Jim Gowan’s West Hill Watch . .
Buckingham Road Development
The former Council day centre at the corner of Buckingham Road and Upper Gloucester Road is proposed for re-development as four large town houses and 20 apartments. A planning application has not yet been submitted but a presentation has recently been made to the Conservation Advisory Group. The CAG welcomed the proposal to restore many of the original Victorian features of No.s 76-79 whilst suggesting that the proposed new building to replace the 1970s block at No. 80 be subject to further design improvements.
The developers expressed a willingness to restore the existing plaque commemorating the headmaster of the grammar school which once stood on the site and which subsequently moved to its present location in Dyke Road, now occupied by BHASVIC. The problems associated with having more on-street communal bins were raised, as the existing bins are already causing harm to the character of the conservation area and an assurance was given that the twenty new flats would use on-site bins. The four new town houses, however, will be adding their waste and recycling to the existing on-street bins. Parking is likely to be another controversial issue as only eight spaces within the development are planned and no mention was made of this being a car-free development .
1 Clifton Street
An application to return this rather dilapidated property to its original design is generally to be welcomed. The black painted window frames and garage door have been an unattractive feature whilst the tiled roof projecting over the ground floor is an inappropriate alteration which will disappear once the bay windows have been restored. The proportions of the windows in the proposed plans were, however, considered incorrect by the Conservation Advisory Group and it must be hoped that once this detail has been addressed the restoration will be completed. Cast iron balustrades inspired by the original designs are also proposed and will add to the attractiveness of the street scene.