PLANNING APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED TO THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
20 Huntly Road, Talbot Woods Ref. No. 7-2022-28758-A
This is an application to extend considerably an existing family house built in modern Arts and Crafts style during the 1930’s during the development of Talbot Woods. The site is part of the Talbot Woods Conservation Area. It is proposed to extend one side and the rear elevation of the house in order to include an integrated garage and new entrance on the principal façade and an extra window with matching windows towards the rear. The existing large hipped roof would be extended over the new additions and the resulting size of the new built footprint would be considerably increased – it would stretch from the one side boundary to the other.
Although the Society appreciates that an attempt would be made to design the new extensions in the general spirit of the original building, we feel strongly that if this development is allowed, the enlarged appearance of the property would considerably degrade the original aesthetic balance of the original design. We think the horizontal new fenestration at the rear would not co-ordinate with the somewhat unbalanced window and door changes to the front.
Therefore under the circumstances, the Society has decided that since this scheme in no way relates to the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for design improvements.
31 New Road, Kinson Ref. No. 7-2022-9053-F
This is an application to build a block of seven flats on the site of a small bungalow built as part of the mid twentieth residential expansion of north Bournemouth. The built foot print of the new development would be considerably larger that that of the adjacent properties and it would have the general appearance of a more tradition block with hipped roof and gables but with contemporary symmetrical windows and a very modern large vertical rectangular window to one side of the principal elevation.
Having carefully considered this scheme the Society agrees with local opinion that it would be totally inappropriate to construct such a large flat block within a townscape of a townscape of smaller scale houses and bungalows. It would appear aesthetically far too dominant and would cause a reduction of privacy, more noise and a deterioration of existing social life.
We have concluded therefore that because this application does not conform to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
West Cliff Inn, 15 West Cliff Road, Westbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-4866=A
This is an application to demolish the existing hotel which was reconstructed in a quasi modern/quasi traditional style in the 1960’s and to replace it with a three/four storey structure designed in late nineteenth century, seaside mansion flat style, containing a mixture of free market and holiday apartments. The site is within the Poole Hill and West Cliff Conservation Area.
The built footprint not so different in size from the existing one would support a generally rectangular block capped by a complex hipped roof with two prominent gabled projections and an elaborate corner belvedere tower on the principal elevation; interspersed by symmetrical vertical, single and wider triple sized windows.
The Society very much approve of the proposed design. For in view of the recently completed flat complex on the site of the Montague Hotel in late nineteenth century romantic style and the likely redevelopment of the Chequers Hotel in the form of another mansion flat complex on either side of the West Cliff Inn we think there is now a reasonable prospect that a amount of the destroyed original townscape of the West Cliff will be revived.
Therefore on account of the full acceptance of this application of the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society feels it should be allowed .
9 Ravine Road, Boscombe Cliff Ref. No 7-2022-6598-H
This is an application to demolish an existing interwar residence on a double plot built in the Arts
and Crafts style. In 2022 permission was refused for an earlier plan to construct four houses on this site. Therefore the Society thinks there has yet to be proven a justification for allowing the demolition of this property. The present structure if somewhat neglected, is visually integrated into Ravine Road and therefore we would ask the Planning Department to think very carefully about initiating a new development in a non conservation area that could result in a considerable level of aesthetic disharmony for this road. The Society feels that since this application in no way enhances the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
29 Magna Road, Bear Wood Ref. No. 7-2022-3656-N
This is an application to demolish an annexe to an existing twentieth century property and to construct three, two storey, two bedroom dwellings parallel to each other at the rear of the site. The built foot print for each house would be quite small with just enough room for parking spaces and a very small garden for each site. Each house would be rectangular in shape, very plain and with a pitched roof. Fenestration would be in the form of rectangular/ vertical windows and French windows.
As in previous examples that the Society has recently reviewed, here is yet another attempt to build property merely for financial gain in positions that were never designed for further development. We are at one with local opinion that thinks that the new buildings would be an excessive intrusion into the area with a resulting reduction of privacy and a threat to wild life.
Under these circumstances the Society has decided that since this application in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
257-259 Belle Vue Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-263-D
This is an outline application to demolish the existing building and to replace it with a three storey block of 14 flats. The built footprint would be in the form of a large rectangle taking up about 45/47% of the site. The structure would be designed in a somewhat distinctive Arts and Crafts manner.
The principal elevation would have two considerable projections with two storey canopied bays and gables under a deeply pitched roof and dormers. Fenestration would be in the form of narrow vertical symmetrically positioned windows – a distinctive entrance approached via a porch would be in the centre.
After a close examination of the proposals, the Society has concluded that although the design of the proposed building made a reasonable attempt in its own way to relate to the general character and specific aesthetic of the surrounding townscape we think more could be done to harmonise the new block with adjacent properties. We certainly agree with local opinion that the general ensemble could be made more presentable by being less massive and for the tall narrow windows to be made less different in shape from those nearby.
Under these circumstances the Society has concluded that because the proposed scheme does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the of the Local Town Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Land rear of Ringwood Road behind the Clock House in High Howe Lane. Ref. No. 7-2022-5196-F
This is an application to construct three semi- detached, two bedroom houses in High Howe Lane behind the Clock House and near the junction with Ringwood Road. The site is somewhat irregular, being polygonal shaped which leaves only quite small spaces for car parking and individual gardens. The street façade would take the form of an artisan cottage terrace in quasi Arts/Crafts style with symmetrically positioned traditional windows and porched entrances with French windows to the rear.
The Society feels that the site and size of these houses are too restricting to offer a reasonable life style . We would therefore suggest that only a pair of semi-detached houses with larger dimensions be constructed on this site.
Consequently since this application does not fully comply witht eh townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel that it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
29-36 Westover Road ( relates to the rear of the building in Hinton Road ) Ref. No. 7-2022-3428-CL
This is an application to construct an seven/eight storey student accommodation block on the site of the rear section of the old ice rink – more recently used as a gym – fronting on to Hinton Road. Within the new concrete block, the lower five floors would have vertical fenestration strips on each floor symmetrically positioned closely either side of seven equidistant narrow wall structures with wider sections of wall between the windows.
The upper two/three storeys would be designed in a more overtly modernist style with less integrated somewhat wider strips of wall between the line of windows on each floor which are more asymmetrically positioned.
The Society is reasonably satisfied with the appearance of the lower five storeys but we find the more overtly modernist design of the upper two storeys totally inappropriate. We note that the disjointed stylistically divided visual appearance of the proposed façade has not been taken up in any of the adjacent buildings, whether traditional or modern, that have been built along Hinton Road during the last 50 years.
Indeed it appears to us that the upper part of this proposed scheme gives the appearance of having been designed in a way that seems to be totally ignorant of the need to integrate both spatially and visually the upper and lower portions of the building together.
It follows that the Society feels strongly that the architectural design of the upper floors must be better integrated into the entire façade. We think this could be done : 1) by the more regular positioning of the fenestration between the wall sections in the topmost seventh/eighth floors. 2) by making the wall sections of a more uniform width so that they are more in balance with the width of the windows themselves and 3) by introducing arched fillets around the topmost line of windows in order to create a more finished appearance at the top of the building. We also suggest that the removal of one storey would improve the general proportions of the structure.
Therefore since the Society has concluded that because what is proposed does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think the scheme should be deferred for discussion and improvement.
15 Wotton Gardens/19 Old Christchurch Road/1Glen Fern Road Ref. No. 7-2022-1105-W
This is an application to extend existing premises by the construction of an additional 3rd. and 4th. floor in order to create 26 small flats and a ground floor restaurant. The site lies within the Central Bournemouth Conservation Area.
The existing classically orientated building with appropriately designed side wings would be extended in the same style to create a line of symmetrically positioned sash windows across the first three storeys , double sized at the extremities, singles in between and there would be a single line of smaller sash windows on the fourth floor and a new hipped roof with dormers above.
Although the Society finds the general appearance of the extended scheme aesthetically satisfactory in absolute terms, we agree with the planning assessor of BCP Council who thinks that the mass and height of the new structure would not integrate harmoniously with the existing scale of the adjacent Victorian commercial terraces in Old Christchurch Road. It is also considered likely that such a development would disturb the visual context of the Bournemouth Synagogue – a listed building.
Therefore we would suggest that possibly only one additional storey be added to the existing structure. And so the Society has concluded that since this application does not fully respect the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.