The Society has made a formal submission in response to the planning application for the redevelopment of the Zoo Gardens. The Gardens are designated as public open space in the development plan and on reflection the Society is not convinced by the current plans to partially develop the site for housing whilst retaining open space as publicly accessible gardens. We think that the proposal is neither fish nor fowl. It would be better either being kept as open space or redeveloped for housing.
The Society questions who will wish to visit the site when it is surrounded and dominated by private housing. The special character of the existing Gardens will be further eroded with vehicles accessing an area where no vehicles have previously been permitted, both passing through the open space and parking there on a permanent basis. The verdant nature of the area will inevitably be completely transformed.
In addition, there will be the challenge of maintaining such a significant area of open space, presumably paid for by service charges on future residents. There will be inevitable pressure to create a gated community at some point in the future.
The Zoo Gardens currently provide an oasis of calm that has been enjoyed by Bristolians for generations. We consider that they are of such special environmental and historical importance that they should be retained as a fully accessible public asset.
However, should the scheme go ahead, our submission (see link below) identifies a number of areas for improvement in relation to the current proposals.