BCP Council (Bournemouth): Matt Annen is pleased to announce that after a bit of a battle he has secured full planning permission for the demolition of an existing house and the erection of 4 x four bedroom dwellings close to the cliff top in Southbourne in Bournemouth. This scheme was designed by local firm Anders Roberts Cheer Architects for a mutual developer client; Farcorft Homes.

The application site had quite a lengthy planning history. Back in November last year a previous identical application for 4 houses was only narrowly refused at planning committee (6 votes to 5). The sole reason for refusal related to the loss of the existing building (which incidentally was not Listed, nor was it Locally Listed and the application site was not within a conservation area). Following that refusal, a Prior Approval application for the demolition of the existing house was GRANTED which confirmed that the demotion of the existing dwelling was lawful under the General Permitted Development Order.

Following the Prior Approval an Appeal Against the refused application (the one that was at November’s committee) was submitted along with an application for an Award of Costs against the Council, which at present is on going.

At the same time an identical application to that of the original scheme for 4 family houses was submitted and this is the scheme that has recently been approved, The scheme had to again go to planning committee for them to consider as one neighbour in particular was determined to try every trick in the book (letter dropping surrounding roads drumming up objections, requesting Ward Councillor call it in, assembling a band of protesters and contacting the Echo, all to do his best to the get the application refused).

Matt presented a robust deputation to the Members of the Planning Committee highlighting that in light of permission being granted to demolish the existing building and the applicants commitment to seeing this through, this negates the sole reason for refusal on the previous scheme. To raise new reasons for refusal on an identical scheme would be wholly unreasonable and be left open to scrutiny. Matt continued; “whilst members may not be happy about it (given the local representation and the sensitive political timing of this committee), looking purely at the planning merits of this scheme, there is NO material planning reason why permission should be refused today and I respectfully ask Members to GRANT permission today in line with Officer’s recommendation”.

Cllr David Kelsey, chairman of BCP Council’s planning committee said: “Having reviewed the officers report and heard representation from both those in support of the proposals and those raising objections, the planning committee voted along with the officers’ recommendation in favour of the demolition and redevelopment of 9 Ravine Road. BCP Council is committed to improving housing options, opportunities and choices and this proposal will remove a single seven-bedroom house and replace it with four family homes.”

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