Bristol Civic Society responded to the pre-application consultation on the proposed redevelopment of this site. We welcomed a redevelopment which would allow Mickleburghs to retain their business and its related activities in Stokes Croft. The Society also felt that the proposal would improve the townscape of Stokes Croft particularly looking north. We did, however, have concerns about the height and mass of the proposal and reserved final judgement until more information was available to assess its visual impact. Although there is some additional information in the Design and Access Statements, we agree with the City Design Group that a Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment using a defined methodology is required to adequately assess the impact of the proposals on the townscape of Stokes Croft. This should be agreed with officers including, we think, longer distance views from points where the proposal would be conspicuous. The results must inform the officers’ report.
In the absence of this information, the Society feels that some reduction in height and massing is necessary to enable the proposal to make a much more positive contribution to the Conservation Area. It would be less incongruous with the scale of surrounding development and provide a more gradual transition from the tall commercial buildings surrounding Haymarket and James Barton roundabout to the south to the more domestic scale buildings north of the site.