A SENIOR planning officer has described plans to demolish an existing house and erect a five-storey block of flats in Parkstone as 'inappropriate and unattractive'.

The application for 12 large flats to be constructed in Alton Road, Parkstone, has drawn the ire of dozens of residents living in and around the area since plans were submitted in December last year.

Proposed for 9 Alton Road are nine two-bedroom flats and two three-bed penthouses which developers say will provide a “flexible living environment” for potential occupiers.

However, officially submitted objections reference concerns relating to its visual amenity, size and worries over traffic.

Bournemouth Echo: 9 Alton Road in Poole. Picture: Google9 Alton Road in Poole. Picture: Google

These thoughts were echoed by BCP Council senior planning officer Sally Lloyd-Jacobs who, shortly before her retirement, said the proposals failed to meet National Planning Policy or Poole Local Plan frameworks.

In a report as part of the planning application she said: “The existing property is an attractive example of an interwar, detached property. [It] makes a positive contribution to the visual quality of the immediate locality.

“It is obvious that a number of the pre-existing detached houses in the vicinity have been replaced with blocks of flats in the recent past. However, the vast majority appear to have successfully retained the well-treed appearance of the public realm. In contrast, the proposed block will result in a substantial increase in the overall footprint of built form and would introduce a building significantly greater in scale than any other in the immediate vicinity.”

Poole-based developers Towncourt Homes say their design to step the fourth and fifth floors back beyond the preceding floor below is “consistent with flatted development elsewhere and ensures that higher buildings do not appear dominant to the street scene”.

Bournemouth Echo: Plans for a block of flats at 9 Alton Road in Poole. Picture: Towncourt Homes/Darryl HowellsPlans for a block of flats at 9 Alton Road in Poole. Picture: Towncourt Homes/Darryl Howells

Ms Lloyd-Jacobs added: “While the proposed development will make a more efficient use of the site in terms of the number of residential units provided, this does not negate the need to adhere to the principles of good design.

“In this respect, the proposed apartment block represents an overdevelopment of the site. The development will not be visually attractive as a result of good architecture; nor will it create a place that is safe, inclusive and accessible.”

However, not all respondents are against the plans. A Windsor Road resident said: “The road is mainly blocks of apartments so I am personally confused as to why residents are up in arms. If these were approved, I know there would be massive interest, the area is so popular for young families and working professionals who need easy access to the train station.”