PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT IN AUGUST 2018 A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Former childrens’ play area, Crescent Road (by Wessex Way) Ref. No, 7-2018-2763-K
This is an application by Bournemouth Council to construct a four storey block of ten flats on the site of a public open space on the west side of the Central Pleasure Gardens.
The building would be in the form of a rectangle and be designed in a modern style with a flat roof. Each of the four facades would be differently designed in an asymmetrical fashion. The S.W. and N.E. elevations, apart from containing the main entrances, would have fenestration in three different window shapes – including double windows with dummy balconies. The S.E. and N.W, elevations would consist mainly of wall punctuated by small single and double horizontal windows.
While the Society certainly applauds the considerable steps the Council are taking to make the physical structure of the interior of the new flats as comfortable as possible for a very reasonable price, we do feel that the massive and aesthetically uncompromising exterior design of the proposed building would be out of scale with both the existing original residential properties and the more recent existing newer developments in the immediate area. Local residents have expressed the fear that such an intrusion would not only result in insufficient parking and the loss of valuable green space, but also in the reduction of privacy and natural daylight
Moreover in addition, we feel that since the site in question is spatially and visually much closer to the relatively intact late nineteenth century residential neighbourhood either side of Crescent and Bradburne Roads; if the application is allowed it would stick out like a sore thumb. Indeed because of the scale of the topography of the Central Gardens the new building could in no way maintain a viable spatial connection with the greater number of modern blocks of flats on the other side of the Gardens along Bourne Avenue
The Society therefore suggests that if development is to take place on this site, the massive appearance of the proposed block shape should be broken up by varying architectural planes; the elevational fenestration should be more integrated and the top most story should be incorporated into a more traditional (partially hipped) roof structure. And in this way the balanced relationship between the original townscape and the listed topography of the Central Gardens also would be preserved. Finally the Society wishes to remind the Planning Department that where it is directly responsible for new construction, it has a special duty to ensure that what is built is commensurate with the visual circumstances.
We have decided that since this application does not fulfill the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. ( Policy 4.19,I,ii,iii )
42 Stourcliff Avenue Ref. No. 27138
This is an application to build a three story block of six flats within a well established residential area, built at the beginning of the end of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. The rectangular built footprint would be larger than that of the existing building and the principal elevation would be designed with an ambience towards the late Romantic era in the mid Nineteenth Century. This façade would have a slight projection and incorporate vertical varying sized single, double and quadruple windows in addition to a first floor balcony supported on consoles. Above would be steeply pitched complex roof with a gable window.
Although the Society is quite impressed by the quality of the design, we must also bear in mind the survival along the greater part of this road of the original pleasing townscape of Arts and Crafts, detached family houses . In similar vein to what has been commented upon by a local resident, we feel that the building that is proposed would appear visually considerably inharmonious in respect to the complete sweep of original facades hereabouts and we would prefer the existing building to be retained rather than redeveloped. However if the Council is minded to approve redevelopment a design more in keeping with the contemporary style in which this neighbourhood was originally built would be a better course of action. In addition the Society must draw the attention of the Planning Department to the fair number of relatively unsuitable flat developments that recently have take place in this general area. Therefore we hope that better control of the appearance of any future rebuilds will soon be put into operation.
Consequently, we are of the opinion that since this application does not satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused. (Policy 4.19,I,ii,iii )
101 Talbot Road Ref. No 7-2018-27133
This is an application to construct a three storey block of six flats on the site of a not especially impressive mid twentieth century suburban family house. The rectangular built foot print would be somewhat larger than that of the original building; the general appearance and style of what is proposed is that of a modernized version of an Arts and Crafts villa. The principal elevation, with a slight projection, would be capped by a prominent hipped roof and fenestration would be in the form of four symmetrically arranged French windows with dummy glass balconies on the first floor. The remaining facades would encompass integrated vertical fenestration with a separately roofed extension at ground floor level in the N.W. corner.
Generally speaking the Society is satisfied with the general elements of the design, but bearing in mind the generally high quality of new houses recently built on adjacent sites for student accommodation in respect to the Bournemouth University nearby, we feel strongly that the banal design of the French windows ( with totally unnecessary balconies ) should be replaced by more elegant fenestration more in keeping with the Arts and Crafts ambience of the proposed building.
Under the circumstances the Society thinks that because the requirements of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan have not been fully met, the proposed application should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
24 Poole Hill Ref. No. 7-2018-67
This is an application to renovate a well designed early Victorian terraced structure designed in the Georgian style. It stands in the centre of what is probably the finest surviving ensemble of mid nineteenth classical urban architecture in central Bournemouth. The building is situated within the West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation Area. The intention generally is to transform the present tired appearance of the principal façade by renewing the steps and the railings together with comprehensive repainting and new signage. In view of the quite spectacular enhancement of the well designed classical facades that have taken place on the opposite side of Poole Hill quite recently, the Society can only applaud this latest initiative.
Therefore we have concluded that since this application fully satisfies the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be granted. (Policy 4.4,I,ii,iii )
56 South Road, Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2018-3807-J
This is an application to construct two pairs of semi-detached houses in a modernized nineteenth century artisan style on a generally vacant site near Ashley Road.
The area of each of the two built footprints would be roughly compatible in size to those of the adjacent existing houses. The appearance of the facades of the new buildings would consist of regularly spaced casement windows with ground floor bay windows and prominent hipped/pitched roofs above.
The Society is generally content with the proposed design of this development and also the spatial relationship between the built upon portion of the site and adjacent properties. The new houses would be an enhancement to this area of the town.
We have therefore concluded that since this proposal fulfills the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed. (Policy 4.19,I,ii,iii )
40 Wordsworth Avenue Ref. No 7-2018-10793-A
This is a second application in less than a month for retrospective planning permission to move back the glass balustrade on the first floor observation terrace and to heighten the balustrade on the west side of the terrace at a residential property in Strouden Park. So far as the Civic Society can ascertain the general impact of this latest initiative will in no way improve the considerable intrusion into the general privacy of the near neighbours of this house. A second very strong letter has been written explaining in very precise terms how the use of this first floor terrace has made it impossible for family parties to be held in reasonable privacy in the rear garden without being fully overlooked by people on the adjoining terrace. It has also been suggested that the abrogation of personal privacy via the upper side windows is still possible via the new arrangements on the west side. Moreover on this occasion 42 local residents have expressed objections to the lack of privacy caused by the works and suggesting that the restricted size of the rear gardens in the road preclude the inappropriate provision of roof terraces and balconies within this area.
Therefore we repeat what we stated in the July Critique: that where acute cases of privacy are concerned, the rejection of retrospective planning permission submission should always be considered seriously.
The Society therefore feels that since this application in no way conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused. (Policy 4.19, I,ii,iii)