Major Sites

major-sitesThe Society’s Major Sites Group engages with major building development proposals, mostly in the city centre. The Group takes part in the public consultation stage, before the planning application for major schemes. This is one of the Society’s most important roles. The improvement to the economic climate has reignited developers’ interest in major residential schemes in the city centre, which the Society welcomes. Under recent planning legislation changes, developers may now convert office buildings to residential use without planning permission.

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Transport

Artists impression of the MetroBus alongside the New CutThe Transport Subgroup of the Major Sites Group engages with transport proposals. The group engages with transport scheme promoters to influence the scheme early in the development process.

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Planning Applications

planning-applications-groupThe Planning Applications Group responds to smaller-scale development proposals that are submitted as planning applications week by week. Although not as complex as the developments considered by Major Sites Group, they can have a significant impact on the quality of the city’s appearance.

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Planning Policy

Planning MeetingThe Planning Policy Subgroup of the Major Sites Group considers changes in local planning policy to try to ensure that local planning policy strikes the right balance.

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Regeneration projects

portland-squareEven in a relatively prosperous city like Bristol, there are certain sites and buildings which lie empty for years and years. Of course a certain level of vacancy is natural and is part of the natural scheme of things, but usually development does then take place within a reasonable period of time. But some sites do seem to get stuck and give rise to concern by local residents, planners and, if protected, by Historic England.

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Public Spaces

bearpitThe Society has a Public Spaces Group that engages with proposals for improving public spaces in Bristol, mostly in the centre of Bristol – both 'green' spaces like Queen Square, Castle Park or College Green and ‘hard’ spaces such as the Centre Promenade, Millennium Square and pavements generally.

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Awards Schemes

BCS plaqueBristol Civic Society runs two prestigious annual award schemes. The Design Awards recognise developments in Bristol which make a positive contribution to the local environment through excellence of design, while the Student Award is presented to a final year student of Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England for outstanding work.

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Bristol Doors Open Day

DoD brochureBristol Civic Society is proud to be one of the sponsors of Bristol Doors Open Day, the once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city’s hidden treasures.

Bristol Doors Open Day is coordinated by the Architecture Centre. Bristol Civic Society is represented on the Advisory Group by Peter Weeks. Doors Open Days, or Heritage Open Days, take place in many towns and cities across the country.

Bristol Doors Open Day takes place each year on a Saturday in September. For information on this year’s event, go to our Events section.

Blue Plaques

Herapath Blue PlaqueFancy putting up a blue plaque to some great woman or man who once lived in Bristol? Or to commemorate a building where a signficant event took place years ago? Is there someone in the city’s past who you and your family or friends think deserves more recognition? Then the Civic Society can help. In 2015, BCS took over responsibility for the blue plaques scheme previously run by Bristol City Council and a BCS 'Blue Plaques Panel' is now up and running.

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Civic Voice

civic-society-logoAll Bristol Civic Society members also belong to Civic Voice, which is the national charity for the civic movement in England. Just over a pound of your annual BCS subscription goes to Civic Voice which has over 75,000 individual members coming from 290 civic societies.

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Heritage Forum

Heritage GroupThe Bristol Heritage Forum is an independent body set up to champion the value of Bristol's built heritage. It is a network for local organizations to share and debate best practice, to facilitate collaboration, and to co-ordinate heritage initiatives.

In February 2016 the Bristol Heritage Forum was established as an independent body, but one which will work closely with both Historic England and the City Council. The Bristol Civic Society has taken the lead in its co-ordination. Currently the Forum's executives include Bristol Civic Society, Bristol City Council, Churches Conservation Trust, Historic England, JLL and the Neighborhood Planning Network.

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