Debenhams building redevelopment

Yet another 28-storey tower with depressing ‘anywhere’ architecture…..

We have objected in the strongest terms to the planning application for the redevelopment of the Debenhams building.

We have underlined that, like anybody else who cares about Bristol, we see tackling the housing crisis as a priority for the city. We also want to see a vibrant city centre. It is not, therefore, the principle of housing that concerns us, or even the prospect of taller buildings, but the massing of these proposals, their overwhelming bulk, the totally inappropriate height of a 28-storey tower in this location and the lack of decent, affordable, homes. The headline in B24/7 in the run up to Christmas says it all “Proposed 28-storey tower would ‘blight Bristol’s landscape’“.

In our objection we emphasise that height of the tower is alien to the Bristol loved by many, both residents and visitors. And the sort of Bristol the clear majority, when asked, have consistently said they do not want. We are very concerned that despite the clear expressions of public preference the city council steamrollers on, encouraging developers to bring forward 28-storey towers in advance of any consideration through the formal local planning process; and without the clear strategy for tall buildings the Civic Society, and others, have repeatedly called for.

In our view, and we have said this to the city council planners, Bristol deserves better than these proposals. We can house our citizens in decent, affordable homes and densify with civilised dignity in ways that keep the essence of Bristol.

We don’t have to panic ourselves into accepting such a dominating and depressing development. National planning policy tells us that creating high quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve. We believe we should have the same ambition locally.


Full Civic Society report.



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