Royal Arcade Boscombe listed building consent planning permission flatsBournemouth Borough Council: Pure Town Planning are delighted to announce that we have just secured planning permission for external alterations in the form of an external Victorian gantry and the conversion of the upper floors of the Grade II Listed, Royal Arcade, into 28 residential apartments.

The Royal Arcade has been a landmark feature of Boscombe for 122 years, surviving relatively unaltered. It was constructed in 1892 as a series of developments by an enterprising developer named Archibald Beckett and which included the Salisbury Hotel (now demolished and replaced by the 1960s building housing McDonalds) and the Boscombe Theatre (now the O2 Academy). The ground floor shops of the Royal Arcade remain in active use however the upper floors which originally provided the living accommodation of the shop keepers have been vacant for decades. Our client purchased the leaseholds of the upper floors and aims to restore the flats and bring them back into active use. The vision has always been to bring back into use these empty spaces by providing much-needed high quality and reasonably-priced housing units to Boscombe. The proposal aims to not only restore and preserve the listed building but also contribute to the wider regeneration of Boscombe.

Pure Town Planning undertook extensive pre-application consultations on this very important project with Planning, Conservation, Building and Highways Officers with regard to the internal and external alterations, the number and type of dwellings proposed and access arrangements. One of the difficulties of bringing the flats into use is how to access them. This was originally through the shops themselves but to create independent self-contained flats required a different solution. Instead of extensive internal alterations to create communal corridors it was agreed that an attractive iron gantry attached to the sides of the building would provide the solution which was most sensitive to the listed building.

During the planning process we met numerous times on site with Ward Councillors, representatives of ‘Backing Boscombe’ as well as the Council’s planning, listed building, housing and building regulations officer’s, we even met the refuse department at one point! Through negotiations and justification we were able to convince all involved that the scheme, designed by architects Anders Roberts Cheer, will sensitively refurbish and revitalise the existing run down and dilapidated spaces on the first and second floors of the Royal Arcade and regenerate this building back to its former glory! Planning permission was granted for the 28 residential units (1 x 1 bed flat, 24 x 2 bed maisonettes and 3 x 3 bed maisonettes) earlier this week, much to our client’s delight who can’t wait to get cracking on this project.

If you have a potentially complex Listed Building / Conservation proposal and are looking for a firm of planning consultants to steer your development through the planning process then contact Matt, Dan or Neil in confidence on 01202 585524 or email us at for a free no obligation planning consultation.