Former Vauxhall and Kawasaki sites, Avon Street

The Society has commented on the latest proposals for the former Drive Vauxhall and Kawasaki sites on Avon Street, Bristol.  This is an outline planning application by the University of Bristol for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus Phase 2.  We continue to support the proposal broadly as a welcome and much needed regeneration of this site.

The Society welcomes the removal of the building originally proposed to the rear of the regenerated Retort Building and the setting back of buildings on the Gas Lane elevation. This would result in a less overbearing development in relation to Gas Lane. We are still concerned that Building A, adjacent to Avon Street, is too high and will contribute to the continuation of the canyon effect in Avon Street south of the railway line. In addition, Building A together with Building B, immediately to the south of the Retort House, appear to overbear the Retort House. The Retort House is the focal point of interest on the site and the high standard of design which has gone into its regeneration should be maintained in the surrounding buildings. We suggest reductions in the heights of these buildings.

We suggest that the east/west pedestrian/cycle route could be further improved by reducing the massing of the buildings either side of the new route from Silverthorne Lane. By opening up the corners of the buildings where the new route meets the east/west route, it would be possible to create a small square to provide and additional point of interest.

The Society welcomes the additional pedestrian/cycle access from Silverthorne Lane. However, we have concerns about the junction of the east/west route with Silverthorne Lane at the eastern end of the site. This crossroads has a blind corner and is dangerous to cross when entering the crossroad from the end of Gas Lane. We suggest including a ‘raised roadway’ at this crossroad to give a speed bump to slow cars as they come up Silverthorne Lane and onto Kingsland Road. Priority should be to be given to pedestrians and cyclists who are travelling along Gas Lane and across the crossroads onto Silverthorne Lane. This is a key cycle route into the city from the East, and will no doubt have greater use as a result of the development.

Bristol Civic Society believes that a bridge connecting the site to the new University campus is essential to the successful development of the site and the surrounding area. A funding solution must be found to enable this bridge to be built before the development of this site is permitted.

John Payne


Bristol Civic Society full response.




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