PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED DURING NOVEMBER 2019 BY BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT; A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO BOURNEMOUTH CIVICSOCIETY
24 Dean Park Road Ref. No. 7-2019-1963-Q
This is an application to create 14 flats out of a large, later nineteenth century family residence built in a quasi-historicist/classical style on the Dean Park Estate and latterly used as an ancillary building for a language school. The building lies in a Conservation Area. The general design of the new, two storey extension, which replaces an existing, one storey structure, would imitate in a somewhat simpler style, the architectural appearance of the existing building. On two facades, vertical fenestration, including a two storey bay window, would be symmetrically positioned under an extension of the original hipped roof. The west elevation would consist entirely of a blank wall. There would be five flats at ground floor level, five on the first floor and four flats in the roof.
Although the new extension is designed not to create too strong a visual impact in comparison with that of the original house, the Civic Society feel that the new extension makes the built footprint too elongated in relation to the height of the larger structure. Also we feel the visual impact of the blank wall on the west elevation is somewhat abrupt. We do appreciate that certain alterations would be necessary if this historic residence is converted into flats; but our uncertainty over the proposed design has brought us to the conclusion that this application does not fully abide by the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan and should be deferred for further discussion and design improvement
3 Parkwood Road Ref. No. 7-2019-5943-B
This is an application to make alterations to an existing, late nineteenth century, semi-detached house – together with an additional two storey extension to the rear, in order to create space for 5 flats. The existing hipped roof would be extended to cover the new structure which would be of utilitarian design with vertical windows on the rear façade and modernist horizontal windows and a service door to the side. What remains of the garden would be used as four parking spaces.
The Civic Society strongly thinks that this scheme would amount to excessive overdevelopment of an existing quite small house site and is another example of the attempt by householders in historic residential neighbourhoods to try and increase the letting capacity of buildings that were never designed to take such high densities of occupation. We ask the Planning Department to formulate a planning policy that prevents the growth of such highly unsatisfactory applications. Therefore the Society has concluded that since this planning proposal falls short of the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
Viking Court, 47 Southbourne Overcliff Drive Ref. No. 7-2019-376-J
This is an application to construct a very modernist, four storey block of ten flats on the site of an existing low rise dwelling house at the corner of Clifton Road. Whereas the less prominent east and north elevations consist almost entirely of various planes of concrete wall with few windows the principal facades towards the Southbourne Overcliff and Clifton Road are mainly in the form of super-imposed, reinforced concrete boxes in which the elevations are made up of floor to ceiling glass panels and French windows with communal balconies.
The Society heartily agree with the general feeling express in 18 comments from local residents that the proposed scheme in its mass and form and appearance is far too bulky and dominant to be easily absorbed by the generally, lower density, more spacious layout of the adjacent neighbourhood. In addition there were fears that the resulting extra traffic and noise would threaten the quality of life and the privacy of nearby householders. Indeed it is felt that the new structure would appear as a prominent block that would disturb the general planning and perspective balance of the entire neighbourhood.
Moreover, several years ago, a residential scheme of similar over large dimensions in this area was turned down by the Planning Department. For the Civic Society suggested at that time that whereas the larger sites along the Boscombe Overcliff Drive might allow a greater degree of design innovation for possible redevelopment projects; the much small site and more integrated townscape of the Southbourne Overcliff made such stylistic, architectural deviations a much more risky proposition.
Therefore in these circumstances, we feel that since this planning application in no way complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should, like a similar, earlier, planning scheme for this site, be refused.
1698-1700 Wimborne Road Ref. No. 7-2019-23237-C
This is an application to create two terraced blocks at right angles to each other in Arts and Crafts style to contain 16 residential unit generally meant for students and one small dwelling house. The principal elevation of the terrace would include two major projections with gables that would be integrated into a prominent hipped roof. There would be four ground floor bay windows each containing triple mullioned windows while on the first floor would be four sets of double paired, French windows.
In general, the Society finds the design acceptable; however we think the length of the rear wing excessive for the dimensions of the site and new feel it should be reduced by a quarter of its length. If this were done less of the site would need to be devoted to car parking – so allowing more space for creative landscaping.
Therefore the Society feels that since this project does not fully comply with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and design improvement.
5/7 Clarendon Road Ref. No. 7-2019-2732-AB
This is a planning application to demolish two mid twentieth century family residences and to construct two residential blocks one containing eight flats and the other 11 flats in the historicist style of late nineteenth century mansion blocks. Both blocks would exhibit similar features on their principal elevations: wide projections ending in half timbered gables incorporated into prominent hipped roofs. There would be two storied bay windows connected to the projections and fenestration would be symmetrical with vertical sash windows with upper divisions. Except at the bay windows all first floor windows would have balconies with balustrades in wrought iron style.
Twenty letters of local comment have suggested that irrespective of the historicist appearance of the two blocks, taken together, they were too large for the neighbourhood and do not respect its character. It was also felt that the introduction of yet more flats would bring in too much overcrowding when there was still a considerable demand for lower density family accommodation.
The Society thinks however that the overwhelming number of flats now found on the West Cliff make any other use of new residential development in this area impossible. However we agree that the construction of two fairly large flat blocks close together does create an excessive density. We think a better solution would be a single, somewhat larger block between the two sites with a fewer number of flats and more space for car parking and landscaping. In addition, since the greater proportion of late nineteenth century historicist style houses on the West Cliff were demolished for modern development in the 1960’s we think the design of the new block should be Art Deco/International Modern to be complementary with the existing properties along Clarendon Road.
Consequently, we suggest that since this application does not fully respect the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Meyrick Lodge, 20 Saint Anthony’s Road Ref. No. 7-2019-11005-F
This is an application to undertake general repairs and renovations to a small property designed in the cottage orne tradition in 1908 by the architect Cecil Pinsent. General work will be carried out to the moulded window frames , brackets and barge boards on the exterior in order to restore the building to its original state.
The Society can thoroughly recommend this application which will preserve a fine building from a high point in the development of Bournemouth.
53 Cavendish Road Ref. No. 7-2019-22314-H
This is an application to construct a three story building in modernised Arts and Craft style to contain eight student flats encompassing 24 bed spaces. The development would be built on the site of a dwelling house of the 1960’s of no architectural value. The principal façade would include two wide projections with gables which would merge into a prominent hipped roof. There would be one, two story, bay window and the fenestration would be symmetrically positions in the form of quadruple casement windows.
According to local comment, the building is considered to be too massive for the neighbourhood and its use would generally degrade the existing life style of the community. Not withstanding these feelings the Society takes a somewhat different approach to the matter. Irrespective of the fact that the proposed scale of the new building is somewhat excessive, we think that the new design is a very considerable improvement in respect to the totally inappropriate appearance of the present house. The original lay out of the Dean Park Estate was in the form of large villas within spacious sites and in both form and style, we think the proposed structure attempts to recreate the original spatial balance of the neighbourhood. The Society suggests though that the general mass and scale of the structure be reduced so that the roof line is not that much higher than the adjacent house. We also strongly believe that the flats created here ought to be for permanent residential use rather than students.
We have therefore concluded that since this proposal does not fully comply with the Conservation Policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and a re-design.
116-120 Old Christchurch Road Ref. No. 7-2019-1042-V
This is an application to create six flats in the form of a new mansard roof above the third floor of an Italianate commercial building built in the later Nineteenth Century.
There would be relatively little visual change on the principal street elevation but to rear the rather ad hoc appearance of the sub ground and ground floors would be regularised by a line of vertical casement windows and two equal sized entrances to underground parking bays beneath.
Viewed overall, the Society cannot see any major objections to this scheme. We feel the provision of further flat accommodation in central Bournemouth is feasible in the right circumstances.