PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING MAY 2023 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
158 Broadway, Hengistbury Head Ref. No. 7-2023-28862-A
This is an application to construct a two storey rear extension and alterations to the front façade of a mid-twentieth century chalet bungalow. The rear extension would entail new hipped roof, The new ground floor façade would contain two pairs of French windows asymmetrically positioned above which would be three prominent, gabled, dormer windows ; the two over the French windows being of full room height with Juliet balconies. The front elevation would acquire a new entrance porch and two dormers – both gabled but one at full height with balcony would resemble the similar two on the rear elevation.
The Society feels that here is a somewhat inept attempt to try and conserve the “cottage-orne” character of the original structure while at the same time degrading the appearance of the new building by the addition of somewhat insensitive, modernist design changes considered necessary for contemporary living. We are especially concerned by the variation in size and unsymmetrical positioning of the dormers. In this we agree with local opinion which feels that the new proposals were too massive and did not fully compliment the adjacent townscape; there would also be a reduction of privacy and sunlight. We suggest that the general design would be improved by a slight reduction in overall building dimensions and the adaption of an overall uniform design for all the dormer windows, front and back. These should be half or three quarter the size of what is proposed and furnished with imitation, wrought iron railings instead of the proposed glass balconies.
Therefore since the Society considers that this application does not completely fulfil the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Plan, we think it should be deferred for further improvement and consideration.
28 Kingswell Road, East Howe Ref. No. 7-2023-14248-C
This is an application to construct a new, semi-detached dwelling on the western side of an existing two storey dwelling , created as part of the general suburban extension of north Bournemouth during the mid Twentieth Century. There would be a substantial, two storey extension onto the west elevation to create an enlarged front façade containing a new entrance with a bay window on the first floor and an enlarged rear façade with a tripartite French window on the ground floor. There would be an enlarged hipped roof.
The Society feel that proposed extension does not integrate well with the existing property. The new extensions would clearly look like later, somewhat utilitarian extension and the resulting built foot print would clearly be far too large to enable two semi-detached properties to be appropriately accommodated upon such a restricted, developed location. We also find the proposed internal planning of the proposed new house somewhat unfinished according to the proposals. Further, the new extension would prevent the eventual provision of appropriate lighting from the dining room of the existing house which now has to rely on indirect light.
Consequently after considerable thought, we have decided that because this application does not in any conform to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
127 Belle Vue Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2023-7196-J
This is an application to build a new three storey block of retail premises on the ground floor and two town houses on the two floors above. The property would be constructed on a vacant site between two existing similar, three storey structures. What is unusual is that permission for part of the site will be presumed to be granted across an existing service road . The other access of the other end of this lane to Belle Vue Road would still be available and there would be a new private access to the rear of the new property on to Southbourne Over Cliff Drive
The new front façade above the conventional retail shop windows would consist of four symmetrically positioned, modern sash windows on the first floor and four larger, vertical openings in the form of mini French windows ( with glass balconies ) on the second floor. Above would be a distinctive pitched roof with two pedimented dormers. The rear fenestration would be in the form of two pairs of parallel lined of smaller sash windows, culminating in a very large, double dormer window.
Although the Society generally approve of the basic elements of the design we feel strongly that the much larger partial balcony windows on the second floor are too large and would create a clear over balancing of the general design of the façade. We would suggest that this unbalance could be put right by making the dimensions of the windows on the first floor larger and those on the second floor smaller so that they almost equal each other in size. We think this change would restore the integrated appearance of the new façade and also that any Juliet balconies should be fronted by imitation wrought iron railings.
Under these circumstances we have decided that since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Garages, Grants Close, near Ashley Road (by Holdenhurst Road ) Ref No. 7-2023-8421-B
This is an application to construct two semi-detached social housing units by BCP Council on the site of 12 lock up garages. The new built foot print would take up about half the area of the site. The new property would be rather an austere structure with symmetrically arranged, plain, casement windows, doors on both main facades and a pitched roof.
The Society feels the although the present design would be sufficient, a more interesting aesthetic relationship between windows and façade is possible. We also agree with local opinion that the new structure is set too close to the southern boundary wall. However although we understand concerns about the loss of public parking and the loss of privacy to neighbours; a possible solution would be a new site in the further vicinity of the turning area in Grants Close, away from developed sites.
Consequently the Society feels that because this application does not fully satisfy the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
15 Stourwood Road, Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2023-19397-C
This is an application to demolish the existing building for a new block of seven flats within a twentieth century neighbourhood of more traditionally designed bungalows and detached houses. The site which is somewhat larger than adjacent ones, is triangular and lies between between Stourwood Road and Stourwood Avenue.
The new built foot print which is nearly twice the size of that of neighbouring properties and is in the form of a very irregular rectangle, takes up just under 50% of the site. The basic shape of the new block is in the form of a small number of distinctive and inter-related, horizontal shaped by considerable pieces pf blank wall and especially on the south and west elevations, by several thick concrete stanchions which shelter glass facades to various floors. The top storey is flat roofed and indented so as to create a wide balcony.
The Society strongly disapprove of this new scheme; we think that the very unconcealed modernism of the design is totally at odds with the scale and style of the more traditional residential buildings of the surrounding area. We agree with local opinion that if built, the flat block would have a most negative effect on the low density character and relaxed life style of this low level bungalow neighbourhood. There was also fear of losing the natural landscape as well as the loss of privacy, natural light and parking spaces. The worst threat with which the Society also concurs was the threat posed by the spread of holiday lets or second home owners, if this kind of development spreads, to the established community spirit of the area.
Therefore we have decided that since this application in no way enhances the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
23 Waltham Road (near the new Portchester School, Castle Lane East ) Ref. No. 7-2023-23105-C
This is an application to construct a three bedroom new, semi-detached dwelling in the form of a two storey extension to the north west long side elevation of a small, two storey, detached, mid twentieth century house. The new property would double the size of the existing built footprint which would then become somewhat larger than those of surrounding properties. The changes would include an integral garage near them main entrance on the extended front elevation and a further French windows at the rear. The most distinctive architectural change would be the continuous line of alternating wall sections and windows, that would completely surround the house at first floor level. Together with a much larger hipped roof, this unique fenestration feature would give the enlarged property, a certain visual resemblance to the houses of the late nineteenth century Art-Nouveaux/Art Deco architect Baillie-Scott.
However although the Society generally approves of the main elements of the enlarged design, the rather inept incorporation of the new main entrance and garage together on the front façade and the two French windows of differing size at the rear, prompts us to suggest the following. That below the single porch combining both the front door and garage access, the garage doors be replaced by vertically orientated, sliding doors and at the rear, the single be replaced by a double one extending along the whole length of the widened rear elevation.
Therefore since the Society believes that the application does not fully support the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be deferred further consideration and improvement.
105 Castle Lane West Ref. No. 7-2023-28751-B
This is an application to build a small detached, one bedroom bungalow at the rear end of a developed plot at the corner of Castle Lane West and Ruskin Avenue , part of the mid twentieth century suburban expansion of north Bournemouth. The new built footprint would take up about 45% of the severed site leaving little room for any private area. The new structure which would be placed in the centre of the site would be a one storey, very utilitarian structure with a complex pitched roof and insignificant horizontal/rectangular windows.
The Society observes that here is yet another example of an attempt to build poorly planned, residential facilities in a location that was never meant to provide further development. We see that no other adjacent site contains further development and indeed the present scheme would create a bad precedent in respect to the further evolution of this piece of townscape.
Consequently, we have decided that since this application most certainly does not comply witht the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
218 Castle Lane Ref. No. 7-2023-16574-B
This is an application to construct a new, two storey, two bedroom, dwelling house on a totally enclosed site surrounded by developed sites in Castle Lane West and Luckham Road and reached by a private road to Luckham Road. The new built foot print would take up well over 70/75% of the severed site and be very modernist in design. It would consist of a very small number of interconnected cubic rectangles with modern, vertical sash windows and two French windows. The much smaller upper storey, containing a bedroom would be attached in the form of a flat roofed tower.
The Society feels that this scheme by means of its eccentric shape, resembles an architectural caprice: it is way too large for the severed plot and in style and planning it is completely at odds with surrounding properties.
Therefore because this application in no way conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have no choice but to recommend refusal.
251 Castle Lane West Ref. No. 7-2023-5926
On first glance the location plan appears to show the plan of an application to build a new bungalow on a severed site to the rear of the developed site: 251 Castle Lane West. However there is some confusion as an elevation illustration from the application pack portrays a two stoery house designed in conventional, 1960’s modernist style – with pitched roof and modern tripartite metal windows and a pitched roof – meant for the plot .
However the Society has decided that whatever design is intended, further residential development is simply is simply not suitable in this location. We note that access via the existing property would be unsatisfactory and the new dwelling would amount to overcrowding on the restricted site – thereby setting a bad precedent for the undeveloped rear areas of adjacent properties. We are also sympathetic to fears of the loss of natural landscape cover and privacy from local residents.
Under the circumstances, the Society have concluded that since this application in no way enhances the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan it should be refused.
8 Durweston Close Muscliff, Castle Lane West Ref. No. 7-2023-28298-A
This is an application to build a new detached house on what is in effect the unbuilt half of a double plot which is now partly occupied by 8 Durweston Close. The built foot print of the proposed building would be able to be similar in size to the terraced houses further along Durweston Close. The design would be extremely plain with pitched roof and conventional modern windows. However the Society does note that the boundaries of the site enclose a smaller area than the neighbouring sites in Durweston Close. Therefore in order to ensure sufficient private space for the future householder, the Society recommends that the small separate piece of land abutting the undeveloped portion of site no. 8 be added on to create a similar sized plot.
We therefore feel that since this application does not yet fully conform to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Tayfield House, 38 Poole Road Ref. No. 7-2023-71-M
This is an application to demolish an existing quite modern block of offices and to construct a six/seven storey block of 41 flats in contemporary modernist style. The new built foot print would be very considerably larger than that of the existing structure and the proposed rectangular shape would encompass up to 85% of the site. The building line towards Poole Road would be considerably beyond the existing limit. The basic design would consist of relatively narrow strips of wall and – with the exception of small sections of façade containing a more conventional balance of wall and modern sash windows – be interspersed by floor to ceiling glass panelling and associated glass balconies on all floors. The top story penthouse would be indented below a flat roof.
The Society has seldom ever come across a more crass and insensitive proposal in respect to the more traditional townscape of the immediate area. We think it is far too large, too overbearing and just plain ugly. It is no different from many of the banal blocks of flats that have been constructed in parts of Bournemouth over the last 50 years and it hardly deserves a glance. We are at one with local opinion which believes that if this building goes ahead, not only would it be out of keeping with the area, it would also put a strain on the existing infrastructure and reduce privacy and natural sunlight for neighbours. Indeed a view was expressed that the proposed block had more in common with the architectural monstrosities at Sandbanks than Victorian Westbourne. And indeed the Society thinks that if insensitive redevelopment is allowed to take place at Westbourne, the tourist appeal and therefore the economic viability of this part of west Bournemouth could be seriously affected. Quite frankly this application is one of the clearest examples we have seen where pure financial gain is the only determining consideration. We therefore most earnestly request the Planning Department to avoid a major aesthetic blunder and ensure that if redevelopment is to take place on this site, whatever is constructed is of the same quality of the extremely well designed blocks of flats that have lately gone up on the West Cliff between the sites of the old Wessex Hotel and the Durley Road South car park.
Consequently, because this application in no way whatever conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society has decided that it should be refused.
4a,4b,4d, West Cliff Road/93/93b Saint Michael’s Road Ref. No. 7-2023-4270-M
This is an application to demolish the existing, late nineteenth century retail premises for a new four storey block containing a retail unit and eight flats above. The site lies within the West Cliff Conservation Area The new structure appears to take its general design and scale from the series of late nineteenth century, three storey, mansion house blocks of apartments in Saint Michael’s Road. The main facades contain three, three storey bay windows ( West Cliff Road ) and two, three storey bay windows ( Saint Michael’s Road ) -here with a short wing extension repeating the appearance of the main façade – together with main entrances on both facades, all below a mansard roof with dormers.
The Society considers that what is proposed is relatively acceptable if the new building is required to follow the general architectural precepts of the neighbouring structures in Saint Michael’s Road.
However, apart from creating sunlight and parking problems, we agree with local opinion that the proposed design is in no way compatible with what it is replacing which is part of the generally picturesque/late romantic style of architecture that can be seen around the Saint Michael/West Cliff crossroads. This townscape is considered as some of the earliest buildings on the West Cliff and helps to define its historic character
The Society therefore suggests that in respect to this planning scheme it is a matter of choice.
We ask: should the attractiveness of the West Cliff be found mainly in its distinctive appearance or should this area be made more economically viable by increasing the construction where appropriate by further blocks of seaside flats but with the loss of some original structures? We think that a final design that successfully combines both picturesque and classical architectural qualities in the same concept would be difficult to achieve. Therefore because this application does not fully relate to the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society thinks it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
509A Christchurch Road ( off Adeline Road ), Boscombe Ref. No. 7-2023-6038-J
This is an application to construct a three storey block of one bedroom flats on a severed site to the rear of part of a late nineteenth century block of retail/residential buildings around Boscombe Crescent. The new site would be on the corner of Adeline Road and Roumelia Road – a service route for the shops. The new structure would be in the form of a modernised mansion block with a flat roof and have a symmetrically arranged series of vertical and rectangular windows – as well as a two story bay window on the south façade. The upper storey would be distinguished by the application of a two tone, building material design.
Although the Society finds the flats rather small we accept the general design in realising they are probably meant for students and first time buyers/renterss. However we do think the top floor should be redesigned in the form of a shallow Mansard roof.
Therefore since we feel that this application does not reach the requirements of the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
74 Green Road, Charminster Ref. No. 7-2023-840-P
This is an application to erect two pairs of semi-detached, two bedroom dwellings and an office building on former industrial premises which take up the equivalent of three residential plots in Green Road. An earlier application for development on this site was refused. The twin housing blocks would be placed parallel to each other near the street access and the office building further to the rear. Each semi detached unit would be designed in the style of a late nineteenth century artisan house capped by a prominent hipped roof, with two story, gabled, bay windows and double entrances in the front – and tripartite windows and French windows to the rear. The office building would be rectangular, one and a half storeys in height, with semi dormers in the hipped roof.
The Society agrees with the complaints of local residents over the small size of the bedrooms and the generally inappropriate high density of the scheme. We would therefore suggest that a suitable spatial compromise would be the creation of three semi-detached houses, not four, in a short terrace, at right angles to the front of the site, and facing west along the eastern boundary. Further, we would also propose that the office building could be repositioned in the far rear of the site, so that there would be more room for private garden space for the householders.
Ans so it follows that since this application does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society feels it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.