PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING MARCH 2022 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO THE BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
4 Talbot Avenue, Talbot Woods Ref. No. 7-2022-1856-E
This is an application to make alterations and extensions in order to create three more flats within an existing house that was built in the Arts and Crafts style during the early Twentieth Century. The property became part of one of the finest residential neighbourhoods in Bournemouth by which well designed, large properties, each set in spacious grounds, were constructed mainly during the 1920’s and 1930’s and became known as Talbot Woods. The site in question lies within the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods conservation area.
The well articulated facades of the S.W. and S.E. elevations are crowned by two half timbered gables and a prominent pitched roof with dormers. Fenestration is in the form of well integrated three and four light, vertical clusters of casement windows (with upper divisions) . The planned two storey extension would be on the N.E. side of the house and the general design and fenestration lay out would reflect the architectural details of the original house. The windows again would be in twos and three and on the new N.E. elevation there would be two new flat entrances either side of a French windows – all a short distance from each other.
The Society feels that even if the general lay out of the proposed extension goes a reasonable distance to create a sympathetic enhancement of the existing house, we think that the impression would be given of an over large property on the site in which the sensitive balance between built and unbuilt on space, which has always been the unique feature of most properties in Talbot Woods would be lost. We also believe that the close appearance of three doors on the N.E. elevation of the extension is an inadequate design element to be included in a house of this quality.
Accordingly, the Society has decided that under the circumstances, because this proposal does not satisfy the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
1 Allington Road Ref. No. 7-20-22-23378-E
This is an application to demolish the existing, two storey, late nineteenth century family residence (with hipped roof and two storey bay windows) and to build in place, a two storey block of four town houses in semi-modernist style.
The built footprint of the new structure would be in the shape of four interlocking rectangles – somewhat larger in total area than that of the existing building. Below a prominent hipped roof, the principal south and west facades, in comparison to the square shape of the adjacent properties, present a distinctly horizontal appearance. And apart from one gabled projection, fenestration is mainly in the form of either very large or very small, rectangular windows (plus one French window) irregularly positioned on both floor; the larger first floor windows being framed by projecting concrete frames.
The Society agrees with local opinion in that if allowed this new block would be totally unsuitable for the site; its mass and form would be too large for the existing site and its poorly integrated modernist design would completely degrade the existing aesthetic spatial harmony of one of the best examples of late nineteenth century neighbourhoods in Bournemouth. Indeed we find utterly incomprehensible, the assertion in the Design and Access statement that the new development would fully respect and compliment the adjacent properties . Indeed we suggest that the demolition of the existing well designed house at 1 Allington Road would create an ugly break in what is still a very well integrated urban area and leave the way open for further depredations hereabouts by future insensitive developers. The Society strongly feels that this scheme shows negligible respect for the evolved historic environment in Bournemouth and is only guided by financial gain.
Under these circumstances, we have decided that since the present proposal shows negligible respect for the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
19 Redhill Drive Ref. No. 7-2022-15392-C
This application is for a two storey extension to the eastern side of a detached dwelling house which was design in modernised Arts and Crafts style with a complex – part chalet – roof and with two ground floor bay windows one each on the two principal elevations. The new extension would allow a symmetrical creation of the front façade with the addition of an extra bay window with triple casement above, similar to those existing. The new rear extension is mainly wall with one vertical upstairs window.
Although the Society feel this scheme would produce a relative improvement in the mass and appearance of the property, we feel that the poorly designed rear extension should include a balancing ground floor bay window and a triple casement above
We also think that although the new width of the house would now be complimentary to that of nearby buildings, it would now be located exceptionally close to the boundary fences and be placed on a much narrower site than adjacent properties.
Consequently, the Society feels that since this proposal does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
49 Francis Avenue/ 51 Francis Avenue Ref 7-2022-28530
This is an application to construct an extra storey on top of two existing bungalows that were constructed as part of a wider development in the mid Twentieth Century. The upper floors of the principal S.W elevation would encompass two triple sets of casement windows below a prominent hipped roof.
The Society agrees with local opinion that the extra storey on the two bungalows could not be sympathetically accommodated within the existing visual character of the area. We feel this development takes no account of the predominantly horizontal design of the original layout. Moreover we are advised that earlier schemes of this kind have been refused. In addition we strongly feel that since the purpose of this proposal is to provide accommodation for students, it is simply not appropriate that poor planning of this sort should provide these facilities.
Under the circumstances, the Society has decided that because this scheme in no way agrees with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
31 Brightlands Avenue (between Tuckton and Wick) Ref. No. 7-2022-28271-A
This is an application to build narrow, one storey, flat roofed extensions along the S.W. and N.W. sides of an existing chalet bungalow that was built as part of a residential development during the 1960’s. The long extension to the S.W. would contain store and utility space and the shorter, N.W. extension would be a new family room. The new elevation of the S.W extension would be mainly wall topped by a ridge of tiles similar to the roof. The N.W. extension would be taken up by two quadruple sets of French windows – not completely aligned to the existing width and rear dormers of the property.
The Society feels that the extensions would make the new built footprint far too large for the existing site – the new side building line of the property would be brought exceptionally close to the adjacent house no. 29. We also think that the shape of the long extension appears to cut off abruptly the gable on the S.W. elevation from the connecting wall below, so creating an unsatisfactory result. We realise that the non alignment of the French windows would occur due to the non concurrence of the original width of the chalet bungalow with the extended width of the shorter N.W. extension.
The Society thinks that the long extension should be substituted for a smaller combined utility store centred under the gable but only up to one third the width of this feature. Also we say that the shorter extension should be reduced to the existing width of the chalet bungalow (and include a more symmetrical alignment of the French windows ) but the depth should be increased by way of compensation. In this way we are certain that the excessive size of the new built foot print – especially in relation to the western boundary of the site – would be reasonably mitigated.
Therefore the Society is resolved that since this proposal does not reach the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
Land R/O of 2 Southill Road; 4 Southill Road (by Charminster Road ) Ref. No. 7-2022-20137-C
This is an application to build a two storey, detached, dwelling house on a composite site created from the rear portions of two existing, developed sites: nos. 2 and 4 Southill Road . However the Society must say that having carefully examined this proposal, we find that existing houses in the adjacent Strouden Road appear to be misnumbered.
The new property would follow the general appearance of the inter war design conventions of the adjacent neighbourhood. The front façade would include the entrance and a two storey bay window with a hipped roof above; fenestration would be in the form of modern sash windows in sets of several vertical segments.
The Society feel that the restricted size of the site for what is planned would amount to overdevelopment of the original spatial ratio of the neighbourhood. We agree with local opinion that there would be a reduction of natural sunlight to adjacent properties as a result of the very close building line to the site boundary of the new house. The complaint about over development it is felt, also impinges on a reduction of privacy and inadequate car parking spaces. Therefore the Society sees this development as yet another example of an attempt on an already developed, restricted site, to create residential property, merely for financial gain, where further building activity was never envisaged.
Therefore we have decided that since this proposal in no way reflects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
54 Elgin Road (backing on to Glenferness Avenue) Ref. No. 7-2022-3871-H
This is an application to build a relatively compact, detached, family dwelling on part of the original site between Elgin Road and Glenferness Avenue. The area was originally laid out in the form of large, Arts and Crafts style houses on spacious plots in the early Twentieth Century and it is now the Meyrick Park and Talbot Woods Conservation Area. The Society is aware that in view of the exceptional level of spaciousness and the generally high quality of urban design in this area, questions had been raised as to whether or not a family house of medium size would be spatially compatible with the surrounding townscape. However in view of the fact that on several divided sites in Talbot Woods, such properties had been introduced in which balanced proportional gaps between individual properties had been achieved and the average urban density of the neighbourhood successfully maintained. The new house at Elgin Road would be in modernised Arts and Crafts style and where the building line of the built footprint would be set back a considerable distance from the road. The principal elevation would encompass a gabled projection with a double bay window, capped by a prominent pitched roof and lit by double and quadruple casement windows. There would be a garage on the south façade.
The Society finds the general design generally acceptable – however in order to benefit more from the sun at this spot, we suggest that the garage is moved further forward towards the front façade so that the ground floor window at this side of the house could be enlarged.
Consequently we think that since this application does not completely relate tom the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion.
834 Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2022-5208-G
This is an application to alter and extend this late nineteenth/early twentieth century property to create two new, self contained, residential units in the rear portion of the existing buildings. Apart from considerable internal changes, the new structure would be an extension of a short terrace on the last unbuilt corner of the site between Warwick Road and Warwick Lane. It would consist of a two storey extension of the terrace with symmetrical fenestration on to the internal court and an entrance with window above on the new end elevation.
Normally the Society is uneasy about such new developments in high density urban areas. Here however it seemed the completion of the development of the rear portion of this late nineteenth century retail/residential plot was a plausible concept – given the need for cheaper accommodation in the immediate area for service personnel.
And so under the circumstances, we think that subject to sufficient sound proofing, since this application appears to satisfy reasonably the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, should be granted.
Erection of 8 houses – land off Surrey Road (Adj Cambridge Roundabout) Ref. No. 7-2022-28087
This is a scheme to build eight, reasonably priced houses for the social services of the BCP on a piece of vacant land just below the Cambridge Road Roundabout (the western interchange of Wessex Way) . The Society notes that this undeveloped land was created when several late nineteenth villas in Surrey Road were demolished in order to create the massive embankment that supported Wessex Way on the south side of the Bourne Valley. Certain criteria relate to the final re-development of the site. As much of the mature landscape on the site (originally the villa gardens) would need to be preserved. The general impact of the scheme would need to enhance the existing visual character of the area. And although smaller family units would be built here, the proposed house blocks – irrespective of providing an efficient use of the land – would have to be spatially harmonious with the general mass and shape of the adjacent, surviving Victorian villas in Surrey Road.
The proposed houses would be spaced out in four new blocks: three in one, two each in two others and a single one at the end nearest the bridge over the Pleasure Gardens.
Although the Society is generally satisfied by the overall traditional shape of the proposed blocks, we feel that the appearance and popularity of the new buildings would be considerably enhanced by a less chunky, less austere (quasi-modernist ) treatment of the facades. We also think that the fenestration should be more symmetrical by which ground floor windows and doors should line up with windows above. Further we believe that all windows on both floors should be of equal size and also without the need for unnecessary extensions of blank window shapes next to functioning windows. The Society feels strongly that in residential blocks there really is no cause for pretentious modernist flourishes. Finally the Society suggest a much brighter colour than boring brown to paint the outside of the properties.
Therefore since we believe that this proposal does not qualify under the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be deferred for further discussion.