June 2021
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Oh I do like corruption by the seaside, oh I do like corruption by the sea tiddly um pum pum

This dilapidated wreck of a building, Radcliffe Court, stands in one of the best locations within Bournemouth’s East Cliff conservation area (click to see more clearly)

radcliffe 1

This once beautiful and historic building has been allowed to rot and this week developers will probably get permission from Bournemouth Council Planning Department to demolish it so they can built some nice, luxury lucrative flats with stunning sea views

radcliffe 2

How was this allowed to happen? After all, in the East Cliff conservation area planning rules are so stringent that you need planning permission even if you want to trim some trees. So destroying a major building should be an absolute no no.

The architects’ report concluded (helpfully for the developer who had employed them) that the “former merchant’s villa on a prominent cliff top site within the Eastcliff Conservation Area of Bournemouth had suffered major failure of the building envelope resulting in the building becoming uninhabitable and derelict”.

Well, I wonder who allowed the building to become “uninhabitable and derelict”?

But never mind, because the architects will give us something much better, “Intensive analysis and comprehesive pre-application discussion has resulted in the prepartion of a planning application to redevelop the site and replace the existing building with a new high quality, contemporary residential building befitting of both its setting and its immediate context.

This exciting new building resolves the competing massing proximoties and architectural language of the adjoining buildings. It maintains historic building lines with facades that addresess both the conservation area and the coastal frontage, with a boldness and elegance befitting of its setting”.

In fact, what’s happening to Radcliffe Court has happened and is still happening to many buildings in the supposed conservation area. There was 9 Derby Road. This was bought up by developers, emptied, fenced off and allowed to become derelict. With 9 Derby Road, someone even hastened the building’s demise by setting fire to it so it became so unsafe that it had to be levelled.


The developers claim the fire was started by a homeless man who died in the blaze. The police, of course, fully accepted the developers’ version of events. Locals are not so sure, with many suspecting deliberate arson. And now a nice profitable care home has been built no doubt earning the developers a bundle of money.

So, which building will be next? Well, just round the corner from 9 Derby Road is 27 Knyveton Road. Here it seems to be a similar story. Large old building emptied, fenced off and allowed to become derelict. Perhaps Bournemouth’s planners will soon be giving permission for this too to be knocked down to make way for flats.

Meanwhile, I wonder whether in Bournemouth’s Planning Department they’ll be happily singing a little song that goes something like this:

Oh, I do like corruption by the seaside

Oh, I do like corruption by the sea

Oh I do like to see those old buildings knocked down

So we can all become rich tiddly um pum pum

Or perhaps they’re all as honest as the day is long and so many buildings suffering a similar fate is merely coincidental? Who knows? Not me.

By the way, the Torygraph has a big article today claiming that Dodgy Dave’s reshuffle was ‘a bold roll of the dice by a brave PM‘. Hopefully anyone who read my blog yesterday will understand that the reshuffle was just a bit of PR spin by a PR PM.

6 comments to Oh I do like corruption by the seaside, oh I do like corruption by the sea tiddly um pum pum

  • John Fields

    I think that there is something smelling rotten in Bournemouth Council!

  • yohodi

    Cliff end hotel in manor road. Imax cinema. Also who signed off the Boscombe reef scam…Bournemouth echo that parochial little rag not renowned for investigative journalism……….There’s a book in Bournemouth doncha know, it goes back years.

  • Paris Claims

    How on earth did the Imax (now pulled down) get planning? A complete eye-sore and view ruiner. Looked like a warehouse in the wrong part of Hull or Goole.

  • shirley

    you are spot regarding 27 kniverton / knole road
    developers have been granted permission to build 74 luxury flats up to 6 floors despite being a conservation of Victorian villas where I need planning permission to trim my trees in my garden opposite this development.BOURNEMOUTH CIVIC SOCIETY waxed lyrical about the windows and how this development fitted well with the other neighbouring architecture.
    WHAT UTTER RUBBISH and an insult to the locals
    they also failed to ignore the lack off sufficient onsite parking 54 places for 74 dwellings. the roads around are already full of parked cars.

  • shirley

    Bournemouth borough council adopted ” the Bournemouth supplementary parking and planning document in july 2014, which basically allows development of high rise blocks in residential areas whilst providing insufficient parking spaces. they think that providing a few bike sheds will discourage car ownership. now our residential side streets are becoming car parks with the resultant gridlock.
    councillor DAVID SMITHH wrote in the bournemouth echo march 28th promising that Bournemouth borough council would ensure new residential developments would provide sufficient parking. what a LIAR, he is partly responsible for this new parking plan

  • Louise

    I worked at Craigleith a few of years before it closed, it had a lovely art-deco frontage that was listed. I guess the developers didn’t like that. I was looking on the internet for a decent photo of it and stumbled across this site…

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