BCP Council’s planning committee approved the £5.3 million scheme for Craven Court, despite some councillors’ reservations about the modern design of the proposed building
Multi-million pound plans to redevelop a council-owned site in Bournemouth into a block of flats have been approved.
BCP Council’s planning committee approved the £5.3 million scheme for Craven Court, despite some councillors’ reservations about the modern design of the proposed building.
Others said the project would prevent the current building from “crumbling into disrepair” and provide 24 “much-needed” flats for social rent.
The council submitted its planning application in August 2020 after concerns, dating back to before its creation, were raised about the condition of the existing care home building.
Earlier this month its cabinet approved funding arrangements for the project which will include borrowing of £3.7 million.
The building has been subject to extensive alterations throughout its life, but unfortunately the building is now in poor condition and is significantly past its sell-by date, cabinet member for housing, councillor Bob Lawton, said. We did look at it in 2018 under the old Bournemouth council to look out whether we could improve the building but the cost was considerably higher.
The application was brought before the council’s planning committee on Thursday for consideration with a recommendation it be approved.
Planning officer Colin Tebb said the balance leading to his judgement was a difficult one due to concerns about the loss of the building and the replacement’s impact on the conservation area. But he said more modern extensions to Craven Court had compromised its importance and said this would be outweighed by the provision of affordable housing.
This position was backed by the committee which acknowledged concerns about the loss of the building and the more modern replacement but welcomed the flats.
The conservation area is designed to protect its character and I don’t believe its character is enhanced by allowing all buildings that happen to fit what originally was the underlying tone of the area to crumble into disrepair, councillor Toby Johnson said. He added that the existing building was “far more ugly” than its proposed replacement.
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