More on the Premier Inn redevelopment

We have commented again on this application, this time on the assessment of cumulative effects submitted by the applicant in early February. This assessment considers the applicant’s proposals to redevelop the Premier Inn alongside the proposed redevelopment of the Debenhams building (planning applications 23/02827/F and 23/04490/F respectively). We have objected strongly to both proposals and commented that they should not be considered in isolation of each other. While we have welcomed the steps taken to address this concern, we have been disappointed that, for the most part, the assessment provided is superficial and cursory. In our view, there is heavy reliance on unsubstantiated opinion, and a sense the conclusions have been finessed to support the applicant’s proposals.

We have also expressed our surprise that the application will be considered at a planning committee on 6 March, with the officer’s report and recommendation available from 28 February when the closing date for responses to the most recent consultation is 29 February.


The committee report has just been published (26th February). Recommendation is approval. The closing date in the neighbourhood notification for comments is the 29th February. The Council’s Development Control Committee will consider the plans at a meeting on 6th March.


Full Civic Society report



13 thoughts on “More on the Premier Inn redevelopment”

  1. If you’re presenting this view, then you should probably also add the indicative massing of the latest Galleries redevelopment plans in front.

  2. It’s a good idea but …
    We can only work with the images on the council’s webpage. It’s not an easy job for an amateur to replicate. As of yet there is no application on the Galleries, and so it is not included in the combined impact montage on the council site. Also, you may have noticed that the location for the main tower at the Galleries has shifted to Union Street.

    Alan Morris
    for Bristol Civic Society

  3. Bewildered that the Civic Society thinks this will change the face of Bristol, which in this area is an environmentally unfriendly, inefficient, derelict slab designed around personal internal combustion engine vehicles with environmentally efficient, modern homes entirely accessed by sustainable transport options with a 100% addition of high quality public realm that did NOT exist before. Utterly incredulous by this opinion which threatens to leave this and the Debenhams site as environmentally damaging, antisocial derelict eyesores encouraging antisocial behaviour for generations to come. The Society’s views perpetuate a car dominated, unpedestrianised vision for the Bear Pit which in my view is not fit for a city progressing to a high density, sustainably-focused 15 minute city.

  4. Agree with Joes assessment above. What’s proposed is hardly an architectural masterpiece, it’s fairly mediocre. However it’s infinitely more appealing than the current monstrosity that inhabits the site.

    If this was thrown out I doubt either site would be redeveloped for many years to come, with yet another dereliction following on from the eyesore that is St Mary le Port and the Temple Gate war zone.

  5. Agree with Joe. It is time Bristol grew up…. (meaning living up to its status as a core city, not just height) as a major city and developed these derelict eyesore. We have had years wasted because of the few who dislike any sort of development!…

  6. I don’t agree with Joe’s overall opinion. Having seen how ever taller developments impacting on the views across the city provide so much unhappiness – this development falls into that area. 28 stories is ridiculously high. I do agree that a new look for this area has the capacity to be really special and I do think the improved public realm is essential but, in a time when affordable housing is desperately needed, how come we are being offered poor quality (in terms of light and windows) student accommodation in this location? – an area already dominated by students.
    I believe Gaz’s anxiety that if this proposal is turned down we won’t get anything else for ages is a common worry and unfortunately drives us to accept much worse than second best out of desperation. We must be strong and hold out against greedy developments until we are offered something genuinely worthwhile and in keeping with a city that has managed until recently to retain a human scale.
    If you remember the eyesore that was the Bristol and West building on the City centre you will see that a well thought out redevelopment that responded to genuine public consultation was able to create a design that vastly improved what was there without having to add massively to the existing height. It is possible.

    I disagree with L. George’s comment that there is some sort of omnipotent ‘few’ that dislike any sort of development. Most of us simply want beautiful, life enhancing, healthy developments (as advised by National policy). Have you looked at all the blue plaque awards that Civic soc has given out year after year to excellent and varied new developments? What is wrong with holding out for a city that remains true to the unique qualities that have attracted so many to come and live here? We do not need to ‘Grow up’ and become like an ‘anywhere city’ with mediocre ‘anywhere architecture’ – we can remain creative and imaginative. The developers come because they see the potential. They won’t disappear because their first attempts are refused – they must simply be guided to do better – much better!

  7. I think the proposed development plans for the Premier Inn are awful and want to know how we can stop this happening –

    1. Bristol is not a tall building city and I don’t feel it should be and nor do many others. Part of the appeal over the last 27 years has been that you can see lovely buildings around the city and the views and we have never had many tall buildings.
    2. Lots of people I know don’t want to live in small high rise flats with no gardens or outdoor space
    3. There are so many buildings which are derelict in Bristol, why can’t they be converted before building monstrosities!
    4. These percentage of homes which are supposed to be affordable often aren’t and hearing about them is also hard.
    The council are starting to destroy the lovely look and feel of Bristol! There are many other initiatives that should be considered to make sure we keep the right feel, the heritage, the look and feel of Bristol – stopping people being able to buy lots of property in the city for one and supporting first time buyers more to get on the ladder

    1. 1. What is it with NIMBY’s never wanting any change. It is inevitable that taller buildings MUST be erected as space is now limited in the city centre. Just because it was doesn’t mean it must never. I for one absolutely love the contrast of new buildings with the classic architecture of the city, we must accept that for the city to move forwards densification needs to happen and must not be put below the wants of a privileged few who simply want “nice views” from the garden of your house to be maintained.
      2. Lots of people I know would happily live centrally in in a good sized flat. This is after all the city centre you can’t expect everyone to have a garden.
      3. This is already happening.
      4. This is a problem which dates back to the thatcher years and I do tend to agree with you on this one.

  8. It’s got approved which is welcome news.

    I certainly don’t agree to build tall at all costs but compared to Birmingham or Manchester this really isn’t that tall.

    I’m not sure what views would be obstructed by it. Most of the surrounding buildings are horrendous and should also go.

    I do hope the interaction at street level is much better than what’s there now and hope this will be a catalyst to improve the surrounding area.

    To save the current building in the vain hope that an amazing piece of Victoriana would eventually take its place was pure folly.

    It’s usually the case that these buildings are simply left to wrack and ruin and it’s bad enough already round the pedestrian unfriendly car orientated Bear Pit.

  9. Pingback: Councillors back the Premier Inn redevelopment - Bristol Civic Society

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