PLANNING APPLIUCATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING FEBRUARY 2023 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE,, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
38 West Way Ref. No. 7-2023-9248-O
This is an application to create two semi-detached properties in the form of a large bungalow structure upon a vacant enclosed site with access between two existing properties (nos 38 and 40 West Way ) .The new, generally rectangular built foot print would take up nearly 50% of the site with room for two parking places and quite a small rear garden.
The actual elevational drawing of the front façade is somewhat unclear. A representation of a two storey structure with a chalet bungalow ambience – that is with wide windows either side of the two main entrances under a ground floor loggia into which three equally wide first floor bay windows would fit under a prominent hipped roof – would be able to accommodate two bedrooms.
The Society feels that the size of the proposed building is far too large for the proposed plot; it would have an overcrowded impact on the smaller scale of adjacent properties and according to local opinion, result in inadequate parking facilities. Therefore we would suggest that a smaller single, one storey bungalow be constructed on this location, similar in general appearance to the alternative design included in this proposed scheme.
Consequently because this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
16 Charminster Avenue Ref. No. 7-2023-23884-C
This is an application to demolish an existing garage and to build a new three bedroom house on a severed plot to the rear of 16 Charminster Avenue facing on to Pine Road.
Although the built footprint would be L shaped and would include a one storey kitchen/living room, the first and second floors would be in the form of a distinctive ‘bedroom tower’ capped by a pitched roof. Three of the elevations would be mainly brick but the principal façade would be designed in the modernist style. The French windows of four and three panels, together with another window, on the ground and upper floors would be asymmetrically arranged and the one storey living/dining room would appear in the form of a conservatory.
The Society is of the opinion that this new venture is inappropriately small for the restricted dimensions of the site – there being virtually no room for parking and private space. In particular the unusual shape and height of the building and especially the uncompromising modernist principal façade would harm considerably the aesthetic appearance and the spatial context of adjacent properties on existing spacious plots.
Under these circumstances, because the application in no way complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have decided that it should be refused.
Land rear of 18-20 Uplands Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2023-24497-C
This is an application to construct two detached houses on the rear portions of already fully developed sites at 18/20 Uplands Road. The new L shaped double site would contain two rectangular built footprints, one smaller than the other, with access to the new properties via Uplands Gardens. The structures would be designed in quasi-traditional, 1930’s Arts/Crafts style with generally symmetrical fenestration, four panelled French windows and hipped roofs.
The Society is generally against the development of severed, developed sites as new locations for future construction and certainly the present plans would create considerable visual overcrowding in relation to parts of the immediate neighbourhoods. However since four other adjacent severed site have already been built upon (adjacent severed sites have already been built upon (nos to 30 ), we accept that some development at 18-20 would be permissible. But we would suggest that in view of the restricted space available, just one larger house or two semi-detached houses built across the two sites, would be more suitable for this location.
Consequently, since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society has decided that it should be deferred for further discussion.
Land rear of 20-22 Hankinson Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2023-5853-G
His is an application to construct two semi-detached and one detached, two bedroomed properties at the rear of an already fully developed site, as part of a twentieth century residential neighbourhood.
The site which was originally developed with two detached houses was further extended by the construction of modern industrial premises and a two-storey office complex.
The two-storey semidetached complex would be built on the site of the existing industrial /office buildings and the smaller detached house would be placed to the side. Each structure would have a square built footprint and would be designed in a quasi-traditional Arts/Crafts style. The larger property would utilise symmetrical fenestration with French windows with a prominent hipped roof above. The smaller house would be less formally designed.
The Society notes the rather small size of the proposed accommodation but we also think that the overall dimensions of the scheme are simply too large for the limited size of the site. In addition there is very little garden space and we also agree with local opinion that complains that there is very restricted car parking in addition to a reduction of privacy and sunlight in exchange for increased noise.
The Society observes that here is yet another example of an attempt to build residential property in a position where it was never contemplated. And in this case we think an attempt is being made to use older lax planning laws which have enabled the unsuitable industrial/commercial premises to operate on this site for many years, as a legal procedure for rebuilding on the same site. We are of the opinion that a single property across the centre of the entire site would be a far better solution.
Therefore, we very much hope that the Planning Department will see through this ruse and act accordingly. It therefore follows that since this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society feels it should be refused.
14 Leigham Vale Road, West Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2023-28817-A
This is an application to extend the rear and side elevations by double and single stories of an inter war, detached house displaying two, two storey bay windows below a substantial hipped roof on the principal elevation. The larger, rectangular shaped built foot print would extend fully from one boundary division to the other and the resulting, wider rear façade would contain asymmetrically positioned casement windows and French windows of different sizes. It would include a one-storey corner section containing part of the enlarged living area. Part of the extended rear façade would be seen from the front elevation where there would be a new, modern main entrance crowned by a distinctive semi-circular gable window.
The Society feels that although the extensions is stylistically relatively compatible with the original front façade, the irregular placing of windows on the new rear façade would create a design conflict with the balanced shape of the hipped roof above which is not normally seen in substantial detached houses built in modernised Arts and Crafts style. We therefore suggest a more central positioning of the main French windows on the rear façade and more uniform dimensions for the other windows. This alteration might entail the repositioning of the kitchen facilities near to the side wall in the vicinity of the present planned lobby.
The Society would advise the Planning Department that there is now an increasing tendency, partly due to the general growth of new domestic living arrangements, to create much larger accommodation facilities to the rear of well-built early twentieth century houses which were never designed to take such substantial extensions. If such a trend continues, the original spatial proportion of quality residential neighbourhoods in Bournemouth will be negatively affected.
Consequently, since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Bournemouth and Poole College, Lansdown Campus, Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2023-784-CD
The Municipal College Buildings at the Landsdown, especially the early twentieth century Edwardian baroque original section with the tall clock tower, have been a very distinctive element in the skyline of central Bournemouth for over a century.
Now it has been decided by the educational authorities that the heterogeneous collection of unplanned and poorly designed additional buildings that have grown up over the years beside the larger and more permanent additions on the campus should be demolished and properly replaced. The application to do this relates especially to structures fronting Lansdown Road on the eastern extremity of the collage estate and to other structures between E and C blocks facing on to Meyrick Road.
The main structure would be divided into three main sections:
- A central, four storey, classically orientated, rectangular shaped block with a flat roof with a symmetrical structure of recessed, casement windows all half shuttered.
- A three storey arcaded block the same height as block E facing Meyrick Road and linked to the main block by a short two story section.
- A lower two storey arched block giving on to Landsdown Road and connected to the main block from the other side by means of a two story link-cum-main entrance designed in modernist style. Part of the latter would be right beside the arcaded façade which would also be overlooked by the blank wall of the upper stories of the main building – including a kitchen chimney and service installations on one side of the flat roof.
Apart from these new additions, renovations would be carried out on the clock tower building, the adjoining Strathern Villa and B and E blocks. New uses would eventually be found, with the co-operation of the Meyrick Estate, of the adjacent Woodcote and Ascham Victorian villas and C block between. A new landscaped – garden would be created between the three-storey arcaded building and Meyrick Road as a place of relaxation for the students.
Generally speaking the Society is happy with both the general proportions and the restrained modern style of the proposed new structures which should compliment to a reasonable degree the existing range of listed historic structures and later buildings on the estate.
Certainly, the varying dimensions and heights of the different sections of the entire main building help considerably to reduce the excessive impact of its considerable bulk. We agree with the design report that the new planning arrangements should enable a more spacious lay out and a more practical usage between older and newer ranges to be possible.
However the Society feels strongly that the short elevation to Lansdown Road is in need of considerable redesigning. The upper part of the main building and the modernist main side entrance, are very incompatible with the lower arcaded part of the façade. Further such an aesthetic anomaly would considerably destabilise the impact of the planned new college façade along Lansdown Road from the new arcaded section to the clock tower.
Therefore we suggest that the proposed modernist glass box entrance at the side of the main building should be replaced by arched fenestration to match to match that on the front building facing Lansdown Road.
Also that the unbalanced appearance of the chimney and service facilities on one side of the roof of the main building should be rectified by a replication of these facilities on the other side of the roof.
Consequently, the Society has concluded that because this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Old Gaumont Cinema, 37-43 Westover Road Ref. No. 7-2023-891-AE
This site is apparently for sale – however it would appear that the latest application if for the construction of up to four extra floors of flats above the entrance façade on the Westover side, instead of the three floor proposed in the original application. On the Hinton Road elevation, there would be two extra stories and the existing original design would be restored.
While the Society accepts that the conversion of the existing building into flats may be the only economic , we feel strongly that a four storey extension in modernist style would create a top heavy and visually discordant connection with the well designed neo classical structure of the front façade. It is our opinion that if such a development took place, any benign aesthetic co-ordination between the two parts of the building would not be possible.
The Society therefore suggests that one storey should be removed from the Westover façade and that each storey of the new structure be recessed above each other in a step by step general triangular shape.
We also think that the jarring impact of the austere modernist design on the neo-classical structure below would be considerably lessened if the new upper windows were enclosed by slightly projecting arched recesses. By these changes we feel that a proper proportional balance of the entire Westover façade would be restored.
Therefore, since this application does not comply with the the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest that it be deferred for further discussion and improvement.