PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JANUARY 2022 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
169 Broadway Lane , Throop. Ref. No. 7-2022-2799-BC
This is an application to reconstruct an existing two storey, interwar, small suburban house on a double plot and to construct beside it a house in similar style The principal facades would each have projecting two storey bay windows with quadruple sets of casement windows. The entrances would be sheltered by porches and above would be prominent hipped roofs. The reconstructed house would have a side extension consisting of a garage below and two bedrooms above
Although the Society accepts that the proposed designs are quite acceptable in themselves, we agree with local comment which feels that the development would be too high and massive to fit harmoniously with the adjacent townscape of low rise bungalows. It was also felt that the new structures would create a negative impact on the nearby conservation area. In addition, the Society feels that the new built footprint of the reconstructed house would be too large for the limited dimensions of the site. Consequently we have concluded that since this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
74 Covena Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-4748-G
This is an application to build two very small bungalows one behind the other on a very narrow site at present very fully occupied by former commercial premises. The new structures would take up the greater part of the existing site and would be of one story with hipped roofs, French and casement windows
The Society strongly feels that what is proposed is at far too high a density to permit a civilized life style; this is one more instance of the excessive dimensions of a commercial site being used as a justification to use similar dimensions for residential structures which are absolutely inappropriate for human use. Therefore after due consideration we think that since this proposal in no way relates to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
12 Westby Road, Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2022-12076-F
This is an application to reorder the residential space in an existing semi-detached property, now used as an hotel which was originally built as well-to-do family holiday accommodation on Boscombe Manor in the late Nineteenth Century. There would also be a small two storey, brick extension at the rear containing a conservatory; the new structure would be part of the owner’s private accommodation.
Since the Society feels that the planned changes would make no negative visual difference to the rear townscape of Westby Road, we have no objections. Thus since this proposal does not conflict with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be allowed.
8 Old Priory Road, East Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-28433-A
This is an application to construct a two storey extension to the rear of an existing late nineteenth century, two storied house. The new section would be at the N/E rear corner and would accommodate kitchen/utilities below and a dressing room above. The outer walls would continue the ornamental brick work fillets that decorate the existing house; there would also be a new double French window in the centre of the rear façade.
Although the Society finds the main extension quite complimentary with the present structure, we think the off centre position of the French window, unbalances the general design of the rear façade. We would therefore suggest that a three light French window and the addition of another small window further along the façade below the existing first floor window, in order to balance the new ground floor window on the other, would be a reasonable solution. Therefore the Society has concluded that since this proposal does not quite comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be deferred for further discussion.
Rear of 20-22 Hankinson Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2022-5853-D
This is an application to construct a new two storey block of five flats at the rear end of an existing double plot and which is at present occupied by a former factory building. The front of this plot is taken up by two detached houses; the new entrance to the proposed block would be between them. The built footprint of the new structure, except for a portion at the back, would be quite close to the boundary fences of the site.
The single block, brick built, would have some ambience with the Arts and Crafts; the principal façade exhibits ‘historic’ casement and French windows and a prominent hipped roof with three triple dormers. There would be a main and two subsidiary entrances on the ground floor.
The Society finds considerable fault with this elevation – the windows and doors are very badly spatially and symmetrically integrated into the overall design. Further, we find the built foot print of the new structure far too massive to be incorporated into this site which has already been fully developed by two family houses. Indeed we share the views of 12 local residents who fear that if the proposed structure is built, it could reduce privacy and sunlight for neighbouring properties and present a danger to school children by the increased traffic. There was a generally feeling that more, well built family houses were needed, and not the continuing attempt to build unsuitable flats on already developed, restrictive sites. Therefore the Society has decided that since this proposals goes against the core principals of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it must be refused.
62 Harland Road, Wick Ref. No. 7-2022-1180-D
This is an application to reconstruct and considerably enlarge, an existing, mid twentieth century, detached, two story family house of no exceptional architectural significance. The aim is to create a new living, dining and kitchen area and extra bedrooms above. There would be partial two storey extensions at two corners of the house and a large one storey extension into the rear garden. The new built foot print would be somewhat larger than some of those for adjacent properties, but taken overall, it would not appear too excessive.
The new front elevation would now have two symmetrically positioned gables that would be integrated into a distinctive hipped roof. The architectural appearance of the principal façade would then appear a more unified composition. On the other hand, the rear façade would take on a more asymmetrical appearance. There would be a large triangular shaped dormer in the roof, another large part-triangular shaped window on the first floor extension and another on the ground floor of the large one story extension below. It would be very close to both an oeil de beuf window and a French window.
The Society certainly thinks that the new front elevation would be a distinct aesthetic improvement on the present façade. Moreover the Society realises that on the rear façade, the deliberate juxtaposition of three large, asymmetrically placed, triangularly orientated windows, could produce a distinctive and original design. However as this development is on a relatively small scale, a more conventionally designed fenestration scheme might be more advisable. Under the circumstances, we think that because this proposal has not absolutely satisfied the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
5 Seafield Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-26969-A
This is an application to construct a very contemporary three storey block of 6 flats in place of a mid twentieth century house, built in modernised Arts and Crafts style. The new built footprint would be twice as large as the existing one comprising up to 70% of the corner site.
The new building would be built in a very overt modernist form and consist of several very angular concrete boxes. The north and west elevations would have symmetrically positioned casement windows whereas the south elevation would be more asymmetrically designed with a predominance of horizontal light strips.
The Society strongly believes that this uncompromising piece of modernist design would be totally out of place in relation of the more traditional, earlier twentieth century, family house architecture of the surrounding neighbourhood. This feeling was echoed strongly by local comment; it was felt that far more family houses were needed built in a more pleasing style. Consequently the since this application in no way reflects the ideals of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we feel it should be refused.
28 Browning Avenue , Boscombe Manor Ref. No. 7-2022-26099-B
This is an application to allow a garage structure attached to the front façade of an existing, dwelling house to be heightened in order to create further bedroom space. Above, a subsidiary hipped roof would merge into the main structure and a pedimented dormer would be constructed over the garage. On the rear façade of this new structure a balcony window would be provided and an external staircase into the back garden.
Although there have been some complaints from local residents about the lack of privacy entailed by this new construction, the Society, having weighed everything up feels that what is proposed is visually compatible with the surroundings. Therefore we have decided that since this proposal comes near to satisfying the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed.
8 Lansdowne Road Ref. No. 7-2022-20439
This is an application to make alterations to an existing late nineteenth century, retail-cum-residential building on the corner of Lansdowne Lane. It is the intention to create four flats in the upper three floors, but the Society has only been able to observe the plans of two flats on the first and second floors. The changes appear to be entirely structural and relate to the creation of a symmetrical series of modern sash windows on the rear and inner facades of the interior courtyard of the main building,
From what the Society can observe, the rooms of the two flats appear to be quite spacious – except for the small second bedrooms/boxrooms. We cannot speak for the other two flats. However based on what evidence is available, we think what is proposed is a reasonable proposition. And so since this scheme generally abides by the conventions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society thinks it should be allowed.
3 Paisley Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-4321-D
This is an application to construct a very small, two storey dwelling house on the original unbuilt on section of an already developed site in the form of an early twentieth century property. Over the years, the original unbuilt on section of the site has been utilised to form an unplanned, one storey collection of miscellaneous structures. What is proposed is a narrow, two storey, flat roofed structure with modern sash windows above and French windows below. The Society is sure that since the built footprint would fill almost the entire remaining free space of the site, it would fall below all national standards for size of accommodation. We say here is another blatant example of an attempt to build accommodation on a developed site that was never designed for further development. Consequently the Society feels that since this proposal in no way upholds the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused
90 Parkway Drive, Queens Park Ref. No. 7-2022-13544-Z
This is an application to demolish a substantial, post war family house and to replace it with three smaller family houses of a generally traditional shape with hipped roof but with angular modernist characteristics. There would be quadruple/triple sets of windows, the upper ones merging in triangular form into gables as part of the roof.
The Society observes that the architectural style, although in no way exceptional is relatively analogous with the surrounding properties. However we think that three houses on the proposed site is far too high a density in relation to the local neighbourhood. We suggest two houses would be a better proposition. Therefore the Society feels that since these proposals do not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, they should be deferred for further discussion.
67-71 St. Michael’s Road, West Cliff Ref. No. 7-2022-3977-Q
This is an application to demolish a three/four storey series of terraced properties built in the late nineteenth century that are situated in the West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation Area. They were built as holiday accommodation and would be replaced with a purpose built, three storey block of flats in modernised Arts and Crafts style. On the principal façade there would be four, symmetrically positioned projections ending in gables that would be incorporated into a hipped roof. The fenestration in the form of double and triple sets of vertical windows would be regularly positioned across the façade – with gable windows and dormers at the roof line.
Although the Society accepts that the design is quite respectable and might appear quite appropriate in respect to the adjacent townscape, we do think that the new building does have a certain modern austerity which is at odds the prevailing architectural style in St. Michael’s Road.
For comparison, we think that the considerable use of multi-storey bay windows – a favourite device in Victorian mansion flats – in the recently constructed flat blocks on the site of the Wessex Hotel has made a considerable difference to the quality of the design.
We do appreciate that the existing buildings are in a poor condition and that in a conservation area, every effort should be made to restore and preserve them. And this resolve is echoed by local comment. However failing this solution, the Society suggests that only the southern section of the terrace – which still has a coherent, symmetrical appearance – be preserved. The remainder could be rebuilt according to one of the earlier, more sensitive design for this site, incorporating more traditional bay windows.
Consequently, the Society has decided that since this proposal does not properly satisfy the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
9-11 Knole Road , Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2022-23073-C
This is an application to demolish the two existing twentieth century houses on these sites and to construct a block of 20 flat but designed to give the impression of two separate, three storey blocks. The site abuts the Knole Road Conservation Area, opposite. The built footprint would however be common for both structures and considerably larger than those of the present structures. Each block section that would be built in a modernised Arts and Crafts Style would have quite prominent projections ending in large gables which would be integrated into the prominent hipped roof. The corner projection would include an attached, two storey bay window and there would be glass balconies for the upper stories on the central projection. Fenestration would be symmetrically arranged in the form of double casement and French windows.
The Society is of the opinion that the existing dimensions of the two combined flat blocks is far too large for them to become an harmonious addition to the surrounding townscape. We think it would be better, either to fully separate each block with smaller dimensions, or to construct a single block, somewhat larger than the dimensions of either of the proposed flat block sections. Therefore the Society feels that since this proposal does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
10-12 Lorne Park Road Ref. No. 7-2022-11888-F
This is an application to demolish one of the last pairs of late nineteenth century houses in Lorne Park Road for a five storey block of flats in modernist style. The new built foot print would be in the form of an asymmetrical rectangle and considerably large than that of the present building. The principal elevation would be in the form of three irregularly positioned concrete projections of varying dimensions with an indented penthouse storey above. The two long side elevations would consist of varying widths of wall in conjunction with strips of fenestration in the form of large vertical and small rectangular windows.
The Society find the proposed design totally lacking in any positive aesthetic sensibility – it is merely a series of rectangular voids clumsily put together to fill a vacant space. But we do appreciate that an appropriate design for this site is complicated by the presence of a surviving Victorian building on one side and a modern block on the other. We would suggest that the most appropriate solution would be a design that synthesised both a level of historical integrated symmetry with a controlled modernist ambience of restraint . Certainly the Society thinks that judging from the present awful conditions of the present structure which is used as very poor quality emergency social housing, something must be done quickly to improve a deteriorating situation. Consequently we think that because what is proposed does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration.
South Western House , 5 Fir Vale Road; Multi-story car park, Glen Fern Road Ref. No. 7-2022-1958-DQ
This is an application to demolish almost all the extensive modern structures between Fir Vale Road and Glen Fern Road and to construct a series of large 10/25 storey buildings: 11,000sqm leisure space -boutiques, cinema, indoor bowling rink, restaurant,, a sky bar; 506 flats; a 104 bed hotel and a 464 place multi-storey car park.
This is a massive re development that would be constructed on the site of a very comprehensive, earlier transformation of an extensive site that had been occupied in the late Nineteenth Century by the distinctive Arts and Crafts Grand Hotel and its fine, extensive gardens. The new townscape consisted principally of two massive structures : a block of offices and leisure facilities facing Fir Vale Road, and a multi-storey car park on Glen Fern Road where a small retail terrace was also built.
The Society have long felt strongly that what arose on this site during the 1970’s was probably the worst designed modern complex that was ever constructed in central Bournemouth. It deserves to be replaced as soon as possible
According to the new built foot print, the proposed redevelopment would consist of four major elements:
- A new, ten storey, general purpose block in neo-baroque style would be constructed in Fir Vale Road. The main façade – consisting of horizontal sets of windows on each floor – would be divided up by a series of giant arched pilasters and bounded at each corner by two very prominent, semi-circular belvedere towers with symmetrically positioned, vertical casement windows with polygonal shaped roofs.
- A massive, 25 storey flat block would be built in Glen Fern Road near the junction with Fir Vale Road. It would dominate the whole of central Bournemouth and the appearance of the first 17 floors would be dominated by the alternative directional canting of very prominent communal balconies. Beyond the seventeenth storey, further communal balconies would be complimented by a brick tower bounded by brick pilaster strips between large rectangular windows.
- The remaining adjacent structures in Glen Fern Road ( 12 and 10 stories high respectively ) would house the hotel and would consist of huge, angular, concrete structures held together by vertical/horizontal concrete grids framing similar lines of rectangular fenestration.
- At the rear of the site and parallel with the nineteenth century retail terrace in Old Christchurch Road, a continuous series of large, ten storey blocks of flats would be built – the facades being in the form of white vertical concrete strips, generally alternating with vertical window openings.
In addition there would be an interior garden courtyard entered at the junction of Fir Vale Road and Glen Fern Road that would be located between the baroque structure and the 25 storey flat block.
Having thought hard on the issue, and bearing in mind the complex visual context of the site, the Society have reached the conclusion that a reasonable level of architectural integration could be achieved here by the relatively similar height and architectural form of the baroque, hotel and rear flat sited structures. However the excessive height of the 25 storey apartment tower would remain a problem.
For we think that since the highest number of permitted floors in Bournemouth hitherto is 15, this new proposal, if built, would dominate the whole of central Bournemouth. Even if the visual context of this building was somewhat mitigated by the considerable number of more modern adjacent buildings towards Bath Hill to the south, there still remains a very considerable area of contrasting, late nineteenth century, townscape stretching north and centred on Old Christchurch Road and protected by Conservation Area status.
Therefore we suggest the following solution: that on the 25 storey block, the full width of the communal balconies be allowed up to the seventeenth floor which is the level at which this balconied façade is joined for the final 8 storeys by the pilastered brick tower; that this brick tower be removed entirely from the design and that the remaining 8 storeys of the now width reduced, communal balcony facades be reduced by 4/5 storeys. This would allow the stepped roof line of the hotel buildings in Glen Fern Road to be continued right up to and to the top of the very high flat block which could then be lowered to 19/20 storeys. We also think that the asymmetrical canting of the balconies should be considerably reduced and the overwhelmingly monotonous impact of the long communal balconies as seen from Glen Fern Road be mitigated by a series of regularly positioned vertical stanchions on the outer façade.
And so after much deliberation, the Society finds that since this application does not properly comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
Savoy Hotel West Hill Road Ref. No. 7-2022-4988-AT
This is an application to considerably increase the facilities to be offered by the five star rehabilitation of the Savoy Hotel on the Bournemouth West Cliff. This hotel housed in a distinguished Art Deco building has been a well known part of the hospitality scene in Bournemouth since the early Twentieth Century. It stands within the West Cliff and Poole Hill Conservation area. Extra bedrooms, a new spa and gym, more restaurants and an upper garden terrace and a swimming pool would all be provided by a large four story extension on the northern side of the hotel.
The rather untidy, utility orientated north elevation of the building would be given a new face in the shape of an early eighteenth century, balanced, classical façade with two projections – one at either corner of the extension. There would be an elaborate scheme of symmetrical fenestration – triple sets of windows in the projections and alternating schemes of double or single vertical windows inn between. There would be three sizable dormers in the prominently hipped roof.
Although at first glance the general appearance of what is proposed may be considered satisfactory, the Society is inclined to agree with the opinion of the Case Officer Tom Hubbard who think that the considerable size of the hipped roof with prominent new dormers of the new extension, by being above the existing roof line would have a negative aesthetic effect on the general appearance of the new north side of the hotel. We also have sympathy for local comment (31 messages) wo feared that the new facilities would lead to a loss of privacy and an undesirable increase in infrastructure noise. Moreover the Society notes a general feeling that the substantial alterations to the north would lead to a considerable change in the roof design of the south façade – the existing appearance of the latter and associated dormers could appear top heavy. As a solution, the Society would suggest a slight reduction in the general proportions of the proposed northern extension and the protruding hipped roof lowered to no higher than the adjacent forms. Under the circumstances, we think that since this proposal does not fully satisfy the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
Lyndon Court Hotel – Durley Road and Hahnemann Road Ref. No. 7-2022-5152-N
This is an application to demolish a mid/late nineteenth century holiday mansion block, latterly used as an hotel in favour of a much larger, five storey block of 37 flats. The new building would be designed in the style of a much larger, nineteenth century mansion block. It would boast a complex principal façade including two, three storey bay windows, complete with gables that merge into an elaborate and complicated, two story hipped roof with dormers. The side elevations would incorporate architectural elements from the main façade. There would be a four storey belvedere tower at the intersection of the short and long elevation complete with polygonal roof. Fenestration would in traditional form in symmetrical double and triple sets of vertical windows. There would be traditional wrought iron style balconies between the projections.
The Society is of the strong opinion that what is proposed, although competently designed, is really far too massive and in the wrong style to be comfortably integrated into the somewhat smaller proportioned properties within the surrounding area. The elaborate traditional style of the new building from the 1890’s was certainly not common when the more restrained holiday accommodation from the 1870’s which still bore a slight romantic/classical ambience, appeared on the West Cliff.
Although a local person was not in favour of developers following the more modest appearance of original buildings, we feel that since many flat builders deliberately disguise their grandiloquent projects in historic styles so as to cram in as many flats as possible, they should not be allowed to use this practice just for the sake of financial gain. Therefore the Society suggests that any development project on this site should be designed in restrained, late nineteenth century romantic-classical style; that the length of the principal façade be shortened by up to quarter and the colossal roof be reduced in volume by 50%. And so after due deliberation, we think that since this proposal does not satisfy the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.