Castle Park tower block

Proposed residential tower block on top of Castle Park Energy Centre.

The Society objects very strongly to this development proposal.

The Society is adamant that tall buildings are not essential to meeting the housing crisis in Bristol. They are only one of several ways of increasing building densities. We object to the principle of this development.

The proposal is the latest, and by far the worst, in what seems a tidal wave of tall buildings that are unsympathetic to local character. Building heights leapfrog what was considered exceptional only a matter of months ago.

The Society is very concerned by the seemingly random nature of this proposal. The Society requests clarity on the development plan context that supports a 33-storey tower in this location. We have not been able to substantiate this proposal in planning policy.

The Society has identified the following negative impacts arising from this proposal:

  1. Assault on Bristol. At 33 storeys the Society considers that the proposal is a fundamental assault on the appearance of the city and on its visual traditions.
  2. Impact on the Floating Harbour. The Society emphasises the inappropriateness of this waterfront location for a tall building. The Floating Harbour is a defining feature of Bristol, and other new developments have reflected the scale and massing of the former warehouses and industrial complexes.
  3. Impact on Castle Park. The proposed development will have a very significant, and highly negative, impact on Castle Park. There will inevitably be issues of overlooking and of overshadowing.

The Society wishes to stress that tall buildings like this are inherently unsustainable and carbon-consumptive. At a time of intense concern about sustainability, there is a tension in Bristol between claiming to be green but putting up a lot of intensely un-green buildings.

Simon Birch



6 thoughts on “Castle Park tower block”

  1. David Redgewell

    We want more housing in central Bristol.
    But this is a very tall building for Bristol castle Park land
    And the Harbour.

  2. Looks like a diseased Centre Point with buddleja sprouting as the first sign of a distressed building.
    Also what is that looming over the Galleries?

  3. I have a nasty feeling this is not supposed to be a joke. I fear it says as much about the competition judges as it does about the lamentable quality of high rise buildings in this city.

  4. “The Society wishes to stress that tall buildings like this are inherently unsustainable and carbon-consumptive.”

    The statement is true when considering sustainability issues versus no development at all, but untrue when relative to the same number of residential units in a suburban housing estate.

    It sadly looks like the Civic Society has been infiltrated by those who just do not like tall buildings.

    1. Not so. There are many reasons to disapprove of tall buildings, and it misrepresents these reasons to say those who express them “just do not like tall buildings.” Also, “infliltrated” is a misleadingly emotional term – this has been the Civic Society’s longstanding position, based on the consensus of urbanists, and on the desire to defend a historical city. It is also tendentiously misleading to contrast zones of tall buildings with suburban estates, as if that were the only choice. The densest centres of cities in Europe are in Paris and Barcelona, which do not have high rises in their centres. They are mid-rise cities, with a general maximum of 7 storeys in Paris, except in La Defence (which is a business district) and the immigrant suburbs, which are notoriously unhappy places.

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