PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING MARCH 2020 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT, BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
Templeman House, Leedham Road, Redhill Ref. No. 7-2020-43336-T
This is an application to demolish an existing old peoples’ home built in the 1960’s and to build 27 social housing units in a four storey block for BCP Council. The existing three storey structure is built of brick with a hipped roof and with mainly square, asymmetrically positioned, casement windows with two, wide, three storey light wells on one side
The new structure would be constructed in fashionable modernist design in the form of a succession of differing architectural sections: some in the form of double or triple glass/French Windows panels with balconies; others with regular vertical fenestration; one in single rectangular window form and the main entrance beside two wide lightwells together in the centre. A considerable amount of distinctive weatherboarding would appear on the narrower side elevations. The roof would be flat except for three half sections of sloping roof unrelated to a particular function.
Just as the Society feels the existing building is a prime example of the banalities of mid twentieth century modernism, so we think that its replacement is a random conglomeration of eclectic, unintegrated built elements in contemporary modernist form, that simply do not add up to a properly balanced piece of architectural design.
We have great sympathy with local opinion which apart from raising the usual problems of light and privacy restrictions, also thinks the building is too big and out of character for the area.
The Society therefore feels that instead of veering from one extreme form of modernism to another, a less mixed up, more traditional design would be more appropriate – indeed something very like the earlier proposed designs that were put forward in the section 6.0 Design Review Section of the Design and Access Statement. What was initially suggested was a more symmetrical façade with balanced projections ( together with gables ) merging into a hipped roof. After a careful reading of the Design report, the Society simply cannot find any justification for the sudden change to the present totally inept and undisciplined design contained in the present proposal. We say it must be appreciated fully that the majority of the population of well established residential neighbourhoods, are usually only happy with new developments that harmonise to a reasonable degree with adjacent properties and will always feel very uneasy beside architectural forms that are alien to their built environment.
The Society therefore suggest that a possible solution might be a modernisation and possible extension of the accommodation in the existing building and a general improvement of the overall design of the fenestration in relation to the main facades or a reversion to a redevelopment along the lines of that indicated in the Design Statement. Consequently, since we have decided that since this application does not fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
5 Hamilton Road, Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2020-11816-D
This is an application to make interior alterations and a one storey extension to a semi-detached, two storey, late nineteenth century house on a narrow long site, in order to create six very small, one bedroom flats.
Apart from new interior divisions, the main change would be a long, one storey extension, half the width of the property and extending two thirds the way into the rear garden. It would have modern sash windows and a hipped roof. There would be two pairs of French windows on the rear ground floor and one pair adjacent to the existing front façade.
The Society observe that here is yet another attempt to create extra income by the excessive development of a restricted site that was never designed for further extensions. According to the Boscombe Neighbourhood Plan, the yearly quota for this area of 25 flats has already been exceeded with the continuing reduction of much needed family properties. Local opinion is strongly against such a drift which brings an increase in social misbehaviour and litter. Therefore we earnestly request the Planning Department to make greater efforts to stop this unsatisfactory trend before it is too late. Under the circumstances, because this proposal does not in any way comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be refused.
6 Cardigan Road, Winton Ref. No. 7-2020-13085-M
This is a proposal to erect a four storey block of 18 flats on the site of the old Winton post office, a single storey building in traditional classical revival style, built during the inter war period. The structure would be a rectangularly Y shaped block with a somewhat contrived degree of symmetry; the principal façade divided vertically by varying architectural planes and combinations of large triple windows and smaller more horizontal ones on each floor. The rear elevation would encompass a more asymmetrical design with an irregular application of two and four light windows; the long side elevations would include unsymmetrical fenestration and ground floor French windows.
The Society feels that at a pinch, the proposed principal façade could be the basis of an acceptable application if the fenestration was redesigned in a more balanced way to fully co-ordinate both halves of the prospective principal façade. Quite apart from the hopes of local opinion that a new use for a building on this site would reduce anti social behaviour in the area; we appreciate that a visually improved building here of this mass and form, would compliment the size and shape – but fortunately not the poor 1970’s modernist design, of the retail/flat block opposite. At the same time the Society is aware that the old post office is a well known historical building in Winton and should be preserved with a new use if at all possible.
Therefore we feel that since this application does not comply fully with the conditions of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further consideration.
11 Florence Road , Boscombe Ref. No. 7-4902-S
This is an application to seek permission to use the roof as extra bed space in a new 3 storey block of 9 flats in revivalist Arts and Crafts style on the site of the original late nineteenth century villa. Although this latest planning initiative in no way affects the visual appearance of the main proposal and the mass, form and general architectural characteristics of the new structure, to a certain degree, attempt to replicate the stylistic ambience of the original structure; the Society is well aware of the fact that too many of the original houses in Florence Road and the adjacent area are coming under increasing pressure for redevelopment at the present time. Therefore we earnestly ask the Planning Department to adopt substantial characterisation planning policies for threatened historic residential neighbourhoods which would serve as a check against unwanted and visually harmful redevelopment, as soon as possible
White Farm , Talbot Village Ref. No. 7-2020-23214-D
This is an application to demolish, modernize and reconstruct the existing nineteenth century farm buildings which became the centre of one of the working farms that were created when the Talbot Village Estate was created by the Talbot sisters at Wallisdown during the Nineteenth Century. The site, which lies in the Talbot Village Conservation Area, is to be transformed as a centre for the rehabilitation of people with physical and learning disabilities. Several delapidated farm buildings would be removed and the following structures built: two new one storey terraces each one accommodating three patients would be constructed on the west and east extremities of the old farmyard site; and a shorter terrace accommodating two patients would go on the northern boundary. These one storey structures would be designed in the style of workers’ cottages in traditional materials with modern sash windows and pitched roofs.
In the centre the old barn would be converted and extended with a loggia to house two patients; and the old farm house in the S.E corner of the site, originally built in the form of a romantic cottage orne with elaborate roofs, small bay windows and elaborate chimneys would serve as staff accommodation.
The Society feels that the general layout of the development, its mass and form and the architectural qualities of its design are of a high quality. Therefore since this proposal satisfies all the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be allowed.