The application is for 432 dwellings, 830sq m of flexible commercial space plus access, parking and public realm provision. Changes since the pre-application proposals have been insufficient to change our assessment of this development. Although Bristol Civic Society supports the principle of redeveloping this site, we object strongly to a number of aspects of the proposal including land uses, height, massing, scale, design, quality of living environment and public realm plus early reactions to access, parking, climate change and sustainability issues. We are particularly concerned about:
- The proposed building heights, which we feel are intrinsically inappropriate and inconsistent with policies seeking development which reflects the area’s character and heritage;
- The intensity of development and its impact on the quality of life;
- The proximity of many flats to the poor air quality and noise adjacent to the major roads;
- The high number of single aspect flats, many of which are north facing.
The Society considers that the mix of uses is wrong. We are concerned about the loss of commercial floorspace to residential use in the city and we think that much of this site is unsuitable for residential use because of the noise and air quality problems arising from very busy adjacent roads. A more equitable balance between residential and commercial uses would enable a development to comply more closely with emerging policies and avoid residential accommodation next to busy roads. Although we have reservations regarding residential uses on the site, the Society is dismayed that the proposal would offer no affordable housing.
In our view, the proposal misses the opportunity to create a stunning development at this entrance to the city centre.