PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING APRIL 2020 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
21 Knole Road , Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2020-24794-B
This is an application to extend a late nineteenth century building, originally built for visitor accommodation, to form two extra flats by means of a three storey addition on the site of a one storey service quarter adjacent to the north side.
The extension would be designed to match the existing building; the east facade replicating the adjacent three storey bay window ( with individual roof ) and the west elevation being lengthened by means of a three storey diagonal bay window. On the north elevation single vertical windows on each floor are replaced by double windows.
The Society is of the opinion that although, at first glance the extension appears to fit in visually with the original house, on closer examination – especially on the east elevation where three prominent bay windows would exist in the near vicinity of each other – both the new general mass and style appear to be somewhat overblown in comparison with the general size and appearance of the original houses in the area. Furthermore, the extension would go right up to the boundary with the neighbouring property which might lead to restrictions on natural lighting and privacy.
We realise that the situation is not helped because the property is not placed in the centre of the site. If the existing house is eventually to be extended, we would suggest a relatively spacious, one storey extension at lower ground floor level from the south elevation where there is plenty of un built on space.
Under these circumstances, the Society has concluded that since this proposal does not properly fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
117A-119A Haviland Road, Boscombe. Ref. No. 7-2020-13805-N
This is an application to construct a two storey block of flats on back land – at present part of the rear gardens of 117 and 119 Haviland Road. The original proposals were for four flats but the latest scheme envisages only two.
The new structure would be at the far end of the site and be situated very closely to neighbouring structures built either side. The building would be rectangular in shape with a staircase wing on the east side. Double casement windows would be on the narrow side elevations and above would be a hipped roof and a smaller one over the staircase wing. The flats themselves would be relatively spacious with three bedrooms each- but there would be no windows on the two long elevations.
Even though the layout and room dimensions may be of a reasonable size, the Society strongly objects to the general un- suitability of the position of the site. It is far too small to take new flats, it is closely surrounded by other structures and there is no room for any garden.
We observe that here is yet another example of a site, fully developed in the late Nineteenth Century for semi-detached properties, now being proposed for further residential development which simply cannot be sustained in the space provided. We appeal to the Planning Department yet again to evolved specific policies to prevent this practice.
Consequently under the circumstances, the Society thinks that because this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
United Reformed Church Burial Ground, Southbourne Road Ref. No. 7-2020-205770-0
This is an application to build a detached house, designed in interwar suburban style at the western end of the old established Pokesdown, United Reformed Church Burial Ground on the corner of Stourvale Road and Southbourne Road. The new construction would entail the repositioning of several grave stones.
The principal street façade of the new structure would be two bays wide and include a typical two storey bay window beside the main entrance. There would be a hipped roof above.
While the Society observes that the mass and appearance of the building harmonises quite well with the surrounding built up townscape, we feel strongly that the historical and social integrity of this well known and valuable open space are reasonable grounds for the preservation of this site fully complete as it was originally laid out. Further, the repositioning of grave stones is something that we do not think appropriate in these circumstances.
The Society has therefore concluded that since this application does not satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
Fairview House, 7 Hinton Road Ref. No. 7-2020-9602-G
This is an application to construct a seven storey block of 40 flats on the site of a substantial, late nineteenth century residential property, at present used as commercial offices.
The built footprint of the new structure would be substantially larger than that of the existing building and would bring the mass and block shape of what is proposed more in line with the modern structures that have been constructed between the site in question and the eastern end of Hinton Road in recent years.
The general design of the proposed block would resemble quite closely the near by block at 23 Hinton Road. That is to say the building would be designed in the interwar neo-georgian style often reserved for large commercial or residential uses. The four brick built elevations (with corner quoins) would be lit by symmetrical sequences of sash windows with a number of juliet balconies on the front and rear facades. There would be a shallow mansard roof above with prominent dormers.
In view of the general commercialisation of Hinton Road from the 1930’s onwards, the Society is not entirely surprised by this application to construct a high density block of flats. However we would suggest that in view of the gradual fall in the gradient of Hinton Road towards Gervis Road, one storey of the proposed structure should be removed. Indeed in order to protect the visual context of the Grade I Saint Peter’s Church at the commencement of Hinton Road, the Society suggests that all future possible development proposals west of Fairview House should be gradually stepped down in height, so as to protect the prospective view of this famous landmark.
We have therefore decided that since this proposal falls short of complying with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
1 Lorne Park Road Ref. No. 7-2020-2035-K
This is an application to construct a 4/5 storey block of 37 student accommodation units on the site of a three storey, late nineteenth century mansion block, probably constructed for holiday visitors.
The existing structure is quite well proportioned and the principal west elevation creates a good spatial balance on this island site between Lorne Park Road and Cumnor Road.
The new structure would be built in the modernist style; each façade with the exception of the eastern side consisting mainly of projecting sections containing triple and double sized rectangular windows – with a recessed, penthouse structure above.
The Society is of the opinion that what is offered is a perfectly competent, but also instantly forgettable, piece of contemporary design – perfectly suitable in another context but not right for 1 Lorne Park Road. We would remind the Planning Department that this site has been the subject of numerous failed attempts at redevelopment in the past. But we suggest that the problem has always remained the same: how to preserve the good stylistic balance of the original structure in relation to the adjacent mix of Victorian and more modern buildings on the back of a development which on financial grounds would have to be much larger in both mass and form than its predecessor.
Short of leaving the original house where it is, the Society would suggest a more conservative, restrained design, perhaps rather similar to what has recently been put up next door at 3 Lorne Park Road, but with an elegant tapered façade towards the junction of Lorne Park Road and Cumnor Road.
Therefore since we have decided that what is offered simply will not do, our conclusion is that since this application fails considerably to uphold the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused.
Belotte Motors, Melbourne Road- cul-de-sac off Shelbourne Close Ref. No. 7-2020-4752-J
This is an application to convert an existing garage and workshop into a two storey, three bedroom dwelling and two, one bedroom flats.
The two adapted structures would be very simple in design with traditional roofs and dormers and all the rooms would be quite small in scale.
The Society is of the opinion that here is an example of an attempt to utilise the site of a probably unregulated garage, now disused to create three substandard, high density dwellings in a position that was never envisaged for such a use. We think that if this application were allowed, a precedent would be set for further high density intrusions on the sites of similar, adjacent properties. Similar forms of applications are now a regular occurance and we strongly urge the Planning Department to effectively restrain these unsatisfactory planning applications.
Consequently, because this proposal falls short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society has decided that it should be refused.
12 Foxholes Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2020-2325-C
This is an application to build a three storey block of six flats on the site of a spacious, post war bungalow.
The Society notes that while there has been pressure to retain family dwellings in well established residential areas such as here in East Southbourne, nevertheless, in recent years several sites in this neighbourhood have been redeveloped in the form of medium sized blocks of flats. Foxholes Road has become a mixture of both these urban forms and we feel that the appearance of further permitted development there should be decided according to how the new spatial visuality created in this sector of the road, relates to adjacent properties.
The built footprint of the new block would ensure that the mass and form of the new structure would be considerably greater than that of the original bungalow. It would be traditional in shape with two substantial projections (with gables) on the front elevation culminating in a prominent hipped roof. The fenestration would be symmetrically placed in the form of (mainly) triple casement windows.
The Society is of the opinion that in view of the substantial quasi-traditional appearance of the neighbouring block of flats, the general scale and appearance of the new building would not be an excessively disruptive addition to the street scene. At the same time we do think that a relative shortening of the proposed dimensions of the block would be an improvement as would be an overall reduction in the overall height. We also think that the austere design of the windows could be improved by the addition of curved lintels.
Consequently the Society has come to the conclusion that because this application does not properly fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan. It should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
116-120 Old Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2020-1042-W
This application to modernize a substantial Italianate commercial premises dating back to the third quarter of the Nineteenth Century has already been discussed by the Society. We were generally in favour of what was then proposed, and we are also reasonably content with the latest version of the design, now proposed. We note that the principal street façade, apart from amendments to the roof, is unchanged. The rear elevation is now more regularised and simplified with glass panels fronting the general service area on the lower ground floor. However we are not so happy about the partial asymmetrical placing of the rear windows – especially the two narrow vertical lights in the centre and the small horizontal aperture on the top floor.
The Society has therefore decided that since this application does not fully comply with the Conservation Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
164 Alma Road Ref. No. 7-2020-27721
This is an application to build a two storey extension to the existing late nineteenth/early twentieth century small dwelling house in order to create five flats. The new work would be carried out according to the style of the existing structure with the exception of a simplified ground floor garden façade and extra dormers. The Society observes that although a certain degree of aesthetic continuity would be achieved by this development, the built foot print and mass of the building, especially the side dimensions , would appear considerably larger than adjacent properties. We therefore feel that the extended structure would be too overwhelming on a very restricted site, to sit comfortably with the original family houses within this area. Indeed our observations are shared by several local inhabitants who fear that quite apart from loss of privacy, a general lack of parking space and excessive noise, the general family character of the neighbourhood would not only be harmed but also seriously threatened by the encouragement thereby given for similar developments in this part of Alma Road. The Society therefore strongly advise the Planning Department to prevent further attempts to create additional high density residential facilities in parts of Bournemouth that were never designed for such drastic alterations.