Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Seacourt development


PLAN

UP TAUNTON ROAD

DOWN TAUNTON ROAD

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

YUK!! More blasted flats? The town looks more like a dormitory town, nothing but flats and apartments. YUK! It will stand out like a sore thumb,just like the rest of the "FLATS" that have migrated across the town.
YUK'
Dancing ledge

The Postman said...

I'm hopeless at translating plans. Can someone explain in what key ways this differs from/is better (or worse) than the previous plans?

nick storer said...

in actual fact it is the last one!. The only change is
to the two upper balconies to make them inaccessible to the occupants.
The Town Council will discuss it next Friday - 7th of October 9.30am

Anonymous said...

New Planning Application 6/2005/0887 for Taunton Road (Sea Court)


I was amazed when going to view the new application on Wednesday to find that the plans are identical, apart from one small amendment, to those submitted earlier in the year and were the subject of the recent Appeal and Planning Inquiry. The only change is to the two fifth-storey balconies to make them inaccessible - one of the points made by the Planning Inspector. He raised many others when refusing the application. The submitting of these plans again shows a complete disregard for the views of the Town Council, the Purbeck District Council Planning Board, the local residents and the Planning Inspector. The latter dismissed the appeal and refused permission on the grounds of an “unacceptable loss of privacy to adjoining properties.” Nothing has changed other than addressing the problem of the top floor balconies.

This property has been the subject of three Planning Appeals. All have been refused. The developer has only heeded one of the reasons for these decisions. He has made no attempt to alter his plans to fit the maximum amount of properties into the site. He has made no attempt to try to make his scheme acceptable to the local residents, the Town and District Councils and other interested bodies such as the Victorian Society.

It should be remembered that three Planning Inspectors have given their decisions.

In 2001, D.O. Sweeting FRTPI refused the demolition of Sea Court and the erection of two blocks of six flats each - twelve in all. The reason given was that Sea Court “made a significant contribution to the town’s Victorian/Edwardian seaside heritage” and that its proximity to the Conservation Area was paramount. He also considered that the existing boundary wall was of great importance to the “narrow historic highway.”

In 2003 G.F. Self MA, MSc, FRTPI refused the conversion of Sea Court into four flats and a new block of 7 flats - eleven in all. He was concerned with the “bulk and massing” and scale in relation to properties immediately opposite and the proximity to them. He also pointed out the potential traffic hazards of use of the car parking spaces.

In 2005 B. Juniper BSc, Dip TP, MRTPI refused the two applications for the conversion of Sea Court into five flats and the building of a new, five storey block of eight flats - thirteen in all. His grounds were the unacceptable loss of privacy to adjoining properties.

In view of the absolute importance of this building to Swanage I am amazed that it has not been locally listed and the Conservation area extended to include it. Despite the many letters I and many other interested parties have written to the DCMS, English Heritage, Purbeck Heritage Committee, the Purbeck Council Planning Department including the Conservation department, nothing has been done - or seems likely to be done in the near future. I would urge the Town Council to try to achieve this.

At the last Planning Board meeting the members felt that they ought to make a site meeting. However by the time they met the application was already the subject of an appeal unless it was granted. I would urge you to make a strong recommendation that a site visit by the Planning Board is made prior to their meeting at the end of October. My reason for this is that the plans submitted give a totally erroneous impression of the site. On the plans there is a huge gap between Sea Court and the new block which cannot exist in reality. The exact position of the building on the site needs to be marked out and observed by the members of the Planning Board who will then be able to make an informed decision.

Swanage as a town has suffered from the demolition of its Victorian and Edwardian properties and the erection of nondescript blocks of flats in their place. These fill areas that once provided gardens as an open and spacious setting for the buildings on them. In view of this great, irretrievable loss the Sea Court site has become of pre-eminent significance and importance. To allow this huge five storey building to overshadow Sea Court would be a catastrophe and send out a clear message to developers eager to make huge profits. The neighbouring properties will fall like playing cards and the face of this part of the town quickly change and be indistinguishable from other parts of the town that have already been wrecked by indiscriminate bad development.

To my knowledge none of the objectors is opposed to the site being developed so that this outstanding property can be saved and restored. It is the scale of the new development, whose height and mass will overshadow and dominate Sea Court (which for well over a century has stood alone in its own grounds), which is the source of the objections. Clear guidance should be given to the developer - as, indeed, it should have been done initially, that a building, or buildings, of two or three storeys set further back on the site and more in keeping with the properties immediately opposite is far more likely to receive universal approval from all interested parties. It would, of course have to be of sufficient architectural interest to enhance and be in harmony with Sea Court and the adjacent Conservation area. Such a development should remove the problem of overlooking and loss of privacy and also allow sufficient car parking for the new properties and their visitors.

I would urge you all to send to the Planning Board the clearest message of disapproval that you can.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Field

The Postman said...

Any objections to PDC by 17 October...

The Postman said...

PDC planning department.....JohnButler@purbeck-dc.gov.uk

Anonymous said...

What’s the point of writing to John Butler? He and his department recommended approval of the scheme in the first place! That’s why the developer has got as far as he has. Unfortunately you can't vote a planning officer out of office.

Anonymous said...

The developer is just a greedy man who wants to make as much money as possible without any regard for other residents in the area. He has been aided by John Butler, who seems to be in favour.
I must urge all readers to give their support to the local residents, who it seems will be fighting another battle in order to protect their privacy!

Anonymous said...

If you read the application document things don't look so good, or am |I missing something:
“the traditional design (B) was refused planning permission by the inspector solely in respect of the third floor balconies. The inspector considered that this element and this element alone of the proposed scheme rendered the development objectionable because its effect on overlooking and the impact on the privacy of adjoining occupiers”. The new scheme has no third floor balconies, so does this mean that PDC can only (logically) pass it. If they state any other objection then the guy will get costs for everything at any subsequent appeal?

The Postman said...

To be considered by Planning Board at meeting beginning 9.15, Thusday 27 October, at Westport House, Wareham. Open for public to observe, but if you wish to speak you must give prior notice.

Robert Field said...

The Planning Application letter may say that the Inspector only raised the problem of the Third floor balconies but what he also said was: "However, material overlooking would arise from both schemes (Appeal A - Modernist and Appeal B - Traditional). I conclude that both proposals would be harmful to the living conditions of adjoining occupiers and would be contrary to adopted Local Plan Policy G1 and emerging Plan Policy QL36." He also mentions "balconies being more likely to be perceived as instrusive by adjoining occupiers." He does not specify the fifth storey balconies in particular. One must remember that although called the third floor by the developer he also has a lower ground floor at ground level - his ground floor would be everyone else's first. It is a five storey development - far too big for the site. It should also be remembered that there have been three appeals and Juniper's should not be taken as gospel. Two out three make a majority and the other two Inpectors were concerned with the large scale of the buildings proposed and the nearness to the Conservation Area.
It beggars belief that this application will be supported by the Planning Officers but, as every application other than the first has been supported by them, I suppose this will also receive their blessing.
If you feel strongly about this matter please protest. You can do this on-line until the 24th of October.

Anonymous said...

Can someone publish a link to whichever site I need to go to to object please?

The Postman said...

(As mentioned in a Comment above) I believe any objection shoud be made to PDC - Planning dept JohnButler@purbeck-dc.gov.uk

nick storer said...

http://www.purbeck.gov.uk/services/service.asp?strareano=22_40_2&intelement=6347

App No.6/2005/0887

nick storer said...

read the Planning Officers comments at:
http://www.purbeck.gov.uk/docGallery/3506.pdf

Bett Paxton-Brunning said...

I have just retuned from holiday to find The Advertiser,dated 13th of October, on the mat saying that Seacourt Plans Change Again!giving the impression that great efforts have been made to deal with the problems involved. This could not be further from the truth. No communication has ever taken place between the developer and the neighbours directly affected.Therefore the quote 'We have worked tirelessly over the past three years to come up with plans acceptable to most parties' is not true.There have been no efforts to deal with the concerns of The Town Council, The District Councillors, The Swanage Buildings Preservation Society. Perhaps the Developer in The Advertiser Article refers to discussions with Purbeck District Council Officers who, apart from the Developer himself are the only ones in favour of this development. The plans are the same ones rejected by the Inspector at the Public Inquiry save for a tweak to the top two penthouse balconies;so to say that he has the support of the Inspector is also untrue.The plan still show the five storey wall of windows ,a lot of which are ceiling to floor, overlooking one and two storey homes on the opposite side of the narrow Taunton Road.The Inspector was also concerned with the quality of life of the neighbours and this has not been addressed. The article in the Advertiser was written by Andy Davey who works out of the Poole office, he has never been to see Seacourt and as far as I am concerned did not reflect the concerns of the people of Swanage Town, The Swanage Buildings Preservation Group,Purbeck C.P.R.E. The Victorian Society and the neighbours directly involved.That he even got my name wrong refects the quality of the reporting.

nick storer said...

I spoke to a very levelheaded man in the pub last night who questioned the need for large over looking windows on Taunton Road. This only provided sea glimpses, he explained, when balconies on the rear would provide a far preferable sunny aspect. Also if the block was sited to the rear of the plot, instead of centrally, more room would be available to manoeuvre when car parking, and allow neighbours more space.

Seacourt Action Group said...

We confirmed on 20/10/05 with the Inspectorate at Bristol that a new application lodged after a Public Inquiry has been dismissed is exactly that, NEW. It is not a continuation of that Public Inquiry and has to be judged again on its merits.
Seacourt Action Group

nick storer said...

read the story in todays Telegraph here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/24/nvict24.xml

Seacourt Action Group said...

We have been informed today by Purbeck District Council that there are now more than fifty letters of objection to the current proposals for Seacourt.Please send your objections by email to johnbutler@purbeck-dc.gov.uk
Bett Paxton-Brunning
on behalf of Seacourt Action Group

Seacourt Action Group said...

We would like to draw attenton to the'Spot The Difference' posters going up around town in the next day or so.There is a note on there about a petition that has been started to the to The Members of Planning Board at Purbeck District Council. They are being urged to vote against (at the meeting on Nov 24th) the proposed five storey block of flats in the garden of Seacourt Taunton Road which is virtually identical to the block that was dismissed by the Appeal Inspector at the Public Inquiry held in the Mowlem Theatre in May of this year.Please sign the petition if it comes your way or tel 421794 for info.

Seacourt Action Group said...

There was an overwhelming response in the Town today (Sat Nov 12th)to the Petion urging the The Members of The Planning Board at Purbeck District Council to continue to vote against the proposed unacceptable overdevelopment of the garden at Seacourt. These Councillors have done so over the past five years and today the People of Swanage showed their interest and wholehearted support by signing the petition and backing them. Well done to everyone. The Petition continues.