The Society supports the Cathedral School’s scheme to improve its teaching facilities and increase its pupil numbers. The School wishes to alter and extend two buildings that face Anchor Road. The first picture (right) shows Palliser Martin House as it might look if the school demolishes an unattractive gym building and a linking corridor and replaces them with a new wing. The second picture (on the left below) shows Trinity Building with a Mansard roof added to build two new classrooms.
The buildings to be demolished are without architectural merit but, from some viewpoints, the new building would obstruct more of the view of the Cathedral’s choir and nave. The Society agrees that the public gain from the school improvements would outweigh the harm done to some views of the Cathedral. Good architecture in a historic setting needs to take reference from local vernacular but update and interpret it to create a coherent overall design; to integrate the old with the new. The Society looks forward to seeing the options once they are explored.
In addition, the School wishes to refurbish Abbey House and demolish a modern double garage. The replacement of the garage with a catering kiosk will be a planning gain. The Society supports the partnership of the School, the Cathedral and the Council to improve the public realm to the west of the Cathedral through the School’s premises to Anchor Road. The development offers a further opportunity and resource to unify and enhance that space. This planning application gives the Council with the leverage to insist that the School provides a comprehensive transport scheme to reduce parental traffic at the beginning and end of the school day. The Society supports the Council’s policy to reduce the number of private cars in the city centre, which is the only way to avoid and reduce increasing congestion and worsening air quality.
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Bristol Civic Society's full response [PDF, 347KB] Right-click to download, click to view.