The Society’s Planning Group studies and comments on planning applications of interest, usually those relating to the city centre, its conservation areas and major schemes in the area.
If you are interested in joining the Planning Group, please contact the convenor, Anne Stelfox, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Society’s responses to some recent applications will be found below.
18/00729/FUL Land adjacent to Bowerham Hotel: A mixed-use scheme comprising 2 retail units and student accommodation (block of 49 1-bed rooms on the former bowling green and 4 1-bed rooms through the conversion of the outbuildings)
The Civic Society wishes to raise objections to this proposal on a number of grounds:
Its designation as yet further student accommodation is questionable; a more appropriate use for the site would be for family housing, which may have been considered earlier by the developer given the reference to 15 new homes and the resulting council tax to be raised from the residents (Ref. Para 5.12 of the Open Space Assessment document). It would be preferable to provide much-needed new homes that could diversify the house type in the immediate area.
The need for additional retail space to serve the needs of the Bowerham community is also questionable, particularly when located opposite an existing large convenience store.
In addition we believe that the design of the building is totally out of character with the surrounding vernacular architecture, and appears to reference the features which are becoming familiar in the designs of the City Blocks in the city centre. It will do nothing to complement the recently re-furbished facade of the Bowerham Hotel.
To the rear, the massing of the structure will dominate the terraced houses of Trafalgar Road.and existing parking problems will be exacerbated.
We urge that planning permission is refused.