BCP Council (Bournemouth): After almost a year from first picking up this project and two applications later, Matt Annen is thrilled to share the news that he has secured planning permission for the erection of a mixed-use building containing 1 x commercial unit (Use Class E) on the ground floor and 5 x flats with associated access, bin and cycle storage on a vacant plot on Christchurch Road near Pokesdown in Bournemouth. This elegant and ornate scheme was designed by local firm Anders Roberts Cheer Architects for a mutual developer client.

The plot sits next to a 896 Christchurch Road which is a Locally listed building (which incidentally we secured consent for in April 2022 to convert into 9 flats – see here). That adjacent building was described in the local list entry as follows: “A richly ornamented Italian Renaissance style building, which is notable for its architectural detail and strong composition. Built as the Pokesdown Art and Technical School in 1898”. The first application we handled on this vacant plot was refused by reason of the form, design, articulation, and aspects of the materials and treatment, harming the setting and the interest of the locally listed building as well as poor living conditions for future occupiers.

Following that decision Matt had constructive dialogue with the planning officer which gave a clear steer that rather than appealing the first scheme a successful outcome could be achieved on a new application with a revised design. Anders Robert’s response was well received by the planning and conservation officers who acknowledged that the building had been sensitively re-designed and now showed ornamentation to the building with a Dutch gable that was welcomed by the heritage officer and the protruding brick detailing was seen as an improvement as was the deeper window reveals and recessed black quoins which was viewed positively by the urban design officer. All officers agreed that the proposed design complements the adjacent listed building at No. 896.

This is how planning should be done! Constructive negotiations with the planning officers and consultees to achieve a mutually agreeable scheme. If you have recently had an application refused and are looking for a firm or ‘persistent planners’ to steer your development through to a successful conclusion, we’d be happy to take a look and let you know our thoughts and hopefully set out a strategy to achieve a positive outcome.