plan has been the preservation and enhancement of the unique heritage and natural setting of the village. This has entailed the continued support for the original charitable ethos of the founders of Talbot Village for the under privileged and disadvantaged by seeking every opportunity to enhance the viable maintenance of the historic model cottages, woodland landscape, hedges, gates and boundaries.
An opportunity will also be taken to increase the general awareness of the architectural and historic importance of this plan – especially in regard to St. Mark’s Church, St. Mark’s School and the adjacent White Farm.
In contrast to the above, that portion of the Talbot Estate in Poole contained hardly any historical structures and landscape boundaries with the exception of Highmoor Farm.
Moreover the Society appreciates that since Poole has always been a commercial Port much associated with the betterment of entrepreneurial activities, perceptions as to how development here should proceed would always tend to follow this more utilitarian path. It is therefore not surprising that since the 1980’s very substantial higher educational buildings culminating in the establishment of the University of Bournemouth have risen on this site.
Consequently the main impetus of the Poole plan – irrespective of undertakings to respect the adjacent heath land – has been for the construction of up to nine, quite substantial university buildings south of the Arts University and especially in the vicinity of the western campus near the Boundary Road roundabout. A new main road from this roundabout through the university is also contemplated as is also a new digital employment village in relation to computer games, mobile technologies and computer generated animation planned to be built between the university campus and Dulsie Road across the boundary in Talbot Woods.
The Society fully realises that the basic morphological differences between the two plans by Bournemouth and Poole Councils for the two sections of the Talbot Estate can never be fully synthised in visual form. However since it would seem that the basic conservation aims of the Bournemouth plan restrict considerable built alterations north of Wallisdown Road, we would suggest that any visual and spatial betterment to the total landscape of Talbot Village as a whole, should take place on the university side of this area.
The Society therefore suggests three general improvements that would improve the Talbot Village Estate as a whole.
- a)That the density, number and over promoted, neo-modernist style, of the planned university buildings for the eastern side of the Fern Barrow campus be considerably reduced and changed for a less eclectic piece of urban design.
- b)That the general height of these buildings fronting Wallisdown Road be lowered so as not to create a very excessive in balance in mass and form between this new expanded campus and the nearby historic cottages on the other side.
- c)That serious consideration be given as to whether or not the proposed high tech digital employment village is an entirely appropriate neighbour for the westernmost section of Talbot Woods.
In other universities – notably Cambridge – start up high tech locations for ambitious science graduates are placed a considerable distance from the university and residential areas on specially constructed industrial estates.
Finally we would like to point out that the very different urban approaches to adjacent areas as demonstrated at Talbot Village by Bournemouth and Poole, may be a disturbing reminder of how difficult it will be to bring together harmoniously, two very different planning traditions, if and when Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch decide to combine into one large local authority embracing most of South East Dorset.
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING NOVEMBER 2015 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
3 Porchester Place Ref. No. 7-2015-14175
This is an application to construct a three to four story block of 14 flats on the site of an existing early twentieth century, family villa of no exceptional architectural pretention. The site is in the near vicinity of Wessex Way.
Although the new built footprint would be somewhat larger than the existing one, the Society feel that the general appearance of what is now proposed is a considerable improvement over the chunky, modernist orientated, original application.
The building would consist of a rectangular block, designed in the form of a late nineteenth century mansion block in historicist style, within which the principal elevation would be defined by two broad projections each connecting with two prominent, three story bay windows which merge into a distinctive, steeply hipped roof in the form of elaborate gables with upper windows and distinctive barge boards. Two high chimneys rise above the roof and the central part of the facade contains an elaborate entrance porch and higher lighting for the main stairwell; fenestration is well integrated in the form of vertical sash windows. The rear elevation has more regular fenestration including two lines of vertical French windows with two principal dormers in the roof.
We think that although the traditional appearance of the new block is satisfactory, in form and mass
it does seem somewhat over large in relation to adjacent properties. In this respect we feel that insufficient provision for adequate landscaping has been allowed on the remainder of the site. The proposed roofline is certainly higher than houses in the immediate neighbourhood and therefore the Society suggests that the height of the proposed structure be reduced by one story. We also feel that since the majority of the original houses in the area were built in a variation of the prevailing Arts and Crafts style at the very end of the Nineteenth Century, the more pronounced , earlier, late nineteenth century historicist style chosen for this building should be changed so as to be more in keeping with the existing character of Porchester Place.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application does not fully comply with all the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
Punshon Memorial Church Site Ref.No. 643-T
This is an application to construct a mainly six to seven story block of 107 apartments on the site of the modernist Punshon Memorial Church which was constructed here during the post war era.
The building would consist of a large rectangular structure which would cover up to 80% of the site with a somewhat large ground floor devoted to retail and hospitality uses with five stories of flats above delineated by a continuous series of prominent glass balconies. On both the principal elevations, each apartment would be attached to an outside loggia complete with overhanging roof and all would be integrated into a projecting, integrated concrete structure with rounded corners at each corner of the facade. The N.W.narrow facade would be split into two mini elevations by a broad concrete vertical strip. One half would be in the form of horizontal balcony glass strips; the other half would be a balanced composition of vertical glass panels and wall. The S.E. narrow facade would consist of horizontal balcony glass strip at each corner and vertical fenestration in the centre.
The Society appreciate that as a piece of contemporary neo-modernism per se, the application is quite a competent piece of work; a reasonable attempt has been made to create a reasonable balance the competing horizontal and vertical tensions within the design. However we are of the opinion that within the specific architectural context of the site in question, the application is quite inappropriate to be placed in the vicinity of adjacent buildings – in particular the Royal Exeter Hotel and the new Punshon Hotel. The Society certainly does not believe the assertion in the Design Statement that the new building will introduce architectural qualities that will neither compete with nor detract from the historic quality of the neighbouring listed structures. On the contrary , we feel that the massive bulk of what is proposed – in effect, only a relative improvement of the now discredited rectangular modernist blocks of the 1960’s and 1970’s – will stick out like a sore thumb.
The Society note that not only is the height of the proposed structure at least two stories higher than the roof lines of the neighbouring hotels, but virtually no attempt has been made to accommodate in an harmonious fashion, the more linear and eclectic architectural shapes that are a feature of these buildings. In sum, while we fully appreciate that something with a reasonable degree of modernist ambience is likely to be built on this site, there is surely no good reason to replace ( in our opinion ) one somewhat unbecoming edifice with another structure of similarly inappropriate design. The Society thinks that a less bulky structure divided up into varying but integrated architectural shapes would be more appropriate and visually suitable to the existing townscape of this very important holiday area of Bournemouth.
Finally in view of the somewhat peremptory way the design and aesthetic implications of the earlier outline application for this site were handled by interested parties, we would most sincerely request that proper consideration now be given to deciding what complex will be a suitable adornment for this important site.
Under the circumstances, the Society has decided that since the conditions for compliance with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan do not seem to have taken place, we suggest that permission to build be refused. (4.19, i, ii and iii)
1a Branksome Road Ref. No. 7-2015-643-T
This is an application to increase the height by two floors ( including penthouse accommodation in the roof ) of a small, three story ( including garages ) block of flats built in the 1930’s. The extension would be carried out in the same style as the existing building but with a Mansard roof.
The Society is of the opinion that this extension would make the existing building top heavy and clumbersome; moreover such a change would detract from the uniqueness of the property which was one of the first concrete flat structures to be built in the fashionable Art Deco architectural style in Bournemouth.
The Society therefore believes that since this application does not fulfil the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
18 Saint Catherine’s Road Ref. No. 7-2015-5214-C
This is an application to construct a three/four story block of five flats on the site of a modern residential property.
The Society note that the main structure of the proposed design appears to be made up various architectural forms – mainly of rectangular shape – and put together somewhat arbitrarily in an asymmetrical manner. The front elevation comprises an assortment of vertical and horizontal window sections ( the latter with glass balconies ); the rear facade has a simpler variation of these forms.
We are not against a modern design in this comparatively recently developed area of modern residential structures; but a less abstract and more integrated design is surely called for in this important section of the Southbourne Overcliff.
The Society has therefore decided that since this application does not completely fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i, ii and iii)
20-22 Tregonwell Road Ref. No. 7-2015-6225-A
This is an application to build a five story block of 20 flats on the site of a double fronted, late nineteenth century building, recently used as an hotel. The site is within a fairly complete area of small family houses that form an historic area of some character.
The new building would consist of two very closely connected rectangular blocks with pronounced vertical emphasis; half the facade of the principal elevation in the form of vertical French windows and associated vertical fenestration on each floor – the other half facade provided with quadruple vertical windows only. These differing lighting forms are replicated in the Mansard roof and the main entrance is situated at the intersection of the two rectangular blocks. The rear elevation has more regular fenestration on each floor – part French windows, part vertical windows.
We are of the opinion that the form, mass and appearance of what is proposed are totally out of temper with this area of unspoilt late Victorian townscape situated on the edge of the West Cliff Conservation area. For us, the roof line is distinctly higher than adjacent properties and the general configuration of the new building in no way reflects the more linear, historicist, characteristics of the existing townscape. Indeed with the construction of the much larger, modern flat blocks quite near in Upper Terrance Road, the Society feels it is all the more important to preserve the architectural integrity of original buildings in the near vicinity.
We therefore suggest a more sensitive design which incorporates some of the more relevant aesthetic shapes of neighbouring properties would be more appropriate.
The Society is therefore of the opinion that since this application does not fulfil the Conservation Area conditions of the Bournemouth Local Pan, it should be refused, ( 4.4,i, ii and iii )
PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING OCTOBER 2015;
A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE – BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Woodland Point, Wotton Mount Ref. No. 7-2015-8627-H
This is an application to build a six story block of 32 flats in a relatively secluded area bounded by Wotton Mount and situated between a massive high density, late nineteenth century, retail terrace ( with accommodation above ) fronting Old Christchurch Road and several large and high, blocks of flats ( including Pine Grange and Buckingham Mansions ) in Bath Road.
The proposed structure would be in the form of a fair sized rectangle in which the main north and south elevations are rather similar in design. They would consist of a combination of double rectangular and single vertical windows separated by strips of green coloured vertical and horizontal strips of wall and embellished on each facade by a pair of prominent concrete collars. The narrow west elevation would be made up of continuous glass panels across every floor and fronted by glass balconies. There would be a prominent penthouse story and flat roof above. The main entrance and service openings would be on the ground floor of the south and west elevations; French windows would occupy the ground floor of the north elevation.
The Civic Society is of the opinion that even if the nearness of the modern flat blocks in Bath Road encourage the submission of a modern design on this site, what is offered is too large, banal and inelegant; it is simply not interesting enough to make a positive contribution to this unique, undulating site between two forms of very different townscapes. We feel that on one hand the built footprint of the proposed building being so near to the rear of the Victorian structures in Old Christchurch Road, would post an overwhelming threat there to the visual privacy of the occupants; at the same time there is little attempt to respect the existing linear spaciousness either of the immediate area or to imitate the spatial context of the adjacent blocks of flats. The Society cannot therefore agree with the Design Statement that the new development fully respects the street scene and the character of the existing buildings. In addition, we feel that it is a poor defence of the design assessment to rely so much on the relevance of the distinctive colour scheme that would be applied to sections of the completed facade. Indeed we are pleased to say that on our advice, the colour scheme for the exterior of the new Hilton Hotel was toned down to positive effect.
In sum, the Society, while fully accepting that a building in generally modernist form would be appropriate for this site, also think it should be further reduced in dimensions and height and that a more sensitive – less overtly asymmetrical – fenestration scheme, with better designed balconies be introduced instead.
Accordingly, we have come to the conclusion that since this application does not properly fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. (4.19, i,ii and iii)
8 Carbery Avenue, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2015-2515-E
This is an application to construct to build two chalet style houses on the site of an existing semi-bungalow which would have to be demolished
The main feature of the principal elevations of both properties would be two continuous longitudinal windows of unequal size, divided by a narrow strip of wall and extending from the first floors to the gable story which would be capped by a prominent traditional roof.
It is the considered opinion of the Civic Society that if built, these two houses would have a dominant and somewhat excessive impact on the character of the immediate neighbourhood where there still exists a reasonable balance between built and unbuilt on space. We suggest it could appear that on the site in question, an attempt was being made to pour a quart into a pint pot. We also think that the excessive size and ungainly shapes of the fenestration helps to make the principal facades far too large and ungainly for such a relatively small site; a situation that is not helped by the unimaginative design of the ground floor windows and the very conventional appearance of the slatted entrance to the integrated garages.
The Society therefore feels that since two separate houses can appear too large for the site, two separate terrace town houses with more integrated facades and better designed garage facilities, might be the answer.
Consequently, since we feel the present application does not properly fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion. ( 4.19, i, ii and iii )
321 Wimborne Road Ref. No. 7-2015-I
This application is for the construction of a small block of three, two bedroom flats and two, one bedroom flats; it would be constructed on some undeveloped back land to the rear of an extensive retain section of Wimborne Road.
While being in favour of the general design of the proposed building which would be in the form of an interwar suburban villa, we note that the internal arrangements of the flats while appearing to adequate, are on the small side.
We also note that six letters of objection have been received pointing out that already, other small blocks of flats already built are beginning to alter the family ambience of the neighbourhood.
Therefore in view of the recent decision by the Planning Department not to allow the demolition of a redundant Apostolic church in the same area to be used as further student accommodation, the Society strongly urges the Council to support the continuing provision of purpose built, university lodging facilities in the Landsdowne area in order to prevent a further decline of the original social cohesion of north Bournemouth neighbourhoods.
We feel therefore that since this application does not in any way fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should not be allowed. (4.19, i, ii, and iii )
197 Redhill Drive 7-2015-3019-F
This is an application for the erection of a two story, medium sized block of four flats on commodious corner -site at the junction of Redhill Drive and Coombe Avenue in Redhill. A large interwar bungalow at present stands on the site.
The new structure would be in the style of a spacious inter war suburban villa with wide flattened front bays and a Georgian influenced porch.
In relative terms, because the plot is certainly larger than neighbouring ones, the Civic Society feel that the site is able to take a building of greater mass and height in comparison with the one story adjoining chalet bungalows . We note however that there have been complaints that the new block would be at variance with the existing visual character of the neighbourhood and that the introduction of flat blocks would not help preserve the family atmosphere of Redhill.
We can only suggest that it might help if the general dimensions of the proposed block were slightly reduced.
Thus we conclude that since in respect to this application, the townscape conditions of the Bournemouth Local Plan have been generally fulfilled, it should be allowed.
Jecco House, Boscombe Grove Road Ref. No. 7-2015-623-F
This is an application to construct seven blocks of houses on a large site beside the main Weymouth to London railway line which is at present occupied by extensive unused industrial premises constructed in conventional modernist style during the 1960’s. Four blocks would be arranged in a line along Boscombe Grove Road; two others would be arranged at right angles at either end of the site on the opposite side near the railway and the last block would be placed longitudinally between the latter two. All but one block would be built in the form of terraces of two storied workers’, nineteenth century cottages – each separate property bei