BCP Council (Bournemouth): Just before the Christmas break, Matt Annen was pleased to have secured planning permission for the erection of a second-floor extension, internal alterations and conversion of the first floor from leisure use (Use Class Sui Generis) to form 9 x residential flats with associated access, bin and cycle storage, and the conversion of the ground floor from the Inferno bar/nightclub (Sui Generis) in the Lansdown area of Bournemouth to a commercial space (Use Class E). The scheme was designed by Shore Architecture for a mutual client.

Initial comments from Urban Design and Heritage were unsupportive of the proposal, raising
several concerns, we reviewed the plans and amended the scheme to accommodate some of the issues which were “welcomed”, Whilst further improvements were requested the appointed planning officer felt that on balance the scheme could not be refused for want of these further changes. What could have helped was that it was pointed out that under a Prior Approval Procedure there was a strong possibility the building could be demolished, as it is neither listed nor in a conservation area

Likewise there was an initial objection from highways in respect of the waste collection arrangements, Matt liaised with the Council highways officer direct explaining that because the Council had chosen to narrow the highway along this stretch of Holdenhurst Road, they had created the difficulties themselves for delivery and waste collection for all of the commercial units along this section. It was agreed that with a private refuse collection carried out by a company already servicing other units in the road the initial objections could be overcome.

In arriving at his favourable recommendation, the planning officer concluded the building would help rejuvenate the ground-floor area that would help the economic vitality of the town centre which would be further enhanced by flatted development above. The proposal would have no impact on the adjoining listed building (The Old Fire Station) or to its own significance as a Non Designated Heritage Asset, nor would it have any impact on neighbouring residential amenity. Furthermore, Planning Officers considered the proposal will contribute to wider public benefits.

If you have a commercial building that you are looking to extend or convert (or both!) to maximise its full potential, then, we’d be happy to take a look and let you know our thoughts, please contact Pure Town Planning for advice.