BCP Council (Bournemouth area): Matt is delighted to announce that he has recently secured planning permission to a erect a building containing 9 x residential flats with associated access, bin and cycle storage on a vacant privately owned car park in Springbourne. This very elegant scheme was beautifully designed by Marlow Architects.

This site was last used as a private staff car park for the former Travis Perkins building on the other side of the road. Travis Perkins have now moved from this location into their brand new purpose built facility on Ashley Road near Kings Park. The new owners of the commercial buildings opposite had the opportunity to purchase this site as well but they did not choose to as it was surplus to their requirements. Therefore this was a brownfield site in a highly sustainable urban location where the principle of residential development was considered to be acceptable.

The application was actually submitted in October last year and aside from an amendment to the bin store location required no amendments to receive the planning officer’s support. We think this was down to the high quality traditional architectural form proposed with a tiled hipped roof and gable design features, square bay windows, finished in red brick reflective of the surrounding area, with decorative brickwork banding but which would positively contribute to the quality of the street scene and respect the site and its surroundings. Well that, and the Council are desperately short of housing!

However, due to a call-in request from a Ward Councillor of the back of a number of objections from local residents, this application was required to go to planning committee which it did so in February this year (the S106 has taken a while to resolve post committee). Matt presented a deputation to the members in support of the scheme and there was a comprehensive debate over the pros and perceived cons of the development. Thankfully this concluded with the majority (6 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions) voting in favour of approving the application as the Councillors on the planning committee agreed that because this scheme delivered 9 new high quality flatted dwellings with good amenity levels, on a brownfield site in a sustainable location, close to local shops, services and schools whilst not detrimentally impacting on the character and appearance of the area, neighbouring amenity or highway safety it should be approved.