During 2002 planning applications to the Borough Council increased by some 25%. Many of these were as usual small matters such as extensions to houses but there were also quite a large number of major applications, especially for flats in new blocks or in conversions. Here are a few of the Society's comments from the period September- December which should interest members.
Ranelagh Road/Princes Street bridge: erection of 7- to 16-storey blocks of 333 one- and two-bedroom flats and A1 and A3 retail uses.
"The Society supports the development of this site for mixed use with a predominance of residential units. However these well presented plans are open to early criticism from their very height and resulting density. There would be a large increase in traffic at a junction that is already overloaded..."
Toller Street, timber storage yard: erection of 5-storey office building.
"This is an attractive building but the Society is concerned that a five-storey building would impinge on the view from Cliff Lane and Landseer Road towards the Wet Dock and the town. it would also be very close to the brewery cottage. It certainly appears to be quite a small tall building that would occupy only a small proportion of the site. Perhaps the architects should be asked to review the situation?"
67 Norwich Road (former Revetts) : conversion of vehicle sales/repair premises to two ground floor shops and 22 apartments (involves erection of two additional storey heights).
"This is a problem building; it's a not very attractive late 60s rather brutalist building in an area where current development of any sort is a problem. These proposals do mean raising, the overall height to about fifty feet but the new storeys are recessed and therefore it should not seem too massy. We would like to see the inclusion of a secure bicycle storage area which should be possible in the unused eastern end of the car park."
Land at rear of 24-40 Goodwood Close: use of land for residential development, including estate roads.
"The Society's Executive Committee discussed this proposal at length when it was felt that this idea should be refused on three grounds.
1-3 St Matthew's Street: external alterations and infilling doorway facing Lady Lane.
"The Society has in recent years spent considerable time and its own money on improving Lady Lane. Thus we welcome a new occupier of this shop and hope there will be a general upgrading of this area. We hope that the Development Committee will find some way of enforcing the use of the windows as display areas and not allow them to be blocked out by promotional posters or painted over..."
The Old Rep, Tower Street: internal alterations including removal of staircase to mezzanine floor, removal of pillar and additional structure within former auditorium.
"The internal alterations to this historic building suggest that it is to change to a night club with the installation of a DJs podium, dance floor with what appear to be poles! Very serious consideration would need to be given if this is the long term proposal."
6-8 Friars Street: erection of 9 flats and class A3 (food and drink) unit in 4-storey building.
"The revised plans are certainly an improvement on the previous set. The two facades are much more acceptable. However the rhythms of the fenestration and the differentiation between the storeys still seem unnecessarily awkward to us. We would like to see the Development Control Committee refer these plans back for further consideration and discussion with the Development Officers." IBC has granted conditional permission. Building is proceeding. (Photo above, in December.)
At the time of 'going to press, the Society is still considering its response to the application to convert the former Tolly brewery into 27 flats with another (new) block of 41 flats nearby on the southern part of the brewery site.
Our October Newsletter quoted our approval of converting 20 Princes Street offices into flats; our support for change of use from residential to nursery school at 18B St Nicholas Street; and our objection to a "garish" shop sign at 41 Tavern Street. We are pleased to note that IBC have approved the first two and refused the third.