PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING FEBRUARY 2020 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO THE BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
74-78 Green Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2020-840-L
This is an application to construct two blocks of two semi-detached houses and one separate house on the site of a former upholstery enterprise. The two, semi-detached blocks would be built parallel to each other with access to car parking between at the rear of the site, where the fifth house would also be situated.
Each of the two main buildings to the front of the site would be designed in the form of a conventional, double fronted, late nineteenth century, average sized, suburban house. Both principal façades would encompass two symmetrically placed, two storey bay windows with half timbered gables above merging into a prominent hipped roof. There would be two, porched entrances in the centre surrounded by regularly positioned, large paned, sash windows. The rear facades would be simpler with three part windows above and French windows below.
The Society accepts that while the chosen style of the proposals is generally similar to adjacent houses, the built foot print is larger – the two blocks taking up the area of three original sites. We therefore appreciate local comments which complain of the excess density of the new buildings that could lead to a loss of light and privacy and that the relative smallness of the apartments, garden and parking space would not guarantee a decent life style.
The Society therefore suggests that the two semi- detached blocks could be somewhat reduced in height and be lengthened to increase the size of the houses within – at the expense of the separate corner house at the rear – which should be removed. We also feel that the Planning Department should evolve a clear development policy in respect to former artisan neighbourhoods in Moordown, Charminster and Pokesdown where small pockets of former industrial activity are now being put on to the market.
Consequently the Society has decided that since this proposal does not fully conform with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
4-10 Kemp Road/Wimborne Road , Near St Peter’s Hill . Ref. No.7-2020-829-K
This is a proposal to construct 14 dwelling houses and one bungalow on the site of extensive former industrial works. On the eastern side of the side, two terraces each containing four houses would be sited. Two smaller blocks, each containing two and three dwellings respectively would border the north side of the site – while on the south side would be the final house and bungalow respectively. The general design would be in the form of nineteenth century artisan cottages – with hipped roofs, modern sash windows overall and French windows to the rear. The majority of the walls of the larger structures would be plastered but the smaller structures would be weather boarded. Entrance for motor vehicles would probably be from Kemp Road, but there is also proposed a narrow pedestrian entrance between two existing buildings in Wimborne Road.
The Society, while not finding the architectural style of the new building inappropriate, does agree with local opinion that what is proposed is of too high a density for the neighbouring area. Therefore we would suggest that only about four terraced houses be built by the east wall of the site and probably a similar number should go along the north wall. In addition, we also think that the proposed single house and bungalow should not be built. There would then be sufficient space for adequate parking and reasonably sized gardens.
The Society therefore feels that as a result of inadequate attention to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the proposals should be refused.
119a Haviland Road East, Boscombe. Ref. No. 7-2020-13805-M
This is an application to construct a small two storey block of flats at the rear of a narrow site that was developed in the form of a late nineteenth century, small house and garden. The property would be a rectangle (with staircase annexe) and be constructed in a neutral style with mainly casement windows and a pitched roof. The Society observes that the built footprint would be exceptionally tight with virtually no room between the walls of the building and the site boundaries; there would virtually be no garden. The size of each flat would be correspondingly small – a complaint taken up by local opinion who want greater provision of family accommodation in this highly urbanised area.
On several previous occasions the Civic Society has strongly condemned the attempted practice of owners of very small developed sites in historic residential neighbourhoods to try and build further accommodation in positions where it is totally unviable. We hope the Bournemouth Planning Department will take appropriate action to stop this debilitating practice.
Consequently since this application in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be refused.
320 Iford Lane, Tuckton. Ref. No. 7-2020-6695-K
This is a proposal to construct a terrace of four houses on the site of an existing detached residence. The design would be in the modernised form of nineteenth century artisan cottages. Each of the four principal facades to Iford Lane would have balanced facades with the entrance flanked by symmetrical fenestration and crowned by a common pitched roof. The rear elevations would include French windows and there would be variety in the choice of building materials.
Although the new built footprint is considerably larger, the Society is not against the new, higher density development. For we think that aesthetically speaking, the four new terraced houses could be considered a visually appropiate extension of the higher density retail buildings in the adjacent Tuckton Road. However we do also think that the inclusion of a bungalow at the extreme rear of the site would be over development – it should be deleted from the plan.
Accordingly the Society has concluded that since this application does not fully measure up to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration.
107 Southwick Road, Boscombe East. Ref. No. 7-2020-1590-O
This is an application to construct 12 semi-detached houses on the site of former commercial premises beside the Bournemouth-London railway line on Pokesdown Hill. The four blocks, each containing three houses would be arranged 2X2 parallel to each other across the widest part of the site with the main entrance from Southwick Road. The façade details are unknown, but judging from the hipped design of the roofs in the location plan, it is likely the architectural details would resemble those of interwar suburban houses in modernist/art deco style. There would be small gardens to the rear and front of the properties and parking bays near the entrance.
Even if the form and style of the new buildings may be appropriate, the Society considers the number of housing units excessive for the dimensions of the site. We therefore suggest that two semi-detached terraces of no more than three or at the most four houses be built in place of the original plans for 12 properties. Therefore because this application does not concur with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society feels it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
Wingfield Court, Manor Road (opposite Grove Road) , East Cliff Ref. No. 7-2020-21563-F
This is an application to construct two further stories on top of a large existing block of flats four stories high that was constructed in the then prevailing interwar modernist style. The new work would replicate the symmetrical casement fenestration of the building by a greatly enlarged extension of the existing mansard roof . The central main entrance and stair light well would be extended upwards and a sixth story, penthouse structure would be built at the top.
Even though this extension has tried to be compatible with the original design, the Society feels that the excessive size of the new roof would make the overall appearance of the structure top heavy and lumbering – good design being sacrificed merely for extra income.
Consequently we think that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
Liston Hotel, Wollstoncraft Road, Boscombe Manor. Ref. No. 7-2020-8500-R
This is an application to construct a five storey block of 24 flats on the site of the late nineteenth century Liston Hotel.
The built footprint of the new structure would be shaped in the form of four interlocking rectangles at the junction of Wollstoncraft Road and the Boscombe Overcliff. The two main facades consist of a series of inter-related architectural elements including: vertical window sections, (a fair number in association with projecting and distinctive integrated balconies ); individualized French window/Juliet balcony sections and several sequences of oeil de beuf windows. Large panorama windows are reserved for the junction of the two wings of the building where the two roads meet and for the penthouse storey above
The Society does accept that there has been a general trend towards residential use along the Boscombe Overcliff in recent years and that opposite the site in question, several high rise blocks of flats already exist. We also take note that the quality of the design of the proposed development is of a higher standard that many blocks of flats that have been proposed for this area in recent years. At the same time we understand the fears of local residents who complain of the larger foot print of the new structure which would reduce the natural daylight and privacy of neighbouring properties.
It has also been pointed out to us that while the apartment block would extend beyond the old building line, the higher density of the design would result in too many under sized small flats.
The Society feel that if it is Council policy to revive hospitality facilities on Boscombe Cliff then an upgrading and possibly an extension of the Liston Hotel is appropriate. However if on the other hand more residential provision for the area is felt to necessary then we think the proposed block of flats can serve as a basis for an acceptable design. We suggest: that the interior is redesigned to contain a smaller number of more spacious apartments; that the complex exterior design of the two principal facades be further refined into an integrated whole; that the rather loose shapes of the panorama windows at the apex of the building and in the upper stories be more aesthetically related to the entire facades.
In conclusion since this application falls short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society suggests it be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
13 Durley Road South, West Cliff Ref. No. 7-2019-6344-V
An original application for the construction of 25 free market flats and 6 holiday flats on this site was originally submitted on 30/9/2019. The latest design for this application was available on 27/2/2020. The site lies within the West Cliff and Poole Road Conservation Area.
The site on which a converted late nineteenth century villa served as the Montague Hotel is now vacant. The built foot print of the new building would be somewhat wider than the original and project further forward of the existing building line. However there would be sufficient room for reasonable landscaping to the front and parking spaces to the rear. Fenestration would be symmetrical on all four elevations and round headed windows on the first floor would be incorporated.
The narrower front south east elevation of four stories would encompass two prominent projections one with a three storey bay window that would continue into a wide gable with bargeboards merging into a prominent hipped roof above. The rear north west elevation would have two projections of equal height, again ending in two gables
The long south west side elevation would be centred on two prominent projections of equal height and with gables above that would frame the main entrance, to be reached by a dignified flight of steps. Here would be a less prominent gable over this part of the building and a further less prominent section would be to the north with architectural details taken from the centre. The two elements of the long north west side elevation exhibits a plainer facade but a very prominent sweep of hipped roof.
In general the Civic Society is satisfied with the latest proposal. The originality of design of the four principal facades is noteworthy. Further, it includes aesthetic ambiences of the late Romantic, mid nineteenth century, architectural style that influenced the first houses built on the Bournemouth West Cliff. We should also like to pay tribute to the dedicated work of Charles Raven, Bournemouth Case Officer, in ensuring that a suitable scheme, eventually was brought forward.
Therefore since this proposal is complementary to the Conservation Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society suggests it should be allowed.
Winter Gardens Redevelopment Scheme . Ref. No. 7-2020-1273-BB
Various miner amendments to the main scheme that has already been approved by the Planning Committee have recently been put forward. These include:
- More flats
- Redistribution of leisure space
- Landscape changes,
- Reduction of retail/office area
- Elevation changes.
Having looked carefully at the long term aesthetic changes that would result from these amendments, the Society has concluded that taken in the mass, they do not amount to substantial alterations to the basic layout and appearance of this huge scheme. Therefore we feel it is not necessary to discuss these planning amendments but simply to note the existence of these changes.