BCP Council (Bournemouth): Matt Annen is delighted to share the news that after 7 long months of negotiations planning permission has just been granted for the demolition of an existing Sui Generis HMO and erection of a new building comprising of 4 townhouses with associated access and parking. The scheme was designed by local firm Dot Architecture.
The scheme follows a previous consent on the site that we secured for the owner for a block of 6 small flats. Early on in the planning process concerns were raised in respect of highways, overdevelopment and the modern design. The highways comments were relatively easily addressed with amended plans, but combatting the concern raised in respect of overdevelopment took a comprehensive analysis of recent developments nearby together with full assessment of approved densities and building to plot ratios (which the extant fallback position of 6 flats on the site formed a strong material planning consideration for). With regards to design, we submitted a further context appraisal which convinced the planning officer that whilst more contemporary in nature than other buildings nearby this proposed scheme would not detrimentally impact the character due to the traditional form and material palette proposed. The officer concluded in her report: “the proposal would have a more contemporary appearance than the existing street scene however the use of traditional features such a roof form and matching brick creates a harmonious balance, and it is not considered that the contemporary features would upset the traditional nature of the area. It is also noted that recently built developments in the area also benefit from some more modern and contemporary features therefore the proposal would not appear harmful to the prevailing pattern of development”.
We put forward strong arguments on the grounds that the ’tilted balance’ should apply here in that any perceived adverse impacts of the proposal will not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits provided through the provision of four new houses near a district centre. The officer agreed concluding in her report that; “the proposal will therefore achieve the economic, social and environmental objectives of sustainable development, as set out in local plan policies and the provisions of the NPPF and is recommended for grant of planning permission”.
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