BCP Council (formerly Borough of Poole): Matt Annen, director of Pure Town Planning is ecstatic to have delivered planning permission for good friends and clients; Amirez Developments for the demolition of an existing tyre and servicing garage and the erection of a traditional flatted building in the Ashley Cross Conservation Area just in time for Christmas

The scheme was beautifully designed by local Anders Roberts Cheer Architects. The planning and conservation officer praised the high-quality architectural design stating that “Its design, and articulation would introduce a strong and attractive frontage to the road, delivering a style of architecture and incorporating design features such as bay windows; barge boards; eaves detailing; chimneys; and roof pitches that would positively contribute to the character and appearance of the conservation area”. It really does make securing planning permission that much easier when you have a scheme which ‘sells itself’.

Pure Town Planning were instructed to prepare, submit and negotiate the application in order to secure the positive outcome for the client. Early engagement with the respective Officers was critical to evolve the scheme to a point which ultimately delivered the best possible result for all parties. The existing buildings on site were considered to be of little architectural merit and were identified as a ‘tradeable’ feature of the Conservation Area (in the conservation area appraisal). Which meant that their demolition would preserve the significance of the conservation area.

Relatively early on in the process it became apparent that although the Transportation Officer recognised the significant highway benefits of the closure of the two accesses off Commercial Road, he felt that the shortfall of 3.2 parking spaces was not acceptable. We put forward a robust argument that the parking level was appropriate as all the flats were 1-bedroom units where the likelihood of car ownership is significantly reduced particularly in such a sustainable location close to local shops, services and open spaces and having very good cycle, bus and train networks. Also the endorsement of the emerging parking SPD (which reduces the parking thresholds in sustainable town/district centre locations) by the Cabinet the day before the committee went in favour of the proposed arrangements.

The planning officer agreed and considered when weighing up the planning balance, any concern regarding shortfall of parking would be outweighed by; the benefits for highway safety, the amenity improvements from the removal of the potentially noisy commercial activity close to residential properties and the replacement of a negative/tradeable feature in the conservation area with a new building of superior architectural design. The application was called in by a Ward Councillor and so the final decision rested with the Planning Committee who unanimously supported the scheme and granted planning permission.

Unusually for the current climate this application was actually determined in time, one day ahead of the original target date and just in time for Christmas which was a lovely present for our clients and the design team.

Here at Pure Town Planning, we like nothing more than securing our clients planning approvals. If you have a potential development which you would like us to assess, why not give us a call or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk for a free of charge, confidential planning appraisal.