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Boscombe building saved from bulldozer
A VICTORIAN building, overlooking Boscombe Crescent, has been saved from the bulldozers, despite pleas from local residents to knock it down.
The stay of execution, which could be short-lived, came following a lengthy debate by civic planners on the architectural merits of the Christchurch Road terrace, dating back to 1890, above the former Argos store.
Developers Lynwood Park Limited applied for permission to build a new three to four-storey block of 32 two-bed and five one-bed flats with a shop below.
Addressing the council’s planning board, consultant Ken Parke described the existing building as “rather plain and unexciting,” adding that the proposed scheme would help regenerate Boscombe.
However the council’s planning and conservation officers said demolishing the building would be an unacceptable loss to a terrace of good architectural merit.
Bournemouth Civic Society penned a letter of objection but Boscombe West Councillor Chris Wakefield said local residents didn’t want the building saved.
He added: “Fifty per cent of the population in this area is transient; this is not another faceless block of flats. It’s family accommodation and that’s what we want in Boscombe.”
His sentiments were shared by ward Councillor Jane Kelly, the council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, who said: “This is a high profile site – and a gateway to the town centre.
“It will be very sad if this application does not get granted.”
Board vice-chairman Ron Whittaker branded the building “hideous,” adding: “I’d like to see the whole lot down.”
But he voiced concerns over lack of parking at the site, with only four spaces proposed for the retail unit.
Cllr Johann Edward said: “Bus routes are no substitute for cars” but Cllr Linda Bailey disagreed, warning: “You learn to live without parking; this developer won’t hang around.”
Chairman David Kelsey said he couldn’t support the scheme, until the parking issue was resolved, adding: “I’m not against pulling down old buildings but I think parking is essential.”
His move to refuse the application was carried by five votes to two.