Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pier Head development

A pre-planning public consultation regarding new proposals for the redevelopment of this site will be held in The Mowlem Committee Room on Thursday 1 st July from 7pm- 9pm. There will be a display, and a short talk with questions by the architect at 7.30pm. The plans and impressions will move to the Art Hut opposite the Old Stone Quay for the weekend, open from 11am until 4 pm. Interested members of the public will have the opportunity to comment in writing at both venues, or by e-mailing:
haveyoursay@pierheadswanage.co.uk

222 comments:

1 – 200 of 222   Newer›   Newest»
FredMertz said...

I will attend with interest but, to be frank, I will support almost any plan that improves the area. It is time PDC got their heads out of the clouds and worked with the owner to develop this eyesore.

Anonymous said...

Its only an eyesore because the owner keeps it that way so the credulous call for him to be permitted to put up whatever he fancies. It a well known tactic by developers.

If he had taken the advice of the planning panel members several years ago and come up with a scheme that was limited to the footprint of the old building the whole thing would have been completed long ago but that would not have made enough money for him and that is what it is all about. No doubt he is organising his rustic chorus of supporters to write in and say how wonderful the new design is.

Anonymous said...

'.....rustic chorus of voices......'

My, aren't you superior!

In fact, I am an independent-minded Swanage rate payer who simply wants to see this site improved. Why must you (and the style of your posts appears scattered throughout Swanageview) always resort to petty and childish name calling in order to make your 'point'?

I suppose such vitriol at the expense of others allows you to feel better about yourself, like a classic school bully?

The point is: any improvement to that site would be better than what stands there at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Oops....'rustic chorus of supporters..'.

Mea culpa!

Anonymous said...

sorry but i thought the problems we face in this country stem from people not doing things, employing people, making money and paying enough tax to pay for everything?

Anonymous said...

We have to get rid of the portacabins on the Pier Head and the Pier. Both parties need to see a realistic return on their investments in return for enhancing the area and extending the season.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the owner keeps the site in such a state that you and many others think "any improvement to that site would be better than what stands there at the moment." simply demonstrates the effectiveness of his campaign and is also somewhat circular.

What would you regard as a suitable development for this site? Do you agree for example that the sight lines across this site from above it on the Downs across the bay are important and should be retained?

I don't know why my description of the petition signers and senders of standard emails and letters as a rustic chorus is controversial. I imagine the members of the planning panel who receive their communications have a stronger term.

Anonymous said...

"petition signers and senders of standard emails" i think you are off subject there 11.57

Anonymous said...

11.57 Do you have some sort of axe to grind? Perhaps you stand to loose some of your own view? It is also somewhat circular to maintain that the condition of the building will help speed a redevelopment when this one has been as good as derelict for 30 years and has been the subject of numerous planning schemes by at least three different developers: Bingo hall, retirement home, crescent of houses, two storey mock Regency, contemporary apartments, four flats set in park land, live/work units above shops, holiday flats above a café/bar. All came to nothing.

Anonymous said...

The common feature of the failed applications was excessive size. Go to the PDC website and read through the documents about each application if you don't believe me.The building is only derelict because of neglect. This is a deliberate ploy. Nothing has stopped the owner of this site from removing the unsightly accumulation of lean=toos and bits and pieces and giving the building a coat of paint. Nobody prevents him from tidying it up, but he prefers to raise two fingers at the rest of us and keep it like it is in the hope of making big bucks.

Asking people to sign petitions and standard letters and send emails with the same content it his normal practice, presumably in the hope of softening up the planning panel.

Those who say any development proposed should be accepted because the site is a mess are in effect saying there should be two planning systems, a lax one for those who make a mess of their property and a tight one for those who keep it in good order. It is rather worrying that they do not think through the implication of what they say.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again 10.24:
http://www.purbeck.gov.uk/planning/PlanAppDisp.asp?RecNum=22612
(and 6/1999/0405)
were both applications for very minimal developments which were no higher than the existing pier head building.

“Asking people to sign petitions and standard letters and send emails with the same content it his normal practice” Well I can find no evidence of this in any of the previous applications for the site.

“accepted because the site is a mess” Well if all the mess was cleared away and the building painted it would still be falling down, have no obvious use, and would be a prime location for redeveloopment with something new.

Anonymous said...

Well, 11.27, that is only part of the story. In fact applications for a more modest redevelopment of four flats in 1994 and 1996 were passed but never acting on so the opportunity to make the site more presentable was lost Clearly Mr Storer now has no interest in "minimal" developments which is unfortunate.

Recent applications have been for 12 dwelling units and have either been rejected or withdrawn. The 1999 application referred to by 11.27am was withdrawn by Mr Storer so it hardly counts.

I lesve it to bloggers to come to their own conclusions about the bulk of the last two proposals as this was what led to their rejection. The plans are at http://217.154.121.34/Planning/Web%20Importer%20Attachments/32167/00008B8F.PDF and http://217.154.121.34/Planning/Web%20Importer%20Attachments/29439/00010632.TIF

I just hope that the new plans do not have this problem.

The marketing campaign for this years plans has started with an advert in this weeks local paper and a public meeting soon. Please don't express surprise if a model letter/email supporting the application is offered.

Anonymous said...

4.05 you seem cruel. If Burt, Mowlem and Pitt had been made to jump through so many hoops my guess is Swanage would still be a green field.
Also if "minimal" is rejected then the obvious next move is to stand alone substantial architecture. If you want the site to become a park get the council to buy it like they did the pitch and putt. (then watch it get turned into a car park).

Anonymous said...

The state of this site just goes to illuistrate the mindset of some people in this town who like to object to anything/everything on grounds of size/obstructing views etc, etc. 11.57 portrays this sort of opinion very well. He/she will not be satisfied with ANY proposal, these are familiar tactics. Just leave everything to rot and stop change. Hopefully the planners will approve some sort (any) development before too long. We have suffered this eyesore for long enough. How many visitors/potential newcomers has it kept away?

Anonymous said...

"Minimal" i.e. four flats, was accepted by PDC years ago but was not built.One asks why and cannot escape from the conclusion that the owner decided to go for the largest building that could be squeezed on to the site to make the most money. He is entitled to want to do that but this does not make it something acceptable as far as the rest of us are concerned. He has no god-given right to develop the site which some comments imply.

I will be perfectly happy with a building that a. satisfies the planning panels requirement that it occupies broadly the same footprint as the old building and b. enhances the adjacent conservation area. Having looked at the last two monstrosities proposed I am not optimistic about the next one but I hope to be agreeably surprised.

I am not attracted to the proposition that if you have had enough planning applications rejected the next one should be rubber stamped. I am also struggling with the notion that up and down the country people are saying "lets not go to Swanage because there is a run down building at the end of the High Street." If this is in fact the case I trust you will all ask Mr Storer to give it a coat of paint.

A couple of years ago there was a rash of bloggings saying that the Mowlem was falling down. These stopped when the outside was painted.

It is remarkable how many folk go through life convinced that buildings are kept upright by the paint on the walls.

As for preferring green grass to buildings, well perhaps. As it happens there is a site, not a million miles away from the Pierhead and owned by a member of the same family which used to be a pleasant garden but is now a total mess. I know which did more for the appearance of the town.

Anonymous said...

That last paragraph is important.

The area not a million miles away does indeed look foul, but, it's loved by many, it produces a damn good product, and is thus, rightly, popular.

Standards versus outcomes.

Difficult.

Anonymous said...

7.51 ”"Minimal" i.e. four flats” WRONG actually no only two flats above the existing building were ever passed. Hardly a launch pad for Swanage going into C21

“As it happens there is a site, not a million miles away from the Pierhead and owned by a member of the same family which used to be a pleasant garden but is now a total mess. I know which did more for the appearance of the town.”
Just take a look at the site before the hated Mr. S took it on: (see page 2)


http://217.154.121.34/Planning/Web%20Importer%20Attachments/34735/0000F7A4.PDF

Anonymous said...

An oyster and seafood restaurant and not much more on the pierhead site then and forget the grandiose schemes.

Anonymous said...

Perfect… and leave Swanage to hide its light under its bushel once more.

Anonymous said...

Hang on, hang on, we already have “An oyster and seafood restaurant” on the Quay BUT Purbeck District Council want it torn down???

Anonymous said...

I think it works like this. Let’s pretend you have a nice freehold detached house on DeMoulham Road. Opposite there is a similar building belonging to your Great Aunt. Her house hasn’t got quite as good a view but it has a large garden. The local residents and council have a suggestion. They want you to engage a top architect, pay a planning fee, pay a crippling contribution to the infrastructure and heathland funds, spend hundreds of thousands of pounds constructing new sea defences to meet the exacting Environment Agency requirements; then at your own expense knock down your house with the nice view and rebuild it in your Aunt’s garden which she is required to donate. The vacant plot will have no residual value, and the new house must be 50% given over to social housing. Your Aunt now has no view at all but she is comforted by the fact that the value of her house has fallen so far that she need not be bothered about inheritance tax any longer. The expense of the move proves to much and you bust. The Council plant a tree where your old house was.

Anonymous said...

"Hang on, hang on, we already have “An oyster and seafood restaurant” on the Quay BUT Purbeck District Council want it torn down???"

We ave a kiosk by the quay to which a variety of bits and pieces have been added to the detriment of the area. It is a mess. The fact that it is a commercial success does not strop it being a mess. Unfortunately the owner does not think it is enough of a success to justify investing in a decent building. This is covered in the planning documents relating to it on the pdc website.

I don't understand the remark about Swanage hiding its light under a bushel. Are you seriously suggesting a large building on the pierhead site constitutes a "light"? Why should a smaller one not give equal illumination?

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately the owner does not think it is enough of a success to justify investing in a decent building." Well to the best of my knowledge this is the only stand alone restaurant in Swanage, ie without accommodation overhead. Perhaps if you let the bloke rebuild with a couple of flats above he would be prepared to commission the most beautiful of buildings.

Anonymous said...

Lets think about that. Construction cost for building a single floor restaurant approx £200k. Possible rental income £20k max. Construction cost for adding a couple of holiday flats about the same. Selling price of flats by the Quay £300-400k each. Result £400-600k in the bank if you build flats. No wonder he would like to go up, wouldn't we all, and no wonder he says thats the only way to do it. Hence the stand-off with PDC who said no to this lucrative suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Well why not? PDC allowed a four storey block of flats to be built next door in the same precious curtilage of the Royal Victoria Hotel. This without the planning gain of restaurants or shops, in fact it has ended up as a gated area to which the public no longer have access. Just private garages. Where is the sense or justice?

Anonymous said...

I agree to some extent but pdc are in a bind. 20 odd years ago they were a lot more relaxed about protecting the built and natural environment than they are now. It seems rather harsh after their belated enthusiasm for "protecting and enhancing" the conservation area to expect them to say that because rubbish was allowed to be built in the past anything a land owner wants to build should be permitted now.

Anonymous said...

well obviously not "anything", but why not just wait and see what is actually proposed for the site. Normally it’s all up with pictures and a web site but all seems quiet except for this exhibition in July.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting and I hope they have got it right this time. I just started blogging because my heart sank at the thought of the "anything would be better than whats there now so therefore anything should be approved" comments that are bound to appear. I appreciate that anyone with a business wants it to generate a profit, however, what has to be born in mind is that the character of the conservation area generates value for other businesses in and near it and inappropriate development has the potential to reduce this. The erosion of the conservation by unsympathetic buildings like Quayside Court has not helped and there is no reason to make the situation worse.

Anonymous said...

the days of the victoria hotel, tasteful gardens, cheery pier head cafe have gone for better or worse. Now we have fish stalls, flats and an eyesore site. Hardly befits a 'conservation' area i suggest. Earlier contributors are right - anything would be better than what we have now, so lets hope sense prevails and something appropriate for swanage in the 21st century is built - even if it exceeds a couple of storyes.

Anonymous said...

6.15 Dead on! I would add that Swanage will benefit through increased local rates, too. Let's admit that the whole area around the former Royal Victoria hotel has been compromised over the past 20 years. Let's not be too precious - we are in a tough economic climate and Swanage must adjust accordingly which, I would suggest, George Burt would utterly support.

(I have nothing to do with Mr Storer.)

Anonymous said...

"anything would be better than what we have now, so lets hope sense prevails and something appropriate for swanage in the 21st century is built"

Which do you want? Anything, or something appropriate for Swanage? They are not the same thing. The last two sets of plans for the pierhead submitted were not at all appropriate for Swanage. That is the point I have been trying to make. The planning panel came to that conclusion and I have seen nothing to demonstrate that either design was appropriate.

If you think landowners should be free to build what they like with no reference to the context, physical, economic and cultural of the building then you should say you favour the abolition of the planning system, conservation etc for that is what you are asking for.

Anonymous said...

“my heart sank at the thought of the "anything would be better than whats there now so therefore anything should be approved"”
Well I understand the new Pier Head architect is an off spring from Hopkins who worked on Portcullis House next to the Houses of Parliament and Inn the Park overlooked by Buckingham Palace, so we should be in good hands.

Anonymous said...

I hope so. Depends very much on what he has been asked to do though.

Anonymous said...

The only 'context' I observed last night for the area surrounding Pierhead were noisy bars/pubs and cars parked with absolutely no regard for double yellows. The area hardly merits the designation 'conservation area'; it has declined precipitously over the past 15 years into an area reminiscent of Bournemouth's drink culture. I am not anti-pubs at all; I just point out that this area is hardly anything special anymore, nor would it be made worse than it is by sensible plans for Pierhead.

Anonymous said...

7.24 The parallel with Padstow is uncanny in what you observe. Rick Stein’s night club establishment was closed down by the police due to bad behaviour prior to him opening the quayside seafood restaurant on the same site.

Anonymous said...

As for the parking, an obvious beginning to the long term goal of pedestrianising the lower High Street would be to start with the road in front of any new building on the PH site.

Anonymous said...

Pedestrianisation is an interesting idea. How would this impact on response times for the lifeboat crew? If it was combines with reversing the traffic flow in the High Street from Court Road to Church Hill that would provide an alternative route avoiding the town centre

Anonymous said...

7.41. Im confused. What do you mean by appropriate for Swanage? Looking at that area and assuming everything there is considered 'appropriate', I think there is a wide choice. Lets not be precious about it. The area has declined. A tidy building would help restore the situation, even if it was higher than the wreck that sits there today.

Anonymous said...

The area has changed in a number of ways. Retail has moved over a long period to Station Road. Pubs have declined steeply over the country as a whole and in Swanage most of them are now de facto restaurants with bars. The lower High Street has a lot more flats than it used to have and the last few Pierhead plans would have increased this by another dozen.

The parts of the area that have declined most visibly are those in the control of members of the Storer family. A number of posters think they should be rewarded fro this by being exempted from the planning process. I wonder what they think the qualifying period for allowing a building to decay should be for this exemption. 10 years? 15? If I want to tear my house down and build a large block of flats should I be allowed to do this regardless of planning if I refrain from painting the exterior for this long?

Anonymous said...

Dear 1.02

It was 6.15 who used the term "appropriate to Swanage," I was commenting on their post, Perhaps they would like to venture a definition first. They did not see concerned about scale which struck me as a bit odd and I could not escape a suspicion that all they meant was money making.

7.41

Anonymous said...

1.30 “The parts of the area that have declined most visibly are those in the control of members of the Storer family”.
Absolute bollocks! The grade II listed building itself was derelict before they took over and then they completely restored it. The Pier Head building was made ready for demolition by the lack of maintenance by the previous tenant. They have tried and tried again to have the site redeveloped.

“A number of posters think they should be rewarded for this by being exempted from the planning process” Bollocks again! How dare you patronise other posters and in effect libel a family in this way!

“I wonder what they think the qualifying period for allowing a building to decay should be for this exemption. 10 years? 15? If I want to tear my house down and build a large block of flats should I be allowed to do this regardless of planning if I refrain from painting the exterior for this long?” Well mate you will never find out because you will be in St Ann’s by then if you keep up your malicious ravings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Me, someone is upset. The posters I have taken issue with are either suggesting that

1. After a sufficient number of rejected planning applications the next one should be accepted regardless and this should apply to everyone

or

2. That planning special rules should apply to the Storers but not to others.

I cannot see any other way of reading what they said.

There has been nothing to prevent the pierhead building being kept in a better cosmetic condition. Can you explain why it cannot be painted for example. Can you explain the state of the remainder of the site with its lean-toos and other bits and pieces? Again it could be made to look a great deal more acceptable. Reach your own conclusions about why this has not happened. Neglect by the previous owner is not very convincing though.

Anonymous said...

Lets see something vibrant, interesting and cultural on the site. With a number of flats above, Mr Storer should be well in pocket and the town will benefit from cleaning up the site and providing a building which can be appreciated by locals and visitors. The building needs to be fit for the 21st century and not stuck in some sort of time warp to keep persistant objectors happy.

Anonymous said...

It was the number of flats that was the stumbling block. PP was given some years ago for four but the owner has persistently tried for several times this number. Modern is not a problem. PDC have made it clear that they are not holding out for an example of period pastiche. Some of the earlier designs submitted were excruciating exercises in fake Queen Anne and the like.

Cultural usage would be good but lining up a well heeled tenant in advance might not be a bad idea. Retail down at the end of the High Street sounds like a problem as well. Glad its not mine.

Anonymous said...

12:55 WRONG permission has never been given for four flats.

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence. The Observer on Sunday ran a story on “ 20 best places to eat this summer”. WestBeach in Bournemouth “Exactly the sort of fish-heavy brasserie that ever self –respecting seaside town should have.” Swanage NOT.
Inn the Park, St James’s Park London “few better places to be”, same architect as current PH project.

Anonymous said...

Mea culpa, it was two flats not four. Thank you for correcting that. However, see http://www.purbeck.gov.uk/planning/PlanAppDisp.asp?RecNum=21324 for the accepted application

Confusingly this accepted application was omitted from the planning officers summary of the planning history when the last application was being considered.

It was an application lodged in 1996 by Mr Storer for a conversion of the existing premises rather than a new one. What makes it more interesting is that this was after the pierhead had allegedly been left in such a poor condition by the previous owner that demolition was the only option. Clearly Mr Storer did not think this at the time. The condition of the building was found to be a good deal worse only when the applications for a larger building were going in. Draw your own conclusions. I remember the state of the building in 1996 and cosmetically it was a lot better then than it is now and it did not attract the critical remarks it gets now.

Leaving a building to rot is standard developer's practice if there is a prolonged PP issue. I can't understand why there are howls of anguish when this fact is mentioned.

When the last plans were rejected the architect said "Purbeck has declined the opportunity for Swanage to move forward, create employment, and get the 21 century sustainable building it deserves." (http://www.pierhead.plus.com/)

At the time I thought this was just hyperbole employed to justify cramming the largest building they could on to the site but maybe this hubristic gloss is what these people really believe.

Anonymous said...

Oops. The planning officer did give it a mention. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Spot on 10.34. We all agree. The problem was the 12 flats not the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. The Victoria Hotel would never have been built if there had been similar concerns. The planners, supported by some members of the public would have said it spoilt a view, was too tall, too many rooms, etc, etc. What would be wrong with 6 - 12 flats, provided they can be sold, let, be housing association stock etc. ? What is the real concern over the conservation aspects? Swanage is a beautiful place, but the beauty is natural. Past developers have created some ugly buildings. Just look at the Mowlem, in the centre of town and the biggest horror of all...One more (if we have to...) wouldnt make much difference.

Anonymous said...

When I was doing my research I came across this statement in the bundle of documents about the last planning application. It is from the architect's rebuttal of the planning officers recommendations.

"We fundamentally repudiate that the design has ever been lead by "the need for a certain number of units", or by mercenary self interest."

(http://www.pierhead.plus.com/rebut.html)

A great deal of the acrimony in this thread derives from differing views of whether this statement is plausible. I find it hard to believe that the whole aim is to do good things for Swanage rather than make the maximum profit for the simple reason that the existing building could have been demolished years ago pending approval for a replacement and the constant complaints about the state of it would have come to an end. The fact that this has not been done casts great doubt on the veracity of the statement. If everybody says it is an eyesore and detrimental to the town why not simply knock it down? Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

It would cost £60K at least to demolish it. Who do you suggest should pay ..... and then what?

Anonymous said...

Another statement that does not look very plausible.

In any case this will have to be paid when it is redeveloped so if the aim is to do something positive for Swanage why not bite the bullet now and improve the visitor's experience by removing an eyesore.

It must be pretty solidly built if demolition would cost £60k, How is this figure arrived at? Has a recent estimate been obtained? You can't have it both ways. We were told it was pretty much jerry built, without cavity walls etc in the document justifying demolition so there is can't be a great deal to demolish. Costs quoted for demolishing a house are in the range £3-11K so extrapolate up for the size, which is not that great.

Lets suggest some figures

Digger and driver for 1 week £2000
about 100 lorry loads @ £150 per trip to landfill including tax £15000
Total £17000. Even twice this is a lot under £60k.

If this had been done 10 years ago the saving in business rates alone would have covered this a good many times over.

Perhaps all those good people who tell us that "anything" would be better than whats there now would could put in a thousand each and get the job done. How about a community demolition effort. We each get to wield a hammer and take away a boot-ful of rubble. It would be a chance for us all to do something for the town. Even hiring a digger and leaving the rubble in a neat pile would qualify under the "anything would be better" test and only cost a modest amount. Mr Storer could even offer the rubble on freecycle and get rid of it for nothing. This just needs a little lateral thinking and some goodwill and the problem is solved. If, that is, his aim is to improve the appearance of Swanage.

Anonymous said...

Brick and concrete rubble turns out to be a saleable commodity. Mr Storer could even make a modest profit from demolition.

In answer to the "then what" question - carry on trying to get PP, Surely demolition makes no difference to this. Does it? Why did you ask. It would also demonstrate Mr Storer's bone fides as a benefactor wanting to improve Swanage by removing an eyesore. Even a coat of paint would help.

Anonymous said...

The dilapidated state of the building may be an eyesore, but the murals are great! Many locals and visitors alike enjoy these.

Anonymous said...

The site could easily accommodate 30 flats or 12 or so terraced town houses. I think permission to demolish was also refused.
9.22 you forget the loss of rental income from the old bus hut and tea garden, but whatever is erected it must be viable? The dichotomy you refer to is false. There is no reason why the site should not be redeveloped profitable and elegantly. Take a look at these fabulous new building close to Bideford:
http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=5363510

http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=6430157

Anonymous said...

Why would demolition impact on the outdoor cafe and Art Hut? I am talking about the Pier Head building. The Cafe operates from a mobile unit and the Art Hut could remain until the site is redeveloped.

If the building was reduced to ground level the existing garden cafe could actually expand and use the area made available. As the emphasis today is on al fresco catering this would be a gain. If the floors are solid they simply need a surface sckim, if they are wooden a good deal of the rubble would go on filling the void and in turn it could be floored over for not too much.

It really is not about how many flats it is physically possible to cram onto the site as we all know.

We are no nearer to resolving the paradox or credibility gap.

A profit maximising developer would seek to get the maximum number of units on a site. He would leave an old building on it in the worst possible state of repair hoping the public would pressurise the planners into accepting his proposals. Grandiose schemes are often puffed as doing wonders for their locality. However, in this instance we have it on record that this is not about profit maximisation. Most of us say if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and lays eggs like a duck it is a duck. However, this duck insists it is a bird of paradise.

Whatever is suggested is rejected if it falls short of the largest possible building. We are repeatedly told that only the maximum is viable but no alternative business plan has been revealed.

If a viable redevelopment cannot take place because of planning reasons the situation will be the same as with a great many other hypothetical redevelopments, nothing special about this situation at all however galling it may be. In this situation the owner of the site would have no real option but to repair the building or demolish it. Anybody in Swanage who owns a detached house with a decent sized garden could do nicely if they were allowed to put a dozen flats on the site. Should we all be allowed to do this?

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Shore House site recently? If PH site was flattened and the ensuing rubble protected by galvanised fencing I could begin to agree with you that some arm twisting was going on. Instead the owner allows some use of the site, and although the building has not to my knowledge been repainted, it was re roofed some time ago. Hardly the action of money grabbing vandals? I think your tea garden idea is a fantasy. A couple more portacabins to serve as kitchens and toilets? But if you would like a bigger tea garden why not allow Ali the Seagull café proprietor the franchise to serve people sat at serviced tables on Prince Albert Gardens?

“We are repeatedly told that only the maximum is viable”. Where and when? The site would make a great mobile home park, it could be pub/club, a church, whatever. We will have to wait and see what is proposed this time. If the planners would come out and say no development allowed on the site then a lot of time could be saved. They seem to be hanging out for a fine building, but this logically has to be paid for.

“Anybody in Swanage who owns a detached house with a decent sized garden could do nicely if they were allowed to put a dozen flats on the site. Should we all be allowed to do this?” If the planners are in agreement then yes. (They fell over backwards to assist the development in the garden of Sea Court on Taunton Road)

Anonymous said...

I see, it is an unfortunate coincidence worthy of Thomas Hardy that only a development getting maximum number of units on the site is viable. It must be very tiresome for Mr Storer to have to explain this to sceptics like me. Would he have done anything different if he was the profit motivated businessman I took him for?

It must be equally discomforting to have doubt cast on the claim that he is a disinterested benefactor to the town undertaking a regeneration scheme purely to help us.

Lets take his word for it. Presumably some research was undertaken to find evidence that a building of the scale and usage proposed would have a beneficial effect. As it happens I spent some time looking into town regeneration on the 1990s but I do not recall anything saying blocks of flats were the answer. We had a number of public meetings but unfortunately he did not attend as he would have had the chance to outline his vision. Could someone be kind enough to refer me to the research that substantiates this claim.

If a new building would be a shot in the arm for this part of Swanage then the present one must exert a negative effect and blight nearby businesses. It is hard to quantify this I know, but how many customers does the Oyster Bar loose because of its proximity a few yards away. It looks like a run away success to me. Does Mr Storer's nearby restaurant suffer? Does the fishing tackle shop sell les bait, Jurassic fewer boots? To judge by the complaints on here about noisy bars and pubs it is not doing them any harm.

You see the trouble is that all we can do is make a simple calculation of how much a dozen sea view flats are worth and draw a conclusion quite counter to Mr Storer's stated position. We must have some facts to bolster way of looking at it.

Anonymous said...

2.17 very witty. If in fact he was going to put up a horse whip factory the motivation would be to sell the whips at a profit. However much benefit would accrue in terms of taxes paid and employment provided. So long that is as the factory was big enough to be profitable.
"Mr Storer's stated position" where is this so I can read it or did he tell you directly?

Anonymous said...

Read http://www.pierhead.plus.com/rebut.html

In particular "We fundamentally repudiate that the design has ever been lead by "the need for a certain number of units", or by mercenary self interest. The philosophy of the scheme is fundamental: what we create here invigorates Swanage and creates interest and vitality to the Pier Approach."

He explicitly denies the intention was making a profit for himself.

The justificaton is clearly pitched in terms of economic and general regeneration. The planning panel were not persuaded. Surely if they had been shown evidence that the building was likely to have have the claimed outcome they may have been persuaded. Mr Storer has put it to us that it is the appearance of the building that will have a regenerative effect rather than a small addition to the number off flats and shops. Surely he must base this assertion on some facts? How else could he expect the planning panel to take it on board?

Anonymous said...

If in fact he was going to put up a horse whip factory the motivation would be to sell the whips at a profit.

But you see he is not doing this to make a profit at all. I have been castigated for slurring his character by suggesting this. The very idea is an insult.

Can someone please set this to music.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest bloggers take a moment to read the CABE publication "Shifting Sands"
You can download it here:
http://www.cabe.org.uk/publications/shifting-sands

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I will read it when I have more time this evening. It was published in 2003. To what extent was the justification for the 2006 pier head application informed by it?

I glanced through and noticed that it emphasises the importance of partnership working where businesses and councils work together. Most of the case studies are about such partnerships. How far has this been explored in our context? So far as I am aware this is a totally private initiative which was probably perceived by PDC as dressing itself in the jargon of regeneration, to mix a metaphor.

Incidentally the shops and flats going up on the site of the former Kings Bar are not utterly different in size from what was proposed. Can we take it that it is not considered they will have the regenerative effect claimed for the 2006 pier hard design and that the latter would have relied only on its visual impact to achieve this effect. This begs a question - what evidence was offered to persuade public and council that it would do this to an extent sufficient for the planning objections to be overcome? I read the paperwork at the time and I do not recall this being demonstrated. Was Mr Storer hoping for a damascene conversion when the bright light of the plans shone in the eyes of the planning panel? Without some pretty persuasive evidence it can only have looked like a money making scheme to them, as it did to many of us.

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with a money making scheme? He is a businessman and as long as the new building is an improvement on the old it is OK by me. Lets move on and stop putting hoops up for Mr Storer to jump through

Anonymous said...

OK, after 65 largely circular posts, I'll whisper this, the Pier Head is outside of the settlement boundary - d'ya thank that might have something to do with it.?

Anonymous said...

"Pier Head is outside of the settlement boundary" yes exactly, that's why the proposals have had to be so modest, sensitive and egalitarian.

Anonymous said...

"whats wrong with a money making scheme?"

Nothing. However, I do think proponents of them should admit that is what they are doing. Mr Storer vehemently rejects the suggestion that this is money making. I quoted his architects statement to that effect a couple of days ago. Follow the link and read all of it.

"Pier Head is outside of the settlement boundary"

True, but PDC have stated that they will accept a building of about the same footprint as the old one. Whether they have the power to ignore their own definition of the boundary is another matter. Perhaps someone versed in planning law could comment.

Anonymous said...

That could be called flexibility - same footprint as the old one - not filling the whole site.

Is that unreasonable?

Anonymous said...

"Mr Storer vehemently rejects the suggestion that this is money making." When? "I quoted his architects statement to that effect a couple of days ago." NO HE SAID IT WAS NOT TO MAXIMISE" But i guess the paradox is that if it isn't at least at break even he will never get paid?

Anonymous said...

NO.

The paradox is that even tho' it's outside the settlement boundary PDC will allow limited development.

Anonymous said...

6.28 the whole of the Haven/marina etc was outside the settlement boundary. what a farce. what a farce that it wasn't all built. should have snapped the guys hand off

Anonymous said...

"even tho' it's outside the settlement boundary PDC will allow limited development".
well obviously else the situation can never be improved can it???

Anonymous said...

This has been fascinating. All sorts of strange claims have been made which are hard to credit. For example, that the previous owners had reduced the building to an irreparable state when Mr Storer came on the scene despite which he applied for PP to convert the upper part into flats. Didn't he notice it was too far gone already? Things like this do make it hard to take his claims seriously but let us try to.

Cultural use was suggested in an earlier post. That sounds like a good idea, but please, Mr Storer, do try to line up a user first. Nobody builds speculative concert halls or museums in the hope that a tenant or buyer will turn up. If, for example, the Tate want to have a Tate Swanage get them on side first and your position vis a vis PDC will be a lot stronger.

I have to say I am still waiting for someone to explain how Mr Storer's handling of the whole matter has differed from what you would expect of a profit at all cost style of developer. The howls of indignation that followed the suggestion did nothing to explain the difference. I would very much like to know.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain how the last plans were money making but not profit maximising? Every suggestion for something with the footprint area of the existing building is rejected out of hand. How does that differ from all or nothing?

Anonymous said...

Is 7.51 telling us that since he was not trying to maximise his profit the last application was for fewer units than Mr Storer thought was the maximum he would be allowed?

If so why did he not go for the maximum? Why is he not seeking to get the best return he can? What would have been wrong with the design if it had been a bit bigger? This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

It is just as well he is not a company director since the law compels them to get the greatest return on the shareholder's money they can. They do not have the luxury of telling the shareholders their dividend is less than it might have been as the directors decided not to make so much money this year.

Anonymous said...

"If, for example, the Tate want to have a Tate Swanage get them on side first and your position vis a vis PDC will be a lot stronger.”
You speak for PDC then? Who are you? A councilor, planning officer?

Anonymous said...

From circular to paranoia!

Plus well over twice as many comments as PDC's plans to build 200 homes in Swanage.

Striiiiirange!

Anonymous said...

"You speak for PDC then? Who are you? A councilor, planning officer?"

I think you are missing the point. The Tate St Ives was opposed by the District council but was forced through because it was backed by the Cornish "great and good" Its what goes on in a building that matters if you need to overcome objections, not what it looks like.

We don't have the same art history here to enable us to replicate that model, however, there must be other cultural institutions that could have a coastal outlier.

Anonymous said...

"outlier"

?

Anonymous said...

"We don't have the same art history here to enable us to replicate that model"

I think you'll find we do.

Why are so many posters on this particular subject so anti a new building? Perhaps you want Swanage to remain in the past and degenerate slowly. What a forward thinking idea!

Anonymous said...

"outlier"

?


In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data.

Anonymous said...

I have had a better look at the CABE document. Has anyone else got any comments on it.

A few sections stand out.

"The report goes on to to consider
that ‘research and admission figures
show that England’s architectural and
historic heritage is a major factor
making England an attractive
destination…seaside resorts have
made an enormous contribution to
the cultural identity of England and
contain some of the finest examples
of our built heritage."

and

"The history of many resorts means that they often possess town-centre buildings
of considerable heritage value but
in poor condition or no longer suited
to their original use.The number of
these buildings improved or brought
into contemporary use can be
helpful measures of the success
of regeneration."

The section on the restoration of the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill shows what can be achieved with a run down art deco building and those on Tate St Ives and The National Maritime Museum Cornwall at Falmouth struck me as relevant.

I could not find anything about squeezing shiny new blocks of flats on to small sites, the emphasis is more on restoring old buildings rather than treating them with contempt. As you would expect there are a number of examples of successful contemporary buildings but it would be wrenching them out of their local context to maintain that any offer a possible template for Swanage.

By the way, is there a problem in describing the Tates St Ives, Liverpool and Modern as outliers of Tate Britain, the mother institution? Similarly for National Maritime Cornwall. Branch makes them sound like shops. Any suggestions if it is not the preferred term?

Anonymous said...

"In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data"

True enough but there are other meanings. OED says it is "An outlying portion or member of something, detached from the main mass, body, or system to which it belongs." That seems to cover it.

Cornwall has the Cornish School which constitutes something of a coherent body of artists. We have had a huge range of artists working in and around Swanage but without being able to package them in this way. I appreciate this is a simplification. I am all in favour of an art museum but putting the idea over is rather easier if we can give it a concept or theme, even just landscape.

I was told by an art historian that many of the English landscape painters of the inter war period who are associated with Cornwall did a lot of work in Dorset because it is easier to get here but unfortunately this is not generally known. This has been researched in some depth and a small proportion of the artists who painted here are highlighted on the Swanage Seen art trail boards. (Leaflet from the tourist information and local art venues)

The argument Mr Storer has with PDC is soley about the size of a new building. I don't think anyone is opposed to there being any new buildings in the town centre ever but you will have to admit that a number of the precedents in the last half century are not very encouraging. The Post Office for example. The Haven as another example. I understand some people are even critical of the Mowlem.

Anonymous said...

At last a possible solution - a ground floor exhibition of local artists work, past and present with flats above to make it commercially viable. Must be worth a try. If the ground floor could extend out into a classy coffee shop type area with outside seating , so much the better. The overall result would be:

1. A cultural success attracting visitors to the town.

2. The provision of a quality venue for light refreshments in a beautiful setting

3. Pay back for the owner by way of sales/rent of the flats

4. The long awaited clean up of the area and a signal that Swanage is moving forward into 21st century tourism.

In order to achieve this result there needs to be an imaginitve design and a willingness by the planners and towns people to move forward from the years of failure about this site.

Anonymous said...

Living local artists are served by a number of local commercial galleries so what I had in mind was more in the nature of an art museum to bring to the public something of the very rich history of art in this area. This would need either public funding or a wealthy sponsor, or a bit of both.

Such establishments elsewhere do not expect to be given free premises and such a venture would need to put together a funding package that recognised this. Nobody expects Mr Storer to donate the premises.

My own view is that an art museum would need a certain amount of work by well known figures if it was to succeed in attracting people to Swanage. This is no reflection on the artists we have here but art is as much under the sway of "famous brands" as anything else. There are a great many municipal galleries for example whose ability to attract the public is very closely tied to the standing of the makers of a very small proportion of their contents.

Starting with the superstars remember that both Turner and Constable painted on the Dorset Coast and having some of their works on long term loan would be a certain winner. I need hardly list the more recent stars - Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash, Augustus John etc etc. If, and it is a very big if, the owners of the paintings would permit it, there are enough top grade exhibitions possible to keep the curator busy for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

While the location would be ideal, I cannot envisage the footfall year round needed to make an art museum in Swanage a viable proposition. Even if the facilities were provided at no cost, the expense of running it (just imagine the insurance bill if a couple of Constables are loaned!) would be too high to be supported by visitors and residents. It would be interesting to study how many people visit the interesting and voluntarily run Town Museum, and how much it costs each year to run?
Sorry, your idea is interesting but I cannot see it happening. Even Poole's 'Cube' couldn't make it! I rather doubt this is the time to expect a wealthy local resident to step forward to fund this, what with the recession.

Anonymous said...

If the footfall isn't sufficient then the location would not be ideal.

Comparing a quality, Constable etc, Art Gallery with the local history museum is hardly fair.

The 'Cube' was actually the 'Kube' - and we wonder why people can't spell! - it had it's most profitable year ever last year - oh well!

Wealthy local resident - I agree - Lottery money etc. Swanage Seen has already reminded certain owners of art that there is a Swanage connection - build on it.

Anonymous said...

There is a bit of a vision gap here. It is quite right to say revenue from visitors and residents would not support an art museum, They are not corner shops and if we all have that mentality nothing will happen.

Do any organisations like this cover their costs from receipts? The various Tates? The Walker? The National Maritime Museum Falmouth, the Museum of the Moving Image, Bradford? Its not a commercial undertaking and has to obtain proper funding. That is fundamental. I know Swanage is very insular but we do need to overcome this and look at national funding streams for this.

Very little lottery money comes to Swanage for lack of high quality applications. The Arts Council similarly. This country spends millions on cultural institutions. Why should we not have a chunk of it here.

We constantly undervalue our assets in Swanage, whether it is our built environment or our cultural history. Why can't we take pride in these.

If its only the bottom line that interests you google for economic benefits of Tate St Ives.

Anonymous said...

No reason at all why it shouldnt happen. Is there a sponsor to get the ball rolling?

This could be the biggest boost the town has seen since the resurrection of the railway. How about linking the 2 - ride on the steam railway and visit the art gallery? What an exciting thought.

Go even further - market the pier, provide guided tours of the town - the possibilities are only as endless as our joint imaginations....

Anonymous said...

look at Eastbourne Towner Gallery website to see what can be achieved where there is determination and support.

Anonymous said...

Let's talk common sense here. Would this vaunted art museum be appreciated by the residents of Swanage? Would the average household use it and support it? I am sure everyone like art to a certain extent, but can a town of 10,000 really justify some of the ideas that are being proposed?

If Swanage were home to a thriving art community, or if it had one famous artist whose name is or was synonymous with Swanage, then I could see it happening. I do not hear people mentioning 'Swanage' and 'art' in the same breath very often, if at all. I really think we are well served by our art galleries who are more than able to put on exhibits and art festivals without the need of an art museum staffed by a curator for a town of 10,000.

Anonymous said...

That last post is amazingly parochial. It misses the point completely. The user base is obviously not the local residents, just as the user base of the beach, Durlston Country Park and our various other visitor attractions is not the residents. There are something like half a million people living within an hours drive (would that it were an hours train ride). We are not on an island halfway cross the Atlantic!

Take a look at http://www.artcornwall.org/features/Nicholas_Serota.htm which is a transcription of a talk given in Newlyn after the opening of the Exchange, Summer 2007 by Nicolas Serota.

The economic benefits of art museums to the towns that host them are enormous. The costs are not exactly low either.

Regarding costs he said "running costs (are), now up to 750,000 a year. I should add that very little of those running costs comes from Cornwall. It comes from London, from the centre. There is no reason why that shouldn't be the case. As a country we have been notoriously backward in using central government money to fund regional institutions."

Tate St Ives has 250,000 visitors a year, about the same as the Durlston Country Park, and brings £20-25 million into the economy. The Guggenheim Bilbao brings 200 million Euros into the town's economy.

Anonymous said...

The penultimate post seems realistic, not 'parochial'. The last post seems unrealistic in that it assumes money will be found from some mysterious pot.

So, last poster, go for it! Stop blogging and instead start the ball rolling. Set up a committee, register it as a charity and go after money from the lottery, charities, donors and patrons. Clear out your bank balance and mortgage your house! It is a free country; good luck to you; but don't condemn or insult others who disagree if you are not prepared to take the initiative yourself. If you do this, and succeed, I will be the first to eat my words!

Anonymous said...

Back to the Enid Blyton museum idea then...

Anonymous said...

I don't see why describing the vision of someone who thinks an art museum would be for the residents as parochial, It is an accurate term for a depressingly limited approach.

I take it we all went to the exhibition at Poole Museum of paintings either by Poole artists or of Poole. If you did you cannot have escaped noticing that most of the finest paintings were of Purbeck, including the Eustace Nash one of Swanage which they used for all their publicity material. It was quite amusing seeing a huge poster with Swanage on it at the entrance to the museum.

In fact Purbeck was a virtual Piccadilly Circus of British painting for 200 years. Every major tendency in painting is represented by paintings of it, romanticism, English Impressionism, surrealism, abstraction etc etc. It is the common geographical point where they all crossed. This is almost unknown by most of our residents. The St Ives school was, as the name tells us, a single school, lasting perhaps two generations. It is easy to package and has always caught the imagination.

Is there anyone who enjoys filling in endless forms, hours of meetings with assorted officials. I have been there, done that and I know it is a daunting prospect. The funding sources are not unknown, they need convincing rather than identifying.

Anonymous said...

Correction: the reference to 'parochial' in a previous post was aimed at a comment by somebody who did not exactly like the idea of a art museum in Swanage; I suggest the previous poster check that.

I will wager that if you stop 100 Swanage people on Station Road tomorrow and ask them "would an art museum be a good thing for Swanage, 80 would say yes, 15 unsure, and 5 would be desultory. If you asked them "would you be prepared to support the museum by volunteering, donating, become a patron, or would you mind if another worthy cause, such as a children's playgrouond, were deferred to finance the museum', 95% would be against it. If you asked, hand on heart, 'do you think a museum of this scale would bring in more money to the local economy than it spends', you would get something in the order of 50/50%.

Since the previous posts indicate a belief that the local economy will benefit, then I suggest that local business groups and the Tourism Committee get involved. If they do not share such enthusiasm, the project will be doomed before it begins.

Supporters - why not raise the subject at the next STC Tourism Committee meeting and gauge the response?

Anonymous said...

The Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth is an excellent local museum, easily reached via W&D service from Swanage. Do we need another museum if such a fine one is located so close by?

Anonymous said...

Russell Cotes is excellent but it is very much about and for Bournemouth not Purbeck. At last there is a real vision for Swanage, lets get behind it and make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if my response about parochialism got crossed in the post(ings)

Thanks to those who can see something of value in what I have been saying, but let me add a little clarification on some points as I can't have been clear enough. It never crossed my mind that this could be seen as some sort of DIY project. The residents of South Kensington are not expected to staff and fund the V&A.

Although local support is needed the level that could be expected is tied to how much information the members of the public concerned have. In any case if you stopped 100 random people in Station Road tomorrow you would find most of them were not residents. We have tens of thousands of visitors, and this is about enhancing the offering we put before them. Broadening it beyond the ice cream kiosk and amusement arcade model we have inherited from the past.

Funding for the most part would need to come from outside, as would running costs. Read Serota's piece I posted the link to. This is not something that could come out of local funds. That is a good thing.

The question of a clash with money for a playground does not arise. Speak to Play Swanage and ask if their funding came from museum funding sources.

An art museum cannot but bring in more than it spends because the money it spends is brought in. Look at the figures for other places. The idea is to attract this form of investment into the town. Don't think of it as a corner shop.

Consider the buttons it presses.

1. An indoor attraction hence not weather dependent.

2. Not seasonal.

3. Creates year round jobs.

4. Has potential knock on effects in generating custom for living artists/galleries as well as increasing business for hospitality providers.

5. Does not damage the environment beyond increasing the number of visitors.

6. Increases awareness of the Jurassic coast/heritage

7. It would be an educational and research resource adding to our attraction to this market.

8. It would bring some much needed culture into the place,

Anonymous said...

Apropos of the Russell Cotes, I fear there is a gap in understanding. I suggested an art museum centred on landscape work of Purbeck by a wide range of painters over 200 years. The paintings in the Russell Cotes are about as different from this as you can get. Have a look at their website.

As for popping over there on the bus, well, the whole point was to suggest a cultural use for the Pier Head site that would be of benefit to Swanage through bringing people here for something they would not have to pay for so that they would spend something with local businesses in the same way that people come here, use our free beach and free country park and do a little spending. This revolves round getting it funded in the same way that other art collections and museums are funded. The recompense for Mr storer would come in the form of rent or sale of the site.

Anonymous said...

Then go get your funding. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This has been one of the most interesting and enlightening series of blogs on this site. It would be wonderful if the dream of an art gallery could become a reality and it would bring immense benefits to Swanage. Lets hope Mr Storer is aware of the suggestion and is agreeable to this as a benefit to the town, particularly as it would not cost the town much at all. If the poster with the idea needs help to get things started, this would be the place to gain support and keep Swanage updated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. It is enormously encouraging to have a positive response.

I read today the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) is being abolished. It remains to be seem what will become of that organisation's Coastal and Market Towns Initiative which been grinding slowly along for years. I will find out what I can.

Anonymous said...

'The Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth is an excellent local museum, easily reached via W&D service from Swanage. Do we need another museum if such a fine one is located so close by?'

WTF?

Having read the debates on the schools and hospital and other blogs, I can only imagine that some of the posters on here don't live in Swanage and will always demand that no money be spent on us. Are you from Wareham? Is it like Shelbyville versus Springfield?

Anonymous said...

No money will be spent on Swanage because people here are pathetic lapdogs about making their case to DCC to be treated fairly. Most people here are retired and in God's waiting room and could care less about schools, art museums or what have you. OK, that may not be entirely true, but that IS the perception from DCC. And that is a fact.

People like Bill Trite have to make a stink. We have been treated like dogsbodies by DCC for too long.

Go on - attack my points - with facts!!!

Anonymous said...

6:11 PM

Anybody who resorts to 'WTF' as a rebutle are pathetic.

Grow up. As your teachers told you many times.

Anonymous said...

There is no 'money;.

Grow up and get a job.

Anonymous said...

An Art Gallery featuring artworks created in Purbeck in another iconic building in Swanage would be amazing. I seem to remember that the wonderful sewage works received a design award. Couldn't the town aspire to that again? The pierhead is the obvious location.

Anonymous said...

Why not the Mowlem? It is there; it is underused; it needs a function ( I went to a film there last week with eight in attendance); it could probably do with the income.

I see the Catholic church is hosting an art exhibit. What is wrong with that approach, using also the Mowlem, St Mary's Church, and even the Town Hall, so a continuing cycle of art exhibits take place in Swanage without the need for expensive facilities or a curator? Try it first, see how it grows, test the waters and then if it is warranted, go whole hog for a permanent site for an art museum.
In other words, establish a track record that will woo funds from charities and organisations.

Is this proposal unrealistic???? Or is it just too much work and effort??

Anonymous said...

"There is no 'money;.

Grow up and get a job"

What has that got to do with anything?

This is one of the richest countries in the world. Billions is spent on culture and there is not reason why a few million of it should not be spent here.

As it happens I run a business in Swanage, however, I am conscious of the fact that our economy functions through a combination of public and private sector activities and that Swanage is poorly served in terms of public sector investment, particularly in the cultural infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

"Anybody who resorts to 'WTF' as a rebutle (sic) are (sic) pathetic.

Grow up. As your teachers told you many times"

There, Jones minor, thats put you firmly in your place. Go and stand in the corridor and stay in at playtime.

Linguistic pedants are a wonderful, albeit unintended, source of amusement, especially when they are typographically an d grammatically challenged.

Someone objected to the use of BBQ on a National Trust notice recently believe it or not. Its odd that these people always object to novelties and never grumble about words becoming unused. Samuel Johnson's dictionary contains large numbers. Fopboggler was mentioned on the radio today as an example.

Shakespeare must have been a terrible headache for these people since he was very fond of inventing words. There are rather a lot with no known use before the Bard's time. Probably spent most of his time at Stratford Grammar standing in the corner or writing "I must not invent new words" 100 times.

Anonymous said...

IMHO abbreviations in blogs are deplorable, AKA a complete PITA. OK?

PS,

BTW, No BBQs on NT land? LOL

Anonymous said...

3.39pm. It may be helpful to contact our new MP Richard Drax to see what initiatives will replace the Regional Development Agencies (if any) and also to understand what support he may be able to lend to the Art Gallery idea and project. This initiative would help to transform the tourist industry in Swanage and bring new businesses to the town. It is something our MP should welcome and support

Anonymous said...

A white paper is expected in a few weeks spelling out how the functions of the RDAs will be transferred to other bodies, national or local.

In that talk by Nicholas Serota I posted the link to he expressed disappointment at SWRDA's inability to get its collective head round the importance of investment in culture. That was in 2007 and things have moved on a little, for example DCC see the creative industries as central to economic development.

Anonymous said...

Spit, oh sorry, you weren't meant to see that!

Never thought I'd see myself using this bunch of numpties, but I couldn't find it on the beeb.

RDA's will have a few tweaks to make them more efficient and more accountable, and do you know what, locals might be involved.

WHAT, you mean like now?

Er, yep.

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/media/2010/06/bbccoukbudget-regional-development-agencies-to-be-scrapped.html

JIC

http://tinyurl.com/2advecq

Anonymous said...

Haven't we gone just a tad off topic?
Pier Head, me thinks?

Get a room, Culturevultures, to yourselves, and procreate and prosper, or whatever you do, to your little hearts' content!!!

Let's get back to the future of the Pier Head, which is actually the topic of the moment. Art isn't part of this topic, unless you have had a chat with Mr. Storer, and know something we don't!

Anonymous said...

Can't say it had occurred to me to use the Taxpayers alliance as a source of information and the report largely regurgitates stuff from elsewhere as well as complaining that RDAs both fail to work with the private firms sufficiently and somehow "stifle genuine private enterprise."

In my dealings with SWRDA I never heard mention of private firms whether to encourage or stifle them and I am tempted to say that if investment banks and hedge funds had been stifled we would all be a good deal better off. I would, on the other hand, go along with the criticism that RDAs became part of the funding process for councils and could usefully be cut out of that equation. Our own seafront enhancement a few years ago received SWRDA funding and one was left wondering whether that was an efficient way of allocating funds for projects.

Again, speaking from personal experience, I found that governmental and semi-governmental bodies find it extremely hard to do business with organisations that do not have a structure and approach similar to their own.

There is a focus on process rather than outcome, in other words endless meetings with representatives of other organisations, none of whom have the power to make decisions, years of producing plans which do not identify any form of measurable output or means for delivering it.

The Arts Council got itself into a bind like this a few years ago and funded endless feasibility studies and work by consultants but precious little money ever found its way to artists.

Anonymous said...

The weakness of the Taxpayers Alliance position in complaining about the amount that has gone to public bodies is that they did not look at what happens to it when it is spent. In our own case the seafront enhancement aimed to make the place less run-down and hence encourage tourism to the benefit of local businesses. The money was either spent with private companies or to the extent that it was spent on direct works forces was then largely spent into the private sector in the form of wages. The TPA demonstrate a sad inability to understand the role of indirect assistance to the private sector. I am afraid they are not alone in this. It makes for good headlines but poor analysis.

Anonymous said...

Yawn! What medications are you on?

Pier Head is the topic.

Trolls.

Anonymous said...

Ah...but this is about the Pierhead and the possibility of an art gallery there. Someones not reading very carefully.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was going off at bit of a tangent as someone be suggested SWRDA be involved and experience suggests they are more part of the problem than a solution.

Anonymous said...

Ah...but this is about the Pierhead and the possibility of an art gallery there. Someones not reading very carefully.
....................

Wrong - it is about the Pierhead development. The art museum was interjected much later in the thread, along with many other ideas. Perhaps you would like to read with greater care. There will not be any art museum at Pierhead, unless Mr Storer chooses to have one.

Anonymous said...

Unless Mr Storer is persuaded to one?

Anonymous said...

That has taken us back to where we came in. I pitched in because I was dreading the prospect of another application for something patently unacceptable on planning grounds which would lead to another flood of sympathetic messages damning the planners for doing their job and another set of ingenious justifications for a large building that fail to stand up to examination.

Anonymous said...

Here's the sort of art gallery suitable for Swanage:

LONDON — The National Gallery is opening an exhibit this week about how experts use technology to properly identify art works and detect forgeries.

The exhibit, "Close Examination - Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries," shows how devices such as infrared imaging, X-rays and a gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometer can be used to peel back layers of time in art.

One painting on exhibit is "The Virgin and Child with an Angel," which was acquired by the National Gallery in 1924. It was believed to be by Italian painter Francesco Francia until a similar painting hit the market.

Last year, an investigation found the museum's work was a fake.

The exhibit opens Wednesday and lasts until mid-September.

This WOULD attract visitors.

Anonymous said...

Pierhead:

Flats above (meeting Planners' requirements)

Shops and good restaurant below.

Ample parking for residents.

Architecture not overwhelming and sympathetic.

Mr Storer make money, the area is improved, flats provide more housing, a good seafront restaurant is provided. More rateable income. Win-win all around.

Simple.

Anonymous said...

"meeting Planners' requirements"

No, because it's overdevelopment.

According to the Planning Dep't.

Anonymous said...

"No, because it's overdevelopment". What is? have we seen it yet?

Anonymous said...

Surely, "According to the Planning Dep't." means that I was talking about what they've seen!

Anonymous said...

I meant that the new plans should meet the Planning Department's requirements and not exceed them by overbuilding. Surely Mr Storer knows what they will accept.

Anonymous said...

"Surely Mr Storer knows what they will accept."

Thats just the point. He seems to maintain that according with their requirement not to exceed the area of the old building will be non-viable/insufficiently profitable (depending on how you read his position). In the past he has maintained that there would be a U turn on this requirement if his design was of sufficient architectural merit. He also maintains that any other solution is non-viable. Sceptics might judge that he imagines he has some sort of right to make a profit that is being denied him. It may be the case that he owns an expensive white elephant.

This land is outside the settlement boundary. There is no dispute about that. The old building was a garden development of the kind that are now being discouraged by the government. Does he think that if he is allowed to redevelop it to the extent he wants to the same should apply to other land on the fringe of the town? Strenuous denials followed the suggestion that he wants different rules to apply to him compared with the rest of us so how exactly does this one work?

Anonymous said...

"he owns an expensive white elephant". Hardly, the site itself must be worth a couple of £M. If the worst happened MC Carthy and Stone would have old peoples flats on there in no time. Any of the big chain pub/restaurants Harry Ramdsens etc would be happy to take the site on. Probably some rich person would buy it just to put up a single residence. They could just be bloody minded and sit on the site for a couple of generations to spite the planners.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope he is not that arrogant as the trouble is that it spites the whole town and is no skin off the nose of the planning panel. If Mr Storer's plan for a dozen flats was too big then McCarthy and Stone would face exactly the same objection to one of their site filling four floor high confections.

A single restaurant? Maybe, but an earlier posting, which seemed to be well informed, dismissed this as not viable without a large number of flats. Figures to substantiate this were unfortunately, not forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the elephant turned white when the Town rejected the marina.
When you think the Pier Trust cannot even get permission for a single storey replacement building to get rid of the diabolical portacabins then it makes you wonder if the pier head site will remain much as it is for many more years.

Anonymous said...

The diving building for the pier was rejected because of the perceived low quality of the design. Another example of PDC thinking the importance of the appearance of buildings in Swanage is more important than the residents do.

Anonymous said...

Like the appearance of the Haven, Quayside Court, The conversion of Vic into Flats, marina view, the plastic windows round the mill pond, you mean?

Anonymous said...

That was the reason given for the diving school decision. There is, it must be admitted, a considerable element of welcoming the return of the prodigal, in acknowledging PDC's concern for good design, but we should avoid the temptation to dwell on past mistakes. Most posters think we should take what would be local developers say at face value so I assume they extend the same courtesy to PDC.

Has anyone told the enforcement officer whose job is a fairly new creation, about the upvc windows by the millpond? I know they have been there for a considerable time. So far as I am aware there is no provision within PDC for them to make themselves aware of unauthorised changes like this. They say they rely on parish councils to be their eyes and ears. Reach your own conclusions about the adequacy of our town councillors in this respect. Nominations of town councillors as wise monkeys on a postcard to the town hall please.

Anonymous said...

'The Haven'. Is this the popular guest house in the town or the appartments near peveril point? Both fit in to their environments so I am left wondering.... The latter are certainly an improvement on the old (Grosvenor?) hotel.

Anonymous said...

The point I was making is how competent can PDC be if they pass 1/3 of a marina housing development, without any firm agreement to build the marina, then turn down phases 2 and 3? Then refuse the marina too (even though it was in the structure plan). Hardly joined up planning, which is why I get so upset with posters who reckon PDC does such a great job.

Anonymous said...

How long ago was the marina scheme? 30 years? More? Its as if the decades were telescoped together in the minds of some posters. If decisions made that long ago vitiate current ones I presume the same principal applies to all levels of government and we can safely assure ourselves that this government is incompetent because of decisions taken in the 70s or 80s that look stupid now.

In any case the collapse of the marina scheme occurred because the House of Lords rejected the harbour bill that was involved citing as cause the evenly balanced views from the residents. If it had received unambiguous support locally it would have happened. I am not aware of a decision against it by PDC. Can you show any evidence of this or is it bit of a folk memory?

Anonymous said...

Dec 18th '87 Evening ECHO" Chairman Cllr David Budd used his casting vote against the application after the committee tied six to six."

Anonymous said...

2.49 - I am delighted your criticism/challenge of the previous poster's assertion was turned upside down on its head so quickly! I too remembered that vote, and I remember the consternation in the town over the fact that the scheme was halted after the first phase had been allowed. It WAS a case of poor, disjointed thinking on the part of various council/planning members, which more than a handful of local residents and voters still believe exists to this day. We do not operate on 'selective memory' but we use the collective experiences of the past 20-plus years to question some of the planners' and council's decision that have taken place - the latest being the incredibly stupid disposal of Swanage Bay View. By all means, say what you want, as is your right, but understand that it is refreshing to see your last statement put in its place, at least on this occasion!

Anonymous said...

"Commuting from the age of 11 is unacceptable."

Really?

Why?

Anonymous said...

Whoops, please ignore the last post!

Anonymous said...

I referred to the Lords decision about the marina rather than PDC's about the housing development so its a little severe to take me to task about the latter.

I am struggling with the invitation to conclude that decisions made that long ago have any bearing on what the planning panel may decide about the pierhead, except to give you grounds to object whichever way the decision goes.

It would be really helpful if someone could write up the whole story of the marina and post it on line for us all to learn from. I don't know the ins and outs of PDC's role and I would like to. I do recall a prominent member of the planning panel admitting that the part of the Haven that was built was a good deal higher than the architect's impression had led them to expect. We are of course no strangers to the theme of buildings apparently going on steroids in the course of construction and gaining a few metres in height. Once is bad luck, as Oscar Wilde pointed out in the context of loosing parents, but more than that is sheer carelessness. Having put it in the structure plan I presume they had a reason for rejecting the particular plans that were put to them and that is was not based on a principled objection to any development as you seem to imply.

What the town council's decision to sell their caravan site has to do with this defeats me.

Don't you think we get the council we deserve? It is no disrespect to them to say that when you meet one they come over as pretty ordinary members of the community for the most part. The parties have difficulty recruiting candidates. I really don't have the heroic patience to sit through all those meetings and am I am not prepared to do the job and so I am reluctant to criticize those who have it but why don't you stand if you think you can do better?

Anonymous said...

Sorry that last bit is rather garbled.

Anonymous said...

any views about the proposals?

Anonymous said...

It looked good to me, but no doubt the Planning Officers' knives will be out to slice this one up into pieces.

Anonymous said...

Its as big if not bigger than the last design and hence prone to the same criticisms. I suspect there will be another dialogue of the deaf with the planning panel who will of course be the butt of complaint..

Anonymous said...

What would Prince Charles think of the latest 4 level design?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you drop him a line and ask although his interference in planning decisions is getting him in trouble now.

Anonymous said...

Having seen Poundbury, I think the goodly Prince should concentrate on his future role as King (unless the Queen has other thoughts). His skills as an architectural expert are, 'interesting'.

Anonymous said...

Faking the old is not the answer. There were several previous applications for this site that tried that. Mr Storer kindly put them on www.pierhead.plus.com some years ago, They suffered rejection for the same reasons as the two proposals for a modern design that followed.

Writing on here in 2005 Mr Storer said "a new set of plans is being drawn up to try to overcome concerns expressed at Planning Committee, principally size and mass. (http://swanageview.blogspot.com/2005/11/pier-head-revisited.html)

They didn't, the next plans didn't either and however beautiful the new design is it looks just as large. It may well be that a smaller scale development does not make sense economically and compromise is impossible but that must be the case with a great many hypothetical schemes.

Anonymous said...

Would the Mowlem ever receive permission to be built today?

I see the Freemasons had a hand in its design and construction. Surprise, surprise! Perhaps Mr Storer should consider rolling up his trouser leg??

Anonymous said...

Should you want to join the Masons they meet in their establishment in Marshall Row. Monday evening seems to be popular. Don't know what the grubs like. You will need a very, very dark suit. Judging by the outside of the building all their money goes on good works rather than decoration.

Anonymous said...

Its called the De Moulham Lodge which tells all. Meetings are on the third Monday of the month from September to June at 6.30. Oh, and one other thing, you have to believe in a supreme being to join. Bit rough on democratic polytheists who might think the universe is run by a committee.

Anonymous said...

Having seen the proposals what we have is a modern building which would fit in perfectly with the bay, street scene and surroundings. Lets hope the planners allow it to go ahead. It is not too large - just look at the Mowlem, a real 1960s blot on the landscape if ever there was one.

If the art gallery could be fitted in downstairs the whole area would begin to regenerate and attract visitors who would spend in the town. It is time to allow Mr Storer to make some progress for the town and himself. There is nothing wrong in either!

Anonymous said...

Having seen the proposals what we have is a modern building which would fit in perfectly with the bay, street scene and surroundings. Lets hope the planners allow it to go ahead. It is not too large - just look at the Mowlem, a real 1960s blot on the landscape if ever there was one.

If the art gallery could be fitted in downstairs the whole area would begin to regenerate and attract visitors who would spend in the town. It is time to allow Mr Storer to make some progress for the town and himself. There is nothing wrong in either!

Anonymous said...

11.35 So good it had to be published twice!

Good luck securing the funding for an art gallery from sources outside Swanage, as I rather doubt it can be resourced within the town. I am sure Mr. Storer will expect a fair market rent for the space. As I understand it, it is against planning regulations (and the law) for planners to be swayed or influenced in their deicions by offers of 'free' or subsidised space for facilities that 'might' be of benefit to the town.

Anonymous said...

"Lets hope the planners allow it to go ahead. It is not too large - just look at the Mowlem, a real 1960s blot on the landscape if ever there was one."

I( just don't understand that. Are you saying the Mowlem is too big but that fact somehow shrinks the size of this design? Are you saying that because an ugly building was constructed 40 years ago all consideration of size should now be forgotten? What exactly is the point you are making? You don't like this or that building and that somehow justifies one you do like? Are you saying we have so many big ugly buildings another one is acceptable? No you can't be because you don't think a three floor high block of flats stretching from one and of the site to the other is large.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for the penultimate poster, but the Mowlem is in fact a carbuncle on the face of Swanage (to paraphrase the Once and Future King). It has no redeeming architectural features whatsoever. Having said that, two wrongs do not make a right, and the last poster is correct in thinking the Mowlem does not justify another 'carbuncle'. But what exactly is a carbuncle, and does Pier Head fit that view? I have carefully studied the plans and (in my humble view) think it is attractive. Let's be honest: that whole corner of town is compromised through poor or slack development details, part of which is a piecemeal approach which makes no cumulative sense. The PierHead plans do make sense and appear to be a coherent plan for what will become a major developemt on Swanage's seafront and one which is more in keeping with modern vernacular local architectural style than either the Mowlem or the Spanish villas.

OK - if it is too big, knock off a level of flats, and ensure there is enough parking for Chelsea tractors, and forget the art museum folly, and flog them off to London media zillionaires, and we will all be happy, roight? I would rather see the top level of flats left intact and flats priced as reasonable affordable for moderately affluent locals. But what do I know?

Anonymous said...

"I would rather see the top level of flats left intact and flats priced as reasonable affordable for moderately affluent locals."

Kid yourself not as Frankie Howard said. If you build Sandbanks flats you ask Sandbanks prices. The style proposed is familiar enough from what has gone up across the water recently. e.g.:
http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=6206531

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-30108008.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24101188.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24208186.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-26308891.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-15374532.html?premiumA=true


They get rather tedious after a while. Bling, bling and more bling.Of course were Mr Storer to offer his at reduced prices the rush of solvent investors to buy and then sell on will be deafening.

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder

It's ouside the settlement boundary but PDC will allow a building of similar size to the original.

I wonder if supporters of the British Brutalist movement consider the Mowlem to be ugly?

Anonymous said...

Location, location,location. That is what determines the prices at Sandbanks. So dont worry, Harry wont rush to live at Swanage. The flats are appropriate for 2010 and would bring a little bit of style to the town. We may even grow to love them after a while. (Not at all like the Mowlem)

Anonymous said...

5.19pm. A three floor block of flats too high? Do you think every building should be reduced to 2 floors? What is special about this site which restricts the hight of any new building?

Anonymous said...

8 flats at £500-600k, a restaurant a few shops and an icecream parlour. Thats five of six million. Building cost? Well under half that. Nice work if you can get it. Mr Storer is on record saying that this is not about profit maximisation, it is about "viability" by which we take it he means not making a loss. Will he therefore be donating any excess over break-even to a local charity? Perhaps a housing association could use a couple of million to provide some affordable housing.

By the way, here is something that looks like half of what he is proposing.
http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=5583819

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I am beginning to sense there is a groundswell of opinion that is unhappy about Mr Storer making a profit. Looks like the site could be left to rot a bit more then....

Anonymous said...

The last I heard, we are allowed to engage in free enterprise in this country. Oddly enough, it was New Labour that rammed home this principle over the past decade.

Find me one business in Swanage that isn't chasing profit. If you do find one, I will show you a business that is about to go under.

I like the plans. So what if the flats go for half a million plus - the town and county coffers will be full of additional rates, and some of our businesses will profit from our new neighbours. No one is benefiting from a derelict site.

The revolution failed, comrade. Thank Tony Blair and G Brown for hammering in the last nail in its coffin.

Anonymous said...

You have got this the wrong way round. You need to look at what has been said on Mr Storer's behalf. I started off thinking he was acting like anyone else with a property business, as he is entitled to would, and said so. However, if you take the trouble to read some of the earlier postings you will see that I was then roundly vilified for suggesting that Mr Storer's aim was to get the best return he can and therefore that his actions should be seen in that light.

Look again at his architect's "rebuttal" of the planning officers recommendation on the last application and you will see that it is spelt out very clearly that his aim is not to maximise his profit. He says he does not want to gain all he can.

Since the flats, if built, will be able to be sold for a healthy profit all I am asking is whether he will donate his unasked for profits to charity. He is the one who says he is not doing this to make money, merely to put up a "viable" building, by which I presume he means cover its construction costs, and regenerate this part of town. That is very noble and self denying, I just wonder who he thinks should benefit.

I am not saying Mr Storer should not attempt to make all he can. There is nothing dishonourable in that. However, he says he is not setting out to do this.

Anonymous said...

So your point is.....? Until Mr. Storer can develop the site, sell it, pay noff all debt, loans or liens, then realise a profit, and then weigh that profit against tax benefits through donations to charities or worthy causes, he is quite reasonably unable to make any firm commitment about any sort of donation or contribution he might - or might not - be able to make. It is, after all, his money at the end of the day.

And, whereas I made the point before that local planners are prevented from granting permission based upon any promise of goods, services or money that might be of benefit to the town, Mr. Storer's comments about not making a huge profit cannot be construed as a promise to donate a portion of any profit to a charitable or worthy cause, as you seem to imply.

Anonymous said...

"He is the one who says he is not doing this to make money" A fair developer’s return is entirely appropriate. I would say that is what is meant by "viable". The fact that the development is mixed commercial/residential is good. Also bringing the site into the public realm rather than another gated palace. It could easily be 40 old peoples flats like de Moulham Court style. You keep quoting what the last/previous architect had to say, before the plans were turned down again. Perhaps they are becoming more mercenary in the light of the rebuttals of thier philanthropic overtures. The plans could be much worse, and in fact they are growing on me.

sansom62 said...

Well, after viewing said plans and
model The only thing I have to say is,If they don't pass this then they truly have got sh*t for brains.
A beautiful design nice and light and open, nice stone, lots of glass.
Overall 10/10.

Christopher

Anonymous said...

They are growing on me as well.

Anonymous said...

My point was that Mr Chapman vehemently denied that this was about maximising profit but it is. The response is very much what I expected.

There were perfectly sensible planning reasons for rejecting the last few applications. Mr Storer has not responded to these objections in the new design demonstrating a scarcely concealed contempt for the aims of the planning system as well as those operating it. That is his entitlement but it is the way he portrays himself as a victim that gets up my nose. If you get half a dozen planning applications thrown out for being to big its pretty obvious that you have nobody to blame but yourself after the first couple.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of slagging off of the Mowlem here, and justifiably so. But there is nothing inherently offensive about the structure itself, but its appearance is what is at fault. It is certainly looking tired. But with a reasonable investment the whole appearance and functionality of the Mowlem could be enhanced, and it could be brought up to date.
Tall floor to ceiling windows and cladding in oak or cedar, perhaps. But this has all been discussed already, albeit in 2006 (see "Mowlem Regeneration" in the index)

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with the last posting but I am not so sure about timber cladding. The facelift it received not very long ago, with pvc cladding going round the canopy was probably all that could be afforded but did not achieve much. I am more concerned about that goes on inside, and the fact that we are discussing the outside suggests it does not attract many of us to go inside.

What is remarkable is that there is nobody given the job of getting the place used. If the trustees think they are running a facility for Swanage why do they not make their highest priority ensuring it attracts the largest possible number of residents to its offering? The narrative section of the annual accounts makes it clear all they are bothered about is the amateur theatre usage which accounts for about 30 evenings a year.

Anonymous said...

7.22
Issues such as:
the applicants behaviour or suspected intentions are not material planning considerations, and therefore cannot be taken into account.
PDC April 2009

Anonymous said...

http://www.rbstudio.co.uk/rbstudio/mowlem_swanage.html

Anonymous said...

12.10 - Snap! There's the art centre some people want - a revamped Mowlem!!! Go on, art enthusiasts - raise money you say is available from London and revamp the Mowlem, thus killing two birds with one stone! Better yet, get Mr Storer to help the art trust underwrite a 99 year lease from the Mowlem Trust, from the profits from the Pier Head development- he might find is a useful on-going tax write-off!

Quite frankly, the Mowlem theatre is sub-standard, underutilised, and no longer really financially viable - films often have only a handful of viewers and there is a small number of live theatre events. The Trust works hard to maintain it - full marks to them and the volunteers - but the place is dowdy and not up to modern standards, let's be frank. An art centre might be a more appropriate use of the building.

So where does the theatre go? It might be better to provide a modern community and school theatre/auditiorium at SMS as part of its transition from middle to junior school. There will be lots of space at that site for development after 2013. Wouldn't it be great to begin to draw up plans for a schools/public sports and swimming complex there, too? While we are at it, let's really go for change and sell the crumbling town hall and build a new modern and accessible town hall centre on the SMS site (STC meetings could be held in thbe theatre/auditorium)? Town Hall, sports/swimming centre, community theatre/auditorium and ample parking on one site (I have heard that there may be land available or owned by STC or PDC near or next to SMS). All this paid for, or a long term loan or bond guaranteed, from the proceeds from the sale of the Town Hall and Swanage Bay View (both presently or formerly town assets), as well as appropriate funding from PDC/DCC, sports council, lottery and other public and private sources. Would these changes not vastly improve Swanage's infrastructure that some think has not been supported? Such a development could be undertaken through a Community Trust as has been done in many similar sized towns.

(Now, sit back and watch the nay-sayers shoot this idea down - and prepare for everything to remain 'as it is' for another 10 years while we bicker among ourselves!)

(But, I suggest, if you ask parents of school children, whether they prefer a secondary school or a sports/leisure centre in Swanage, the latter will be preferred by a wide majority, as a straw poll among my neighbours has shown).

Anonymous said...

12.10 - Snap! There's the art centre some people want - a revamped Mowlem!!! Go on, art enthusiasts - raise money you say is available from London and revamp the Mowlem, thus killing two birds with one stone! Better yet, get Mr Storer to help the art trust underwrite a 99 year lease from the Mowlem Trust, from the profits from the Pier Head development- he might find is a useful on-going tax write-off!

Quite frankly, the Mowlem theatre is sub-standard, underutilised, and no longer really financially viable - films often have only a handful of viewers and there is a small number of live theatre events. The Trust works hard to maintain it - full marks to them and the volunteers - but the place is dowdy and not up to modern standards, let's be frank. An art centre might be a more appropriate use of the building.

So where does the theatre go? It might be better to provide a modern community and school theatre/auditiorium at SMS as part of its transition from middle to junior school. There will be lots of space at that site for development after 2013. Wouldn't it be great to begin to draw up plans for a schools/public sports and swimming complex there, too? While we are at it, let's really go for change and sell the crumbling town hall and build a new modern and accessible town hall centre on the SMS site (STC meetings could be held in thbe theatre/auditorium)? Town Hall, sports/swimming centre, community theatre/auditorium and ample parking on one site (I have heard that there may be land available or owned by STC or PDC near or next to SMS). All this paid for, or a long term loan or bond guaranteed, from the proceeds from the sale of the Town Hall and Swanage Bay View (both presently or formerly town assets), as well as appropriate funding from PDC/DCC, sports council, lottery and other public and private sources. Would these changes not vastly improve Swanage's infrastructure that some think has not been supported? Such a development could be undertaken through a Community Trust as has been done in many similar sized towns.

Anonymous said...

Building on the land (actually three green fields) next to SMS would in my view be environmental vandalism. But hey, it's only Herston. Better join the queue of interested parties because I have heard that the fields have already been earmarked for a hospital, health centre, elderly care home, ambulance station and a hundred houses. The new recycling centre and industrial units would, of course, be in close proximity.

Getting all these concrete, possibly stone clad for the vernacular touch, buildings out of the way would mean that Swanage could once again become the genteel seaside resort that it apparently was in its glory days.

Anonymous said...

One of the great things about Swanage is the fact you can walk to most places. Start moving services out of town and everyone has to drive, if they have a car. We shouldn't replicate the mistakes other towns have made.

Anonymous said...

"you can walk to most places"
but hardly anyone does
look a the Coop, 3 push bike spaces and nothing for motor bikes/ scooters.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the bickering begins!

Did anyone attend the meeting in Wareham about the proposed out-of-town supermarket, by chance?

As regards getting to the SMS site from Swanage centre, I seem to recall a very useful Wilts and Dorset service from the rail station to SMS on its way to Poole. So what's your problem with that? It might be an asset to cut down on some traffic and parking in the town centre.

Anonymous said...

well 4.27pm, there are a lot of nice green fields next door to SMS, lets keep it that way! I can vouch for a few hundred peple who agree that the Fields in Hesrton should stay as fields. They have all signed a petition to that effect!

Anonymous said...

182 comments so far and many of them demonstrate that any sort of progress/development for the benefit of the many will be opposed in this town. Thats why it looks like time has stood still (with the exception of the Mowlem building that strangely gained approval 40+ years ago) and left it out of the 21st century. If that is what the majority want, so be it. Swanage will continue to be a town for retirees, dabble in tourism and continually deter any organisation that may provide employment and keep young people working in the area.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with progress - there are plenty of people in Swanage (and on this blog) who want it. I personally think that revamping Shore Road, the Pierhead and the Mowlem would be fantastic, if its done right.

But I do object to building on green field sites which are part of the character of the town. The fields are, after all, the gateway to Swanage. Let's concentrate on sorting out the Pierhead end of Town here, and debate green field sites as a separate topic.

Anonymous said...

"many of them demonstrate that any sort of progress/development for the benefit of the many will be opposed in this town."

Yes, but we are discussing a proposal to put up a block of flats. This is not something being done to do the town a favour. Pretending it is just sounds sanctimonious.

Was Quayside Court built for the benefit of the town? Quay Court? The Haven? Were they a gain for the town? What evidence has been put forward to show that this would be? Nothing. Its all just soft soap slogans.

Anonymous said...

"182 comments so far and many of them demonstrate that any sort of progress/development for the benefit of the many will be opposed in this town. Thats why it looks like time has stood still (with the exception of the Mowlem building that strangely gained approval 40+ years ago) and left it out of the 21st century. If that is what the majority want, so be it. Swanage will continue to be a town for retirees, dabble in tourism and continually deter any organisation that may provide employment and keep young people working in the area."

I couldn't agree more!!! I imagine a lot of posters find the subject of families and school provision rather tiresome, and would not mind if the whole town became a 55+ enclave, with nubile Philippino girls brought in to serve the golden oldies. That could well happen.

Anonymous said...

"Was Quayside Court built for the benefit of the town? Quay Court? The Haven?"
Quayside Court NO but PDC passed it.
Quay House? Yes it is partly social housing
The Haven? Yes it was in exchange for a marina which PDC F""cked up

Anonymous said...

I was not aware there was a social housing element in Quay House. The block next to it is owned by a housing association. Are you conflating the two? I don't know, perhaps there was an "affordable" element in Quay House, however, the developer of it who has also done a scheme at the junction of Durlston Road and Grosvenor road and has pp for redeveloping "Westbury" in Rempstone road, never pretended sny of them were being done for the benefit of the town. Similarly with Quayside Developments who did Quayside Court, and a large conversion at the junction of Victoria Avenue and Northbrook Road as well as Oceana in De Moulham road has never made this ridiculous claim.

What I have noticed, over several decades, is that those behind the less acceptable projects always tell us that the town will wither and die without their particular flight of fancy which they always think is THE crucial one. It has not happened yet despite a good many displays of developer egotism.

Does anyone really think a couple of restaurants and eight flats is going to make a crucial difference to Swanage? Nothing, nothing whatsoever suggests that if PP for this application is withheld it marks the end of new building in Swanage. Again, another absurdity.

Anonymous said...

"deter any organisation that may provide employment and keep young people working in the area."

We are talking about a restaurant, an ice-cream parlour and some shops on the extreme periphery of the town's retail area. The bulk of the employment in catering is seasonal and low pay. How many people are going to have year round jobs in an ice-cream parlour with a high enough salary to avoid benefit dependency? Yes indeed, summer jobs for some kids perhaps but not much else.

What Swanage needs is well paid year round jobs not more poorly paid seasonal ones in catering and retail which only add to our problems.

Anonymous said...

Just where will such jobs come from? Swanage has virtually no industry, whether manufacturing or intellectual, such as web based businesses - our economy is largely based on our day to day needs, some farming, and of course, tourism. These constitute some of the lowest paying jobs. Where will 'proper' jobs come from? Once again, geography plays a role as Swanage's best friend and its worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

That is perfectly true, however, adopting the MacDonalds model where a tiny number at the top do well but the majority get by on minimum wage is not a lot of help. Is the message we give our young people to be "stay in Swanage and be a waiter"?

It is exceedingly difficult. I was told by a senior officer at PDC that members view is that employment growth should be at Winfrith and Holton Heath, Their vision for our industrial estate is decidedly basic. Winfrith has a science park, we have builders merchant, tool hire, carpenters etc. Not exactly the white heat of the technological revolution.

DCC has identified the knowledge based industries as the growth area and I think this is an accurate judgement. There are in fact a surprising number of micro-businesses of this type in Swanage but they are largely invisible because of their small size. The biggest problem they have is premises when they need to grow out of the spare bedroom. Offering them units costing hundreds of thousands freehold or on long leases is nonsense. They need low rents and an easy in/out regime.

Anonymous said...

So - there are no plans by STC or PDC to make Swanage attractive to entrepreneurs who might bring in hi-tech industries with higher salaries that match local property prices? That these jobs will be developed instead at Holton Heath, or Winfrith?

Well, then, that's that. Swanage will be what bit is now - a community for retirees and tourists, and those locals who service their needs at low wages. I have noted in this blog many comments against any green belt development, which we would need for business growth. You can'r have it both ways. You get what you ask for.

If new, higher-than-waiter's/shop assistant/farm employee's's salary jobs cannot be created or imported at any scale or size, the only hope for Swanage people to have access to high salary jobs is for STC and especially PDC to go the other route - literally - and make it possible to commute cheaply and quickly to Poole or Bournemouth (or even Holton Heath) where these jobs are or will be, so we are told. The link-up between Swanage Railroad and the main line at Worgret (the crucial decision will be made this month) may be the only realistic hope we have.

But Swanage Railroad will have to cease operating a tourist attraction and run a proper affordable commuter service instead, at least some of the day. Is it willing to do this?

Anonymous said...

"Railroad and the main line at Worgret (the crucial decision will be made this month) may be the only realistic hope we have."

I think you're going to find that it won't be made this month.

DCC will defer, this doesn't mean the end, it just means that it will cost even more later.

Anonymous said...

"I think you're going to find that it won't be made this month."

From today's Echo:

"COUNTY officials will decide on whether to plough £3 million into reconnecting Swanage with the mainline rail network at a crunch meeting later this month.

Network Rail needs an assurance, by the end of July, that the money will be available when planned Poole to Wool re-signalling work starts in 2012."

Either you are right, and this article is wrong, or you are wrong.
I have read about this deadline in the past, so I go with the deadline's truth.

Anonymous said...

Why do most people seem to view life in black and white.

The meeting will happen.

From your point of view DCC will vote yea or nay.

In the real world, where there are many shades of grey - they also have the option to defer.

That is my prediction.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the rail line does not go where the jobs are now except for the office blocks near Bournemouth Central. On the positive side D.A.R.T. (Dorset area rapid transit) proposals from a decade or so ago are being dusted off.

Aside from people being able to commute to work a major benefit of a re-opened line would be allowing conurbation residents to come over here for an evening out in our restaurants (seafood and others) and pubs without having to drive back. A surprisingly high proportion of our "tourists" only come from ten or twenty miles away. A lot of them are of mature years and find the way Bournemouth town centre has gone in recent years unappealing in the extreme. There is a lot of gold in the purses of the "golden girls".

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