Friday 30 April 2010

Dot get all Cranky....

With the dust of an arduous first quarter finally starting to settle, we can reflect back at some of the exciting projects we have been fortunate enough to have work on so far.

Below is the multiple use scheme for Hermitage properties on Hinton Road, Bournemouth. With a part demolition, part conversion of former night club Crank, we have managed to create four moderate sized bespoke retail units along the newly formed Westover lane - a lane that will be linking the much sought after Westover Road with the potential of newly formed shop frontage on Hinton Road.

On the ground floor we have been able to afford a 4500Sq. Ft. bar with similar above for a restaurant.

The upper floors utilised for residential units comprising of fourteen two bedded apartments with the seven units on the upper floor having double height spaces more consistent with that of loft style living.

The striking primary elevation draws references from the retained side and rear elevations and aims to link the warehouse feel with a re-modelled front elevation, thus bringing more cohesion to a disjointed street scene along with unlocking the future potential of shop frontage to Hinton Road. Here at dot. its been really refreshing to work with Hermitage Properties, who have been very open to our bold design concepts, and excited at the prospect of what could be (we hope) a real landmark for Bournemouth Town and the Hermitage portfolio.

Working alongside the professionals at Ken Parke planning we are eagerly awaiting a positive decision - touch wood!

Thursday 29 April 2010

Bournemouth's affordable housing tax is finally here....

With the majority of developers and planning professionals in Bournemouth currently going through the five stages of denial, we here at Dot find ourselves at "acceptance". So it comes to be that as of the 4th May 2010, the affordable housing threshold in Bournemouth will be reduced from up to fourteen units per site down to a miserly ONE prior to any imposed on-site or off-site contributions.

Clearly this change in policy was conceived in the heady heights of 2007 when the world was a different place, but with a huge shortage of affordable housing being offer in Bournemouth, it's clear that something had to be done With a change as dramatic as this, only time will tell as to its success. Here at Dot we are of the opinion that a more reasonable six dwelling threshold, like the policy adopted by Poole would suffice.

Essentially, the Three Dragons tools kit - Bournemouth's preferred site viability calculator (other tool kits are available) is there to provide information about the economics of residential development, show the impacts of affordable housing and section 106 requirements, which in turn aims to assist the local authority in its planning decisions. The process, we are assured, will be a lot more consistent and transparent, however, the "suck it and see" attitude permeating from BBC may leave some thinking that may not be the case from the onset.

Under the new system, anyone seeking to build one or more additional housing units will have to provide the council with a breakdown of their costs and predicted profit and could have to make an affordable housing contribution of up to 40 per cent. After discussions with planning, we have been assured that we will be able to submit financial site appraisals for informal comment prior to the councils preferred pre-application.

Whether or not you are of the opinion that Bournemouth is now closed for business and it's time to turn your attention to pastures new, Dot will continue with our hands on approach to gain favourable decisions for all of our clients, regardless of how much red tape there may be in the way......

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Finally, a New Year’s catch up!

We here at Dot. are slightly embarrassed as we haven’t filled you in for such a long time, so apologies and here goes – to make it easy, we have headed the news this time. Oh, and a very belated Happy New Year – here’s to 2010!

- Since we last chatted we have seen a steady flow of instructions, submissions and approvals. We managed to get the approval for the very contemporary extension along Harland Road, Bournemouth, which is currently in the early stages of construction and we will keep you informed with its progress. Other approvals include more domestic extensions and conversions, including a period summer house in Cassel Avenue, Poole.

We have also just completed our detailed appraisal for two contemporary beach hut cafes on Weymouth Seafront. This is a very exciting scheme and we are now in the process of waiting to see if our client has put forward the winning tender package, so fingers crossed! Our design response was to create a clear juxtaposition between Weymouth’s Georgian past and the more contemporary revival that is apparent in the town. The ‘pods’ (which we know is a bit of a buzz word –but we don’t care!) are to be completely shut off at night, and the introduction of lit chimneys give them a sense of location, and act as a beacon along the front. Presentation style pays homage to the 50s style seaside postcards, and is a very proud nod to the great British beach holiday, which is making a very exciting revival.

Graphics, Websites and the like. - Dot. graphics are steadily moving forward, we are pleased to see continued instructions for our watercolour work at Poundbury.

On top of that, we have been instructed on a complete rebrand and website for Global VAT recovery. GVR understand the importance of a top quality brand and website, and after seeing our work for Churchfields Ice Cream, Leaf Charity, and Dwiko Arie Photography, thought we would be the best people for the job. We always work alongside the clever web bods at JellyPhish, to ensure you get best of both worlds, our arty farty ways, with their geeky web knowledge. Check out their site at

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