The pre-application proposal is for the demolition of the mix of buildings which include a gym and electrical and paint stores. They would be replaced by a building of up to 16 storeys which would accommodate 460 student bedrooms with commercial floorspace at ground floor level. The Society does not support the proposed development as it stands.
Although the proposal would create jobs, the Society is concerned that the predominance of proposals for purpose built student accommodation in this part of St Philip’s Marsh could prejudice the mixed uses and diversity of business and economic development which policy is seeking. There is a real opportunity here to create a hub of innovative, high tech activities close to the new university campus.
The Society is concerned that the height of this proposal would encourage high buildings on this side of Albert Road extending south from the tall student accommodation building under construction at the junction with Feeder Road to this site. High buildings are being considered for the west side of the River Avon and we are concerned that the river at this point could be largely enclosed in a canyon of tall buildings. This would not seem to be consistent with the Local Plan Review’s desire to achieve an enhanced, multi-purpose greenway on the river frontage. We are also concerned about the harmful impact the proposal would have on views towards the Totterdown escarpment.
The Local Plan Review states that development in this part of St Philip’s Marsh will include and facilitate enhanced connections to Bristol Temple Quarter and the city centre as a whole. That approach is supported by the Society and, in particular, public transport and cycling connections to the main university campus as well as the new campus in Temple Quarter should flow from the development here if student accommodation comprises a significant part of it.