This planning application relates to large block on the southside of Stokes Croft with a return frontage on Moon Street just beyond the Full Moon public House. The proposal would build 245 units of student accommodation and ground floor commercial space. The Society supports the principle of redevelopment to bring a vacant site back into use but opposes another student residential block.
There are more than 1,000 student bedspaces in the area which the student population dominates. The proposal would reduce the current level of employment space on the site by around 50%. In a city with strong development pressure, planners must seek what is best for an area in terms of serving social, economic and environmental needs. This exercise must balance the competing needs of providing new homes, employment space and student accommodation. The effect of the scheme would be to expand the local Marlborough Street ‘student quarter’ an area of large commercial student accommodation blocks which are soulless and dispiriting; an antithesis of the Council’s placemaking policy. At this stage of Stokes Croft’s redevelopment, the need for more homes outweighs other considerations. Permitting further student accommodation would exacerbate an existing over-concentration that has led to an imbalanced, less inclusive and sustainable community.
Stokes Croft needs more homes to meet the city-centre housing need to sustain a settled community and provide year-round support for local businesses. The Society supports modern building design in the conservation area but the height and mass of the proposed building would not respond to the modest prevailing scale of the local urban context or to its relationship to with the Grade II listed Full Moon Pub. The building, which would exceed the height of St. James House, would harm the opportunity to make Moon Street and Backfields a pedestrian-friendly space.
Bristol Civic Society full response.