PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH PLANNING DEPARTMENT DURING OCTOBER 2022 – A CRITIQUE BY JOHN SOANE, BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONSULTANT TO THE BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY
12 Sutton Road Charminster Ref. No. 7-2022-21251-A
This is an application to construct a two storey extension at the rear of an existing mid twentieth century detached house and to create further accommodation within the enlarged roof. The extended property would be covered by an enlarged pitched roof and the new rear elevation would contain a five panelled French window, two triple vertical windows on the first floor and a triple window in the gable above.
The Society feel that the considerably larger built foot print of the proposed structure would create a building that would be massively out of scale with its surroundings and thus aesthetically at odds with existing original appearance of a fair number of adjacent properties. We are therefore in agreement with local opinion which fears that this extension would considerably reduce the existing levels of privacy and sunlight now enjoyed by neighbouring inhabitants. Indeed it was felt that the enlarge house of three storeys would take on the appearance of a block of flats which would amount to over development and be completely out of character with the general appearance of the district.
Consequently, because the Society has concluded that this proposal does not abide by the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have decided that it should be refused.
96/98 Castle Lane West , Strouden Park Ref. No. 7-2022-2137-M
This is an application to construct a new bungalow on a new severed site to the rear of an already existing rear bungalow that was attached to two original shop units that form part of a terrace of retail/residential units fronting Castle Lane. The new building would be constructed in conventional bungalow style: a square box with a hipped roof and triple vertical windows on the principal façade. The entrance would probably be via Priory View Place. Here there would be a very small space to accommodate car parking, utility facilities and a small garden.
The Society feel that not only would this development be totally inappropriate for such a small space – amounting to severe overcrowding – it would also exacerbate an already unsatisfactory planning mix of shops and living accommodation. Therefore , since thus proposals in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society is resolved to suggest a refusal.
26/28 Roundhaye Road, Bear Cross Ref. No. 7-2022-21606-D
This is an application to construct two bungalows parallel to each other on two severed adjacent developed sites. The site is part of a bungalow layout created in the mid Twentieth Century.
The design of both structures would follow the conventional bungalow design of a square brick box topped by a distinctive hipped roof. The principal façade would encompass a pair of bay windows with small separate gables and a quadruple French window to the rear. The main entrance would be via the side elevation and access to both bungalows would probably be between the original properties on the site.
Although the Society finds the prospective designs quite reasonable, we think the restricted size of both sites makes them totally unsuitable to accommodate the dimensions of the prospective buildings. The built foot print of each would take up 50% of each plot. Also such a development would degrade the visual/spatial environment of the adjacent townscape where no intrusive rear structures exist. Therefore since this proposal in no way complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society has decided that it should be refused.
14 Dunbar Road, Talbot Woods Ref. No. 7-2022-4043-BT
This is an application for the construction of a two storey extension on the south side and a one storey extension on the north side of an existing quite distinguished large family house built in Arts and Crafts style as part of the grand and spacious neighbourhood of Talbot Woods that was created mainly during the 1920’s. The site lies within the Talbot Woods and Meyrick Park Conservation area.
The front elevation would acquire a new window in vernacular style to balance a similar window on the other side of the main entrance. The main change would be the inclusion of the new two storey extension encompassing four symmetrically positioned vertical windows under a smaller extended, hipped roof and a small, one storey, hipped roof extension in front. The rear elevation would now have a five panelled French window on the ground floor and here the new extension would consist mainly of wall with a new entrance and window above.
Although the new extensions generally respect the style of the original house, the Society is strongly of the opinion that the two extensions have a negative impact on the original appearance of the house. We think Its architectural silhouette would appear far too extended and would interfere with the fine balance between the horizontal and vertical elements of the design. We note that the new built foot print would stretch from boundary to boundary: the resulting rather massive structure could make a negative impact on the spacious character of the surrounding townscape.
Therefore the Society has concluded that since this proposals does not respect the rather strict conditions that relate to Talbot Woods and which contribute to the Conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
44 Redhill Avenue , Ref. No. 7-2022-26520-A
This is an application to construct a new detached two bedroom dwelling on a severed site behind an existing property built as part of the twentieth century residential expansion of north Bournemouth. It would be designed in the bungalow/chalet style with a rectangular built foot print and prominent hipped roof. Fenestration would be in the form of triple vertical windows on the principal entrance front and two pairs of double French windows at the rear. Access would be via the existing access to the existing building on the site.
Although the Society find the design reasonably competent, the Society is strongly of the opinion that here is yet another attempt to try and squeeze in a residential property merely for financial gain, onto a site that was never meant to be developed in the original layout of the neighbourhood. We note that none of the rear portions of the sites of adjacent properties exhibit extra buildings.
Indeed we are in agreement with much of local opinion which fears that the new structure would bring about considerable losses of mature landscape with the resulting reduction of privacy, besides creating increased traffic and parking problems. Therefore the Society has decided that since this proposal does not respect the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
5/6 Lansdown Crescent Ref. No. 7-2022-4605-O
This is an application to convert the former three storey bank building into six one bedroom flats on the first and second floors and the ground floors into a commercial/hospitality centre,
The imposing, late nineteenth century, neo-classical facade of the building would remain almost unchanged. At the rear of the building staircases would be provided to access to the flats. On the ground floor new cooking facilities would be provided. The former offices above would provide quite spacious rooms for the new apartments.
The Society feels that the conversion of this building is an appropriate change of use under the circumstances. We think there is an increasing demand for reasonable accommodation and more social facilities, given the nearby momentum of expansion of the Lansdown campus of Bournemouth University. Moreover we note that such a development is part of the general change from conventional retail and commercial premises to leisure and residential use that is occurring widely within large urban centres. Consequently since this proposals fully conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society recommends acceptance.
51 Belle Vue Road , Southbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-28522-B
This is an application to construct a two storey side extension and single storey rear extensions to the front and rear elevations to an existing, mid twentieth century detached house. The side extension would provide extra accommodation facilities; the front single extension on the principal elevation would better integrate the main entrance and garage door into the remainder of the façade; the rear ground floor extension would extend the living/dining area. It would have two domed sky lights, and a triple French window.
The Society are quite satisfied with the moderation of the proposed alterations. Although the general size of the built foot print would be increased, we do not think the enlarged building is likely to impinge unduly upon the existing quality of the surrounding townscape. However we do suggest that for aesthetic reasons the modern casement window above the rear extension is replace by a triple window to match its neighbour. In conclusion, because this proposal is generally amenable to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society thinks it should be granted.
6 Ashbourne Road, Pokesdown Ref. No. 7-2022-8793-H
This is an application to construct a new two bedroom detached dwelling, as far as can be ascertained, on a severed site originally used for garages. The new building would be a synthesis of late nineteenth and twentieth century residential forms. The principal southern side would include a traditional two storey bay window within a traditional brick structure, while the northern traditional two storey bay window within a traditional brick structure and the northern rear façade would be more modern with a ground floor projection containing double French windows. A hipped roof would cover the two stories of the eastern portion of the house – changing to a long sloping, chalet style roof over the western portion of the building. The built foot print shows that the development would cover over 70% of the site and would take up virtually all the space between the two boundaries.
The Society has therefore decided that irrespective of the originality of the design, if built the mass of the new house would be far too large to be accommodated within the restricted dimensions of the site and in comparison with the existing densities of adjacent properties its presence would amount to overcrowding. Therefore we have concluded that since this proposals in no way conforms to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be refused.
11 Dowland Road, Northbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-22385-C
This is an application to build a new bungalow on a severed site, originally the south eastern half of the site of 11 Dowland Road , part of a bungalow neighbourhood that was developed in the Twentieth Century. The new building would take up to 45% of the long, narrow site and the building lines would come very close to the long boundaries. The design would be in the traditional bungalow of a rectangular box with a prominent hipped roof .The front façade would contain two extended bay windows with upper divisions but the rear elevation on account of the hilly nature of the terrain, would be of two stories with four linked windows above and quadruple French windows below.
The Society feels that irrespective of the quite reasonable design of the new bungalow, the dimensions of the site are too small to contain the structure. If built the plot would be considerably over developed and have a negative effect on the aesthetic appearance of the surrounding townscape. Here we see yet another attempt to degrade just for financial gain, an already developed site where no further building activity was ever contemplated. It follows that since this proposals in no way respects the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, the Society has decided that it should be refused.
300-302 Iford Lane, Tuckton Ref. No. 7-2022-5405-C
This is an application to demolish the existing houses on a roughly triangular site and to construct a three storey block of six flats and a pair of semi-detached houses on the site. The two new structures would be placed relatively close to each other and the combined built foot print would be much larger than the existing one and stretch fully from one boundary to the other. The development would be according to a conventional, modernist design rectangular concrete shapes in which the principal facade would contain mainly French windows with glass balconies as in the third storey penthouse, and also some rectangular fenestration. The rear elevation would be more asymmetrical in design and encompass vertical lighting strips. The facades of the two semi detached properties would appear as a fusion of two vertical concrete boxes with prominent double French windows on both elevations.
The Society is very much in agreement with the views of a considerable number of local residents who feel strongly that this scheme would be very much out of character with both the scale and the more traditional character of the adjacent townscape. Indeed with the two buildings being positioned less than two metres apart, it was feared that that this combined impact would resemble an exceptionally large and shapeless block which would amount to excessive over development resulting loss of privacy, the disruption of the local ecology and further pressure on restricted space. Therefore because this proposal in no way corresponds to the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have decided that it should be refused.
Fairview House, 17 Hinton Road Ref. No. 7-2022-72022-9602-I
This is an application to demolish the existing late nineteenth century detached residence , lately used as offices and to construct an eight storey block of 49 flats ( five stories only at the rear due to changes in ground level ) . The site in question is in the near vicinity of the town centre conservation area. The new rectangular structure would be built of brick and designed in the neo-georgian style. Both the principal and rear façades would be symmetrical in appearance: the front elevation exhibiting two arched openings either side of the main entrance; traditional sash windows in the central sections of the upper floors and French windows with wrought iron style balconies at each extremity of the block. The rear façade would have French windows and balconies across all floors and the entire building would be crowned by a shallow mansard roof with dormers on all four elevations.
Given the scale and height of existing, recently built structures in the near vicinity of the site, the Society has concluded that the general mass, scale and appearance of the proposal is broadly acceptable However, given the near vicinity of this site to the Grade one listed Saint Peter’s Church, we think that the visual context of this famous church would be better protected if the number of floors in the proposed building were reduced to six or seven. Indeed we would recommend that the earlier planning proposal for seven floors on this site that was approved earlier this year, be upheld in the face of this latest scheme. Consequently in view of the fact that this application does not yet fully fit in with the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we suggest it be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
Babbacombe Lodge, 28 West Hill Road Ref. No. 7-2022-1663-K
This is a proposal to demolish the existing mid/late nineteenth century building- latterly an hotel -and to erect a four storey block containing 18 apartments and five holiday flats. The site lies within the Poole Hill and West Cliff Conservation area. The new structure would be constructed in the style of large, late nineteenth century mansion block with prominent bay windows through all stories and a belvedere tower at the junction of the southern and eastern facades. There would be a central projection on the latter elevation and indeed all the other window projections would have individual roofs which would merge into the large, overarching hipped roof above.
As a piece of design to be applied in conjunction with more conventional late nineteenth century, well-to-do holiday accommodation in the maritime neighbourhood’s of Bournemouth, the Society would find this proposal quite a suitable replacement. However we are of the opinion that in relation to the wider spatial prospective of this site, we think this relates more to the somewhat, earlier nineteenth century architecture in West Hill Road and less to the larger scale, later nineteenth century buildings nearer the sea as represented by Hahnemann House. The Society therefore suggests that the general facade flamboyance of what is proposed is replaced by a lingering very late romantic restraint in the main elevations including less elaborately enhanced windows – as for example at 24 West Hill Road. We would also suggest that one story be removed from the projected height of the new building.
Therefore on account of the fact that this application does not completely fulfil the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan. the Society has decided that it be deferred for further consideration and improvement.
18-22A Studland Avenue, Westbourne Ref. No. 7-2022-1822-A
This is an application to build two, three storey blocks of 45, two and three bedroom apartments on a substantial cleared site where once stood an hotel. The design of each block would be a synthesis of relatively traditional stylistic shapes and modernist architectural features. The somewhat massive form of each block, each with a hipped roof, would be mitigated by the active movement of the principal facades in the form of several projections interwoven with subsidiary roofs and gable dormers. Fenestration would be in the form of French or modern windows.
The Society note that this site stands next to another partially cleared site where appropriate development, hopefully co-ordinated with what will eventually be constructed between 18 and 22a Studland Road, will occur.
The Society in anticipation of this considerable double development would suggest that the general scale should be somewhat reduced to match the dimensions of the adjacent townscape along this part of Studland Road and the discrepancies between modernist and traditional architectural forms be made more compatible. Therefore we have decided that because this proposal does not fully tally with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, it should be deferred for further discussion and improvement.
36-42 Old Christchurch Road former Beales Department Store Ref. No. 7-2022-726-AE
This is an application to make extensive exterior and internal alterations to a former old established department store that had been completely rebuilt after destruction during the Second World War. The site is within the central Bournemouth Conservation area. The proposals are to create 130 one and two bedroom residential units within the six upper storeys of the building with new retail units occupying the ground floor. Three stepped back penthouse floors would be added at the top.
The original building was constructed during the 1950’s and 1960’s in the then very fashionable modernist style. Consequently the building became a very bulky and austere structure that dominated the central commercial area of the town. Long lines of continuous vertical metal windows encircled almost completely the facades on the unusual lozenge shaped site opposite Saint Peter’s church. They were interspersed by a compact rectangular facade ( the lifts’ section ) with parallel lines of modern square windows and the adjacent. modernized staircase block.
The main aim of the redevelopment plans would be is to drastically reduce the exceptional horizontal emphasis of the main facades and to substitute on the upper floors, lines of separated vertical and rectangular windows so that at last a viable architectural balance would be achieved in this famous landmark. In addition there would be sections of the façade containing integrated pairs of rectangular windows and a greater emphasis on French windows on the three upper, penthouse floors and larger vertical windows lighting the original stairwell.
The Society was sad to see the demise of such a well known retailer in the town, we think that in compensation, the new design that is proposed is a most considerable aesthetic improvement which at one stroke would abolish the extreme visual dichotomy that had existed between the post war appearance of Beales and the high quality, late nineteenth century, retail architecture by which the store was surrounded. We also feel the three storey penthouse is on balance justified; for we realize that the distinctive stepped shape has to be sufficiently large to mitigate the massive bulk of the main structure below. However the Society would prefer a higher proportion of flats be designed for family accommodation: 39 to 40% of the residential units we think should become two or three bedroom properties and the total number of flats thus reduced. It is a concern that there is no car parking for the new residents so this highlights the need for existing town centre car parks to be retained so that shoppers as well as residents have somewhere to park. It follows that since this proposal mostly fulfils the conservation policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we think it should be allowed but ideally the number of flats reduced.
80 Southbourne Overcliff Drive Ref. No. 7-2022-28229-A
This is an application to construct a new four bedroom detached house in place of the existing bungalow. The property would be designed in a very modernistic style. The basic structure would consist of two rectangular frames, asymmetrically positioned, one on top of each other so that the upper section overlaps the lower one on one of the side elevations. The ground and first floor principal facades would consist entirely of narrowly di9vided, floor to ceiling glass panels topped by a flat roof.
On reflection, the Society is amazed at the outrageous way that this proposal pays so little heed to the distinctive architectural characteristics of this neighbourhood of small, square shaped bungalows with traditional hipped roofs. Quite frankly, we feel a first year architectural student could have produced a better plan. We think it would surely be possible to create an appropriate modern design for this site without totally destroying the general aesthetic harmony of the existing townscape.
Moreover we fear that an increasing number of developers who are only interested in financial gain, are now attempting to drastically change the present appearance of Southbourne Overcliff Drive.
Therefore in view of the much smaller maritime sites at Southbourne, in comparison with the larger plots along the Boscombe Overcliff; the Society most earnestly hopes that the Planning Department, in view of its prior acceptance that it is visually inappropriate to allow radical redevelopment on restricted plots, will continue to insist on compatible schemes in respect to future building operations along the Southbourne Overcliff. Consequently, since this proposal in no way whatsoever complies with the townscape policies of the Bournemouth Local Plan, we have decided that it should be refused.