We monitor closely major developments in the city. These include the St Mary le Port site at the heart of the old city centre; the One Dove Lane development in St Paul’s, where a landmark tower has been proposed; Ashton Court, where we have stimulated work on long-term development to realise the potential of the building at the centre of this great city park.
The Society has a long-term Major Sites Group. The Group’s aim is to take a long term interest in complex major sites. The Group’s members are John Payne (Chair), Craig Begg, Dave Cave, John Frenkel, Keith Hallet, Jerry Hicks, Dave Johnson, Heather Leeson, Audrey Lennox, Stephen Macfarlane, Alan Morris, Steve Pearce, James Smith, Gordon Tucker, Stephen Wickham, Gordon Young.
The Group will work with Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network / local community groups to engage with Bristol City Council, developers and other interest groups to secure the satisfactory development of complex major sites. The Group will help local planning groups gain skills and build confidence in dealing with major sites if requested. The Group’s aims are to achieve community aspirations through community involvement; to contribute to the regeneration and environmental enhancement of the City; and to promote sustainable living.
The Group will engage in pre-application discussions with BCC, developers and other interested parties. The Group will make formal responses to planning applications and continuing development. Where appropriate, the Group will initiate campaigns and prepare written representations and appear at Planning Enquiries. The Group may generate ideas for the development and improvement of particular sites.
The Group meets as a whole every other month to discuss progress, share ideas and consider its workload and additional new sites. Work on individual sites is undertaken by small sub-groups who use email to discuss the Group's business between meetings.
33-49 Victoria Street
The Society has submitted its statement to the Planning Inspectorate setting out its grounds to support the Council’s decision to dismiss this application to build a tall building at the junction of Victoria Street and Thomas Street. The Society has been granted status to appear at the Inquiry. The Society does not object to the replacement of the existing building. It objects to a tall building in an area where the City has recommended that tall buildings are not appropriate. A tall building will would damage the conservation setting of the group of listed buildings in Thomas Street.
Island Site Temple Meads
The Society appeared made representations at the January Development Control (Central) Meeting, which refused planning permission. The Society does not object to the redevelopment of the site. The Society objects to a tall building in an area where the City has recommended that tall buildings are not appropriate. A tall building will damage the setting of the Listed Brunel buildings. The Society is also concerned about damaging the link between the proposed Rapid Transport system and Bristol Temple Meads and the possibility of knitting this site more closely into the urban fabric of Redcliffe. The Society proposes to support the City should the developer appeal.
Temple Quay, Site 6
This site is linked to the Island Site as the potential location of a transport interchange to serve the rail network, the future RT system and all national and local bus networks. This is a proposal of regional importance and must be this site’s development priority.
University Bio/Maths Building, St. Michael’s Hill
The Society supported the response of the local planning groups to the University’s application to redevelop the former Children’s Hospital and other buildings. The Society supports the development but not the design of the new Biology building at the junction of St. Michael’s Hill and Tyndall Avenue. In 2006 there was a thorough and detailed debate that led to the production of the University’s Masterplan (SPD11). The Society opposes the proposed Biology building because it is so much bigger that the one that the Masterplan specified. The building would overbear the street and not “repair St. Michael’s Hill”, which was the aim of the Masterplan’s design guidance. The Bristol Urban Design Panel said that the St. Michael’s Hill elevation of the Biology building is “not good enough for a conservation area.” The Society will attend the hearing of this application before the Planning Committee.
The Society is exploring with local planning groups their response to this proposal about which the Society has yet to form a view.
King Street Bridge
The City obtained contributions from developers to fund the construction of a footbridge to link King Street to Redcliffe. The funds are insufficient to build an “iconic structure”, which is the City’s aim. The Society wants to explore the possibility of building a lower cost bridge. If the City fails to build a bridge the developers are entitled to their money back.
The Society supports English Heritage’s opposition to a 14 floor residential tower block beside the M32, which would not be consistent with City’s Tall Buildings Policy. The Society is working closely with the local planning group, St. Pauls Unlimited. One Dove Lane website
The Society promoted and supports the steering group which seeks to find a use for the mansion to fund its restoration. Ashton Court is the country’s most heavily used public park. 50 years after the City bought the estate it is time for the whole of the mansion to be open to the Bristol’s citizens. Ashton Court Estate website
15 Gibson Road - 12/01392/F
The Panel referred to the minute of June 2011 to application 10/01801/F as follows:
“The Panel had no objection in principle to this development. However, the corner position was visually very important. The proposed building failed to respond successfully to the location of the cut corner.”
Two houses on this prominent corner site would be an incongruous and obtrusive form of development and would be over-intensive. The scheme would be over scaled and would appear bulky. Two houses would significantly detract from the setting of the principal house. This must be a subsidiary building. The detailing was bland and the fenestration was over elaborate and attention seeking. The proposed materials did not reflect the materials used in the adjoining buildings. The design would not preserve or enhance the conservation area.
The Panel strongly objected.
6-10 Stillhouse Lane Bedminster
The Panel noted that this application comprising 12 one or two bed flats was more intense than the previous application with 9 flats and a commercial unit. The existing commercial building contributed to the character of the conservation area and should be retained. It should be properly occupied and not be a hollow screen with an empty door and windows. The proposed three storey buildings each side and above swamped the retained brick façade. The design of the new buildings must be informed by the existing building. The space in front of the right hand section was of no practical purpose and a proper building line should be created. All paving and setts to the road and pavement should be protected and retained.
The Panel objected.
The Lamplighters Public House
The Panel was not opposed to some degree of development on this site but considered the application was unacceptable on design grounds for a number of reasons. The scheme was over scaled, which made the form appear overly bulky. The detailing was bland and the fenestration design was out of scale and weak. The new buildings must be subservient to the pub. The design degraded the setting of the listed building. A mechanism must be found to ensure that the funds created by the enabling development be spent on the restoration of the Lamplighters Public House and to ensure its continuing operation as a public house.
The Panel strongly objected.
The Group invites anyone with an interest in the appearance of their City to join them. It is not necessary to attend meetings because the Group circulates its work by email distribution. Help with any individual site is welcome.