Avon Street student accommodation

The railway borders this site to the north. To the west is the Avon River and the site of the former Parcel Sorting Office. The single-storey warehouse of Chanson Foods currently occupies the land. The image shows a planning application for managed student residential accommodation comprising 502 bed spaces and communal facilities arranged within three buildings. The buildings are stepped, varying from 6–13 storeys (plus ground floor) which are arranged around a central communal courtyard. To the river side there is a two-storey ‘hub’ building that contains offices ancillary to the student accommodation.

The Society supports student accommodation on this site which is next to Bristol University’s new Campus. There are good things to say about the proposal which will have an attractive soft landscape and space for the social infrastructure that the area lacks. The developer says that it will work closely with the University to develop a brief to put student welfare and pastoral care at the heart of the project.

However, the Society regrets that it cannot support the proposed building height of 14 floors. This is a prominent site, visible to railway passengers, to walkers on the riverside path and from Avon Street. The mass of the buildings would overdevelop the site and conflict with theCouncil’s aspiration to create a green promenade along the riverbank. It is disappointing to make a negative response about the design, but the repetitive elevations present a bleak view on all sides and are indistinguishable from Bristol’s many other ‘value architecture’ student accommodation blocks.

John Frenkel

 Full Civic Society response.


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