PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JANUARY 2019 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
41 West Hill Road/7-11 Poole Hill Ref. No. 7-2019-13166-U
This is an application to demolish the existing nineteenth century retail and residential property (now disused) along West Hill Road and what remains of the former stables that were attached to the adjacent former Pembroke Hotel on Poole Hill. The site would then be redeveloped by a two and a half storey mixed development consisting of retail, hospitality and office facilities on the ground floor and ten flats above. The new structures would be in two sections separated by an interior courtyard (carpark/part open air restaurant). The site forms part of the West Cliff/Poole Hill Conservation Area.
The West Cliff Road facade would be of two and a half storeys and designed in conventional nineteenth century retail/residential form. Unit 1 would have replica traditional arched shop windows on the ground floor with symmetrically positioned vertical windows above ending in triple gables in the roof. Unit 2 would be a small version of Unit 1 without gables and connected to a slight projection which would encompassed an arched main entrance to the interior courtyard and with a wide gable above
The longer elevation on Poole Hill would consist mainly of conventional retail/residential buildings with arched shops below and vertical windows above. There would also be a separate, short, architectural segment with a very slight gabled projection and consisting of a more modern designed shop and three windows above of different widths.
Although the Society is generally quite satisfied with the restrained, traditional design of what is proposed, we feel obliged to take note of the very strong letter of censure received from the South West Regional Office of English Heritage. Thus it was pointed out that irrespective of the quality of the design, the proposed development would harm distinctive listed buildings – in particular the late nineteenth century hotel stables and that this consideration should take precedence over the presumed physical condition of the listed remains and the economic circumstances surrounding the future use of the site.
We have a great deal of respect for the considered views of English Heritage – it would be extremely advantageous to be able to preserve these unique buildings on Poole Hill. However the Society must take into consideration the fact that for over a decade these properties have been extensively neglected mainly because they failed to attract a developer that was prepared to restore them substantially. Regrettably, we have come to the conclusion that it is now economically impossible for these building to be brought back into practical use from their present condition.
However if the proposals goes ahead we would suggest that the rather inept architectural treatment of the separate short segment of the Poole Hill Façade be more harmoniously redesigned in conjunction with the remainder of the elevation.
Therefore the Society has concluded that since this application does not fully satisfy the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration. (Policy 4.4,i,ii,iii )
637-639 Charminster Road / 1-7 Luckham Road Ref. No.. 7-2018-16991-F
This is an application to construct six flats and three dwelling houses in two, two storey blocks to be built on the site of a portion of one of the earliest state subsidised housing estates in Bournemouth (1923).
Both blocks will be rectangular in shape with slight projections including a more substantial wing on the flat block and with a hipped roof. The general design is modernised Arts and Crafts with regularly positioned fenestration and with porched entrances on the ground floor. The structures would be brick built on the ground and rendered on the first floors.
The Society feel that the dimensions of the site are sufficient to accommodate the built footprints of the two new structures. We feel there would be an increased degree of spacious that should be adequate to cope with car parking and a reasonable provision of landscaping. We are also pleased to observe the original Garden City style of the original social housing has been continued in the stylistic ambience of the proposed buildings.
Consequently, the Society thinks that because this proposal generally fulfils the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
8 Cardigan Road Ref. No. 7-2019-13085-l
This is an application to construct 16 flats and ground floor office space upon the greater part of the built footprint of buildings, now somewhat altered, that once constituted the old Winton Post Office and its environs. The new structure would be built in the form of two connecting rectangles at right angles to each other. There would be four studio flats at the rear ground floor and normal flats on the fIrst and second floors. The new structures would be built of brick and would adhere mainly to a traditional appearance with a mainly symmetrical principal elevation (with similiar dimensions to the old post office ) with rectangular casement windows and dormers in the hipped roof and horizontal shop windows below. The courtyard and side elevations would be asymmetrical versions of the main facade with more doors for the studio flats.
The Society accepts that what is proposed, generally is of suitable proportions and stylistically acceptable for the site. We think the accommodation is conveniently placed for easy access to both the Landsdown and Wallisdown Campuses of Bournemouth and the fear of excessive car parking demands should be offset by the ease of established bus transport and bicycle provision.
Consequently, since this application generally satisfied the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society thinks it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19,i,ii,iii )
Southwood Lodge, 36-40 Southwood Avenue, Boscombe Manor Ref. No. 7-2019-9658-l
This is an application to build eight dwelling houses in two neo-traditional/modernist blocks on the site of a badly integrated, architecturally undistinguished melange of mid twentieth century properties consisting of an interwar family villa to which has been attached very poorly designed , double blocks of very banal flats.
What is proposed are two blocks, superficially in the guise of late nineteenth century mansion blocks but with prominent modernist proportions in the positioning and dimensions of the fenestration on the principal elevations. The main elevations would be broken up in each block by two slight projections ending in gables that would merge with hipped roofs.-with dormers. The majority of the vertical windows would be of considerable dimensions with continuous glass panels between and glass balconies on the first floor. In judging this design, the Society feels that its most positive asset is that the dimensions, form and general mass of each block, is a very considerable improvement on the present messy townscape.
However, that being said and being aware that in previous applications a deliberate synthesis of traditional overall form and modernist architectural features is not usually a success, we would suggest that in this case, a more sensitive redesign of the window dimensions is the principal fault that has to be improved. We think that the general size of the vertical windows should be reduced, the continuous glass panels on the first floor should be eliminated and the common glass balcony should be replaced by a more traditional design, incorporating imitation wrought iron railings,
Consequently, the Society is of the opinion that since this application has not properly fulfilled the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.