Friday, January 16, 2009

Last Straw?




The thatched restaurant area on Swanage Quay had a site meeting today, in order to determine it's future. Of the circa 50 people in attendance nobody spoke against the retention of the "thatch pagoda". Councillors will decide on Jan 22nd whether it has to be torn down or not.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Principal Planning Officer says “The local planning authority would not support your (the atrchitect's) suggestion for a temporary consent to allow negotiations for a permanent and potentially more appropriate replacement development” This seems rather harsh given the pagoda has been there for two seasons already, and proved very popular. According to PDC website only two letters of objection.

Anonymous said...

If you can get away with building a restaurant without planning permission why not try a block of flats next?

Anonymous said...

The owner reckons if he had applied for permission to errect the pagoda he would never have got it, so he had to build it and then fight to keep it.

Anonymous said...

That shows what sort of person he is. We have a legally based planning system to stop inappropriate developments like this one and he thinks he is above the law. What other laws does he think he is entitled to ignore if he can make a few quid in so doing? That last posting condemns him completly.

Anonymous said...

So what is inappropriate about the outdoor restaurant and appropraiate about the health centre architecture, the Mowlem, the Library, Sea Court, Quayside Court, Quay House etc?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the “thatch” would look less incongruous if it extended around the entire building.

Anonymous said...

A previous post invites us to conclude that because some buildings they do not like have been permitted the planning system, conservation areas etc should simply be abandoned. There is no other way of reading the posting. Its nonsense. Just because there are some horrors we should not give carte blanche for anything. Its like saying that if someone trips on a banana skin and breaks their leg street sweeping is a waste of money and should be stopped. The existence of inappropriate developments is an argument for tightening the planning system not loosening it. There is still a great deal of character in our town and we must fight to stop it being eroded.

Anonymous said...

Putting up a sheltered area so people can eat fish and chips hardly makes him public enemy No.1 does it 9:41 AM?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the thatch? Why don’t they just give him the planning permission? Everyone I’ve spoken to thinks it looks fine.

Anonymous said...

"So what ... about the health centre architecture, the Mowlem, the Library, Sea Court, Quayside Court, Quay House etc?"

Quite right. An excellemt argument for tightening planning so we don't get any more horrors. They show how wrong it is to let these things through.

Sara Wallis said...

I think that the addition of the canopy is a great idea enabling a local business to open for a longer season and attract custom in inclement weather. As a frequent visitor to Swanage I think it's great.The granting of retrospective planning permission is not uncommon and I feel it should be considered in this case.

Anonymous said...

So what would you let through 5.58, just Regency pastiche?

Anonymous said...

Regency? We are a bit lacking there. There is Marine Villas, but not a lot more so far as I now. It would be an odd style to adopt. Some years ago a pretend regency terrace was proposed for the pierhead cafe site but the planners wisely rejected it

Anonymous said...

When you look at the derelict old portacabins on the Pier which keep having permission renewed, how can you say this is out of keeping?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the proposed replacement for the buildings on the pier turned down because it was an oversized regency pastiche? The applicant was asked to come up with something better and less dominant if my memory serves me.

Simon said...

I think that the thatch looks fine. Indeed, it has a good 'holiday' feel, which in my book is quite appropriate for its location.

If only the planners had stopped a few of the real horrors in Swanage, but maybe they were worth more.

Anonymous said...

Plsnning is the strangest thing. We have professionally qualified planning officers who are allowed to deal with the unimportant cases but as soon as something needing proper professional judgement comes up it is turned over to cllr Pat the Postman. Its as if consultant surgeons were allowed to do ingrown toenails but had to call in whoever happened to be passing to do the brain surgery. I'm told this is democracy but other terms spring to mind. Judging by the remarks about the capabilities of councillors we see on Swanageview and elsewhere a lot of people share my view. (now thats a hostage to fortune!)

Anonymous said...

Well....we all know about the planning department at PDC..They will go down in history for making inapropriate decisions.for goodness sake...concentrate on the important planning issues such as protecting our local, existing businesses from developers, allowing inappropriate new builds to go ahead, and have a environmentally sustainable vision for Purbeck!! There is something you may be able to use...and that is a bit of common sense..I can hardly see that a thatch roof (made from natural materials) can be viewed as an eyesore....

Leave the Storers alone to create their positive vision for Swanage!!

Anonymous said...

Could you expand on "concentrate on the important planning issues such as protecting our local, existing businesses from developers".

If turning a small kiosk into a restaurant is not development I would like to know how else you define it. Do you mean the business should be protected so long as it remains a kiosk?

What is the rationale behind using planning to favour a business because of the residence of its owner? What about local existing developers? They seem to be the ones who find it hardest to put forward plans which are accepted or in another local case think they can depart from the plans that have been agreed with impunity. Unfortunately non local developers seem to be the ones who have the skills and understanding of the system to reach agreement whereas local would be developers, such as Mr Storer of the Pierhead flounder in incomprehension or retreat embittered.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/purbeck/4073250.Residents_support_Swanage_seafood_bar/

Anonymous said...

"Swanage people turned out en masse" the report claims, which is a little at odds with Mr Storer's own estimate of 50. The photo in the Echo shows about a dozen people. Perhaps the Echo thinks Swanage has a total population of about 20!

The sad thing about it is the way the whole business and the debate here and elsewhere demonstrates the lack of awareness by so many Swanage people of what makes the place special and worth preserving. The "looks all right to me" brigade and the "he's a nice guy so he should get planning permission" battalion have failed to give any reason in planning terms for supporting the application.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly the point. People are saying the planning system is wrong. Accdording to their own map PDC haven't passed anything in the last 30 years which gets a "positive" rating in the conservation area.

Anonymous said...

Wrong in what sense? Did any of these people comment in the recent review of the conservation area I wonder. The report on that commented on how under appreciated it is by many Swanage people.

The fact that all the developments in the conservation area in the last 30 years leave something to be desired demonstrates the low quality of the plans proposed. I daresay many were rammed through by council members in the face of opposition from the officers. Our town needshigher standards not lower ones.

Saying that because so many low quality schemes are proposed the rigour of the conservation area should be reduced is absurd. Despite the views of those who would make this Milton Keynes on Sea its the remnants of the past that our tourists enjoy and which support our economy. Greed and ignorance must not be allowed to prevail.

Anonymous said...

“its the remnants of the past that our tourists enjoy and which support our economy” err well yeah, and the beach, the pubs and restaurants, the caravans, the proximity to Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest, the shops, fast food and cafes, and the landscape. None of which are affected by a quayside outdoor seafood restaurant.

Anonymous said...

The restaurants etc are not why people come here. They exist because people come here. Ironically the Oyster Bar has the potential, given its setting, to be a positive reason for coming here. That is why it is so important to get the design right. Putting thatch on top to disguise the mess is not the answer though.

Anonymous said...

I think we could all agree it would be nice to start again with the building on the site.

Anonymous said...

The original poster says that 'the pagoda has been there for two seasons already'. My memory must be failing because it seems like only a year ago that the site was routinely turned into something resembling a war zone during the winter months. This was because the whole place was barricaded in with haphazard screens by the owner to the extent that local school children were encouraged to decorate it with art work to improve its appearance!
Am I just cynical then in thinking that the Pagoda is just an excuse for a silent but deliberate raspberry towards the Planning Dept?

Anonymous said...

Which demonstrates the owners attitude to what things should look like in a conservation area. Sad that such an important site is controlled by someone with this level of visual awareness, but then there is always a rustic chorus willing to chant "looks all right to me" to keep his spirits up.

Anonymous said...

This may be the route of the problem that the applicatnts lack of visual awareness is matched by the planning oficers' lack of commercial awareness, flexability and sense of fun.
When do we hear complaints about the ice cream huts stacked on stilts all year around on the beach? (sorry council concession so thats OK)

Anonymous said...

Some contributors IMHO revere the planning system a little too much. Planners are to say the least conservative the truth when they wish…
Let’s take the dive school on the pier for example. The owner has negotiated with the officers to obtain permission to build a fine building, but keeps getting turned down. We are left with a shack and rusting portacabins on the listed pier. The officers have far too much power as individuals and use it to frustrate initiative and (almost sadistically) mess with people’s lives.

Anonymous said...

Now let me see, do I think Mr Storer's shanty town construction is detrimental to the conservation area or do I think the planning officer's professional judgement to this effect was flawed. Do I thiink the lay members of the planning panel should accept that professional advice or decide they know better?

With the diving school the view that the proposed building is "fine" was not held by the planning officers who thought it was substandard. As we are paying them them to make this sort of professional decision based on their qualifications it seems odd to substitute our own amateur views.

I agree there are a lot of problems with the planning system. It often feels like someone trying to navigate a car by looking out of the back window at what has gone by, however, with these particular sites they are so important that it is vital tp get them right and not accept mediocrity because the owner has kept a decrepit building in a state of disrepair to apply pressure.

Anonymous said...

So what the point in keeping the conservation area in a decrepit state of disrepair to apply pressure to owners not to improve their properties? If the pagoda is torn down it will still look as bad as it did. Not better as is does. See what you think when the pubs and shops start being boarded up.

Anonymous said...

As a natural born rebel one of the best lessons I learned many years ago is that you have to work within a system to achieve change sensibly. If planning decisions are wrong then challenge them - it works and I know that because I've done precisely this in the past.

That's why we have the right of Appeal against such decisions.

However to strive for martyrdom by ignoring the rules is just a waste of time and therefore far less effective in the long run!

Anonymous said...

Dear 11.05,

It needs to be spelt out to some people. If someone fails to get planning permission for a redevelopment it is not exactly unknow for them to allow the building to decay knowing that the Noddy chorus will be chanting "anything would be better than that" before long. To some extent it works. If you look through the comment received by PDC over the last application for the Pierhead there are many along these lines. It is not the council that keeps privately owned buildings in poor condition, its the owners. Ask yourself why.

Anonymous said...

Members of the planning board all voted against the proposal with just two abstentions. Officers were instructed to proceed with further negotiations prior to any enforcement action in order to come up with an acceptable structure for the site.

Anonymous said...

It seems to work (this back scratching):
South Dorset Coach bus hut closed and run down, now Quay House.
Corrie Hotel tired and run down, now St Aldheims Flats.
Durlston castle closed for years, now reopening as visitor centre.
Royal Vic gardens carpark and tip, now Quayside Court.
Pier derelict for years, now open with lottery grant.
SeaCourt on Taunton Road also derelict, now refurbished flats with modern block at the side.