PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING JUNE 2023 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
48 Harland Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2023- 12351-D
This is an application to construct a two storey rear and side extension to an existing mid twentieth century house and to create new loft accommodation.
The new built footprint which would be larger than that of the adjacent properties and closer to the boundary walls, would seek to complete the existing only partially built rectangular shape of the house to full height. The front elevation would receive a grander tiled appearance with a prominent gabled window above. The new rear elevation would encompass a very wide triple French window with three wide horizontal/modern windows above facing a common balcony. There would be a much larger hipped roof with one traditional dormer to the front and two modern ones to the rear and one side.
The Society feel that here is yet another attempt to attempt to modernise an older property by means of unsympathetic modernist alterations which do not improve the appearance of the building and, along with agreeing with local opinion, are out of character with the locality. In addition it was considered that neighbouring privacy would be restricted and that the scheme would amount to over development.
We feel an improvement would result if the windows on the rear façade were made less prominent and better integrated into the overall rear design. Also that the modern dormers were changed to match the one at the front.
Consequently we think that since this application does not comply properly with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
53 Stokewood Road Ref. No. 7-2023-17292-C
This is an application to create a rear extension to an existing inter- war detached house. It exhibits slight Art Deco, austere influences with double bay windows front and back and with a shallow hipped roof. The main purpose of the new construction would be to complete the rectangular structure of the property by the creation of a completely new rear elevation to contain a larger kitchen dining area and more extensive sleeping accommodation. The new rear elevation would comprise a very wide, six panel French windows, two three light modern windows and a horizontal window above the main entrance on the front façade.
The Society is of the opinion that here is little attempt to design with a modernist ambience, well integrated extensions into the existing character of the property. We suggest a more symmetrical appearance at the rear. Thus: a less wide French window in the centre of the façade with better integrated rectangular windows either side – also the substitution of the horizontal window in the front for a more fitting rectangular shape.
We therefore feel that since this application is not fully compatible with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
173 Corhampton Road, Iford Ref. No. 7-2023-28903_A
This is an application to extend the rear section of an existing, mid twentieth century bungalow and to create a new upper floor, in order to increase living/dining and sleeping facilities and to provide better utilities. There would be a new large pitched roof with dormers and the new built foot print although approaching nearer to the side boundaries would not be so different in size to those of neighbouring properties. The new rear elevation would have two pairs of four panelled French windows below and a four panelled modern window in the large gable above. At the front would be modern windows on the ground floor and within the complex double gable above.
Overall the Society considers that the modern designed alterations and extensions to this bungalow generally respect the existing property and will not be a disturbing influence on the surrounding townscape.
We have therefore concluded that since this application appears to fulfil all the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be allowed.
50 Belle Vue Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2023-20897-E
This is an application to build a major two storey extension to the side and alterations and a one storey extension to the rear of a substantial detached property built in simplified Arts and Crafts/Art Deco style of the Inter-War period. There would be a substantial extension to the existing, prominent hipped roof. The extensions would increase the living/dining and sleeping space of the property and the rear elevation would consist of both a new two storey bay window with multiple fenestration and a small French window and a much larger four panelled French window attached to the one storey extension. The front elevation would be widened by reason of the end elevation fo the side extension and provided with French windows and a three panelled window above .The existing conservatory would go and be replaced by a two storey bay window with multiple fenestration. The main entrance would gain a porch.
Generally speaking, the Society is quite content with the moderate design of the proposed changes. However in relation to the older style of the property, we think the glazing bars of the one storey French windows and the new window over the main entrance are too wide and distracting. We suggest somewhat narrower glazing bars for both and for the French windows also, a fenestration arrangement that opens in concertina fashion.
And so since we have decided that this application does not yet fully come up to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, We suggest it be differed for further discussion and improvement.
44 Redhill Avenue, Ref. No. 7-2023-28620-C
This is an application to build a pair of semi-detached, studio style residences on a severed site to the rear of an existing developed location. The dimensions of the site are slightly larger than those adjacent: the built footprint would be somewhat larger than the existing house and take up about 35/40% of the new site. It would be a chalet bungalow design with hipped roof and dormers and two pairs of four panelled French windows together with other vertical windows of different sizes.
Although the Society finds the new design quite acceptable, we find then interiors rather cramped. More importantly as in other instances, we think that the restrictive site dimensions make this location unsuitable for further development. If the development went ahead the Society would consider it to amount to overcrowding. We ask the Planning Department to be vigilant against any attempt to build merely for greed where further activity was never designated.
Under such circumstances we have concluded that because this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
45 Markham Avenue Ref. No. 7-2023-10776-B
This is an application to create a new chalet bungalow with a new upper floor out of an existing mid twentieth century existing bungalow. Apart from some minor n alteration on other elevations the main alteration would be the building of a large extension to the property on the north east corner. Here there would be a new facade with French windows and a gable window above, all capped by a new larger more complex pitched roof. There would be a series of interconnecting dormer windows on both long elevations which, together with the porch of the main entrance would be wood weather boarded. Fenestration would consist of modern windows of varying sizes. The new built foot print would be somewhat larger than those of surrounding properties.
The Society feels that in general the design of the new extension is rather un co-ordinated. This is especially noticeable by the differing sizes of the windows and the choice of building materials.
We would suggest that the fenestration should be better related to the wall proportions and the extensive wood weatherboarding be removed and replaced by more conventional building materials.
Consequently 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.
Workshop to the rear of 8/9 Deans Road, Pokesdown Ref. No. 7-2023-28657-A
This is an application to convert an existing two storey structure, at present used for industrial purposes into a one bedroom dwelling. The building is situated within a closely built up area next door to a private car park with very restricted private space.
The existing front façade of symmetrically positioned windows and the entrance would be adapted for the new use. The rear elevation would contain a French window and three dormers in the pitched roof. Irrespective of the competent design, the Society thinks that the restricted location of the building make it unable to allow sufficient light and privacy for human habitation. Therefore as this application falls short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we recommend it be refused.
61 Howeth Road Ensbury Park Ref. No. 7-2023-5135-F
This is an application to construct two detached, three bedroom houses parallel to each other on separate plots created from a single plot where the existing detached house would be demolished. The combined footprints would be somewhat larger than those of adjacent properties. Each house would be designed in a simplified Arts and Crafts style – the front elevations displaying two storey tiled bay windows with French windows and casement windows at the rear. The long side elevations would consist mainly of wall and contain the main entrances. Quite apart from the fear of increased traffic by local residents, the Society thinks that as each new property fills up nearly 50% of each severed site, the scheme if carried out would amount to over development. We would suggest a smaller single block containing 2 or 3 semi-detached dwellings.
Thus since this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be refused .
1-2 Lansdown Crescent Ref. No. 7-2023-3111-AA
This is an application to rationalise existing retail facades on the ground floor of a long classical style terrace stretching from Lansdown Crescent to Lansdown Road and built during the later Nineteenth Century. It would contain a mixed use café restaurant, a tatoo shop and a hot food takeaway. The new retail ground floor would, apart from four entrances, consist of large uniform sized glass display windows separated by divisions of varying thickness.
The Society fully understands the economic need for the proprietor ( KFC ) to keep up to date but we feel strongly that the somewhat brash design proposed would create too much of a contrast with the more restrained traditional architecture in the upper part of the building.
The Society feels that without excessively compromising its modern appearance, a less obvious contrast between the retail section and the rest of the building could be achieved by colouring the name board a more subtle colour – off white or beige and ensuring that every window division, except at the main entrance, is of uniform thickness. Local opinion is worried that the new emphasis at the retail part of social congregation could lead to night time behavioural problems. We agree with the view that for the sake of assisting local businesses some of the existing facilities such as Mail Boxes should be retained and the proposed take-away should not be included in the alterations.
Therefore the Society have decided that since this scheme does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
298, 298a, 304 Charminster Road Ref. No. 10269-X
This is an application to construct two further storeys on an existing late nineteenth century office building and to add a new four storey extension to the rear. The front façade reflects the general character of the existing structure. There are four symmetrically positioned casement windows below a mansard roof with three dormers. The new rear façade of three storeys has regular casement windows and a new entrance with a porch on the ground floor.
The Society certainly feel that the heightened front façade certainly compliments the appearance and height of its four storry neighbour. However in view of the generally two storey height of the surrounding commercial premises, it could appear that the two, four storey buildinge are rather too massive and somewhat overbearing for this piece of townscape. However although we do understand the plausible reasons for this application, for the sake of preserving the aesthetic balance of this part of Charminster Road, we would strongly recommend to the Planning Department than no other existing two story building in this area be heightened.
And so since the Society can find no strong reason that this application does not comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be allowed.
7 Old Christchurch Road, The Square Ref. No. 7-2023-330-CC
This is an application to create a new storry containing a flat on top of a small office block which was built in place of a renaissance style Victorian structure during the 1970’s. The new addition would copy the design of the lower floors and the façade would consist of floor to ceiling glass panels crowned with a fairly substantial flat roof.
The Society has always considered the presence of this modernist structure a most unwelcome and undeserved planning mistake which badly disrupts a most iconic piece of historic townscape from nineteenth century Bournemouth. However we do think that the extra height gained by this alteration generally will improve the spatial relationship of the adjacent facades between the W.H.Smith building and the National Westminster Bank. Therefore under the circumstances we cannot find any substantial objections to this scheme. Therefore because this application does not overtly contradict the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be allowed.
335-337 Wimborne Road, near Waitrose, Winton Ref. No. 7-2023-5132-Q
This is an application to erect a small one/two storey block of three studio flats on a very enclosed commercial location between the rear of retail premises facing on to Wimborne Road and the Waitrose Car Park. The new building would be designed in one and two storeys in the International Moderne style of the 1930’s. The built foot print would encompass a basic rather austere rectangular shape and the front façade would embrace three triple French windows with horizontal and rectangular windows to the rear. The size of the bedrooms would be exceptionally small.
The Society while being quite happy with the basic design, feels that the overwhelmingly commercial nature of this very restricted site render it totally unsuitable for human habitation.
And so, since this application in no way complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have decided it should be refused.
16 Manor Road, East Cliff Ref. No. 7-2023-374-U
This is an application to construct three semi-detached dwellings on the site of a substantial but much altered, late Victorian era detached property. The location is fairly enclosed in the vicinity of what were substantial private villas on the East Cliff which have been turned into flats. The new built foot print would be somewhat larger than those of neighbouring structures. The new development of three storeys would be designed in the mid to late nineteenth century, “cottage” style and consist of two sections: The main part would have with two prominent gables to the front, a ground floor bay window and loggia by the main entrance and symmetrical fenestration. The lesser part would have a hipped roof with dormers and one bay window combined with a long ground floor loggia. North and west elevations would contain five traditionally designed, sets of French windows.
Although the Society accepts that the general design of the three dwelling is quite a competent, we also agree with the heritage report that in respect to the visual context of the proposed new buildings, the dimensions and form of the latter are fare too massive in relation to the original structures. It was also considered desirable that a properly integrated plan that preserved the mature landscape in the location should be presented. Further, local opinion believes that the original property on the site should be rehabilitated or at the very least the proposed historicist design of the three houses should be made more imaginative.
Therefore after considerable thought the Society believes that om account of the inability of this application to accept the tenets of the townscape policies within the Local Bournemouth Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Former Bright’s Department Store, 14-24 Old Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2023-4198-T
This is an application to convert the former House of Frazer store ( Brights ) on the corner of the Gervis Arcade and Old Christchurch Road into 9 commercial units, a night club and 149 residential units. A sun terrace would be opened on the roof.
The Society realises it has become inevitable that the place of the grand department stores in modern retailing is no longer a commercial proposition. The buildings of the former Beales and Bobby’s department stores have been, or are about to be, sold with the hope of considerable revival in the future. A plan has now been put forward to bring new life to the old Brights building.
The Society is certainly pleased to learn of the new commercial units that are promised for the lower floors. We are also happy to note that the fine facades of this listed building will also be restored. However in conjunction with local opinion the Society is not in favour of student flats and a night club to operate in the historic retail heart of the town. It is felt that a large number of small flats for temporary occupants and the social pressures generated by the night club, would not produce an acceptable atmosphere that could be easily appreciated by family visitors to the centre of the town. We would suggest that if it is inevitable that the upper floors of the building in question must be turned into accommodation, then we would suggest more spacious family flats of which there is a continuing demand throughout Bournemouth
Therefore under the circumstances on account of the fact that this application falsl short of the standards set by the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.