The Society’s Major Sites group has responded to pre-application proposals for Plot 5, Bedminster Green. Dandara’s development comprises 158 apartments and 301sq. m. of mixed retail, eating and community uses. There are three buildings from seven to 10 storeys immediately to the east, west and south of the Green. The non-residential uses are at ground floor level facing Bedminster Green. Public space improvements including redesigning Bedminster Green are included.
We are keen to see the underused land at Bedminster Green brought back into use and contributing to the city’s shortfall of housing particularly affordable housing. The Society has some major concerns about the proposals as they stand though.
Our concerns relate mainly to the proposed heights of buildings, prospective living conditions, the size and tenure of the dwellings and the public space provision. We think the height of buildings adjacent to the Green will be overbearing and shade the Green for much of the day most of the year. The heights also dominate existing houses on Dalby Avenue and could create canyon effects on Dalby Avenue and Hereford Street.
We think living conditions will be compromised for many of the flats because of poor daylight and sunlight availability and the lack of private open space and playspace on the doorstep.
We feel a better mix of unit sizes rather than a preponderance of one and two bedroom flats would contribute to a more balanced community.
There is a danger that the public space, particularly the Green, could deteriorate if it is not very carefully planned to cope with the large increase in population that this and other developments in Bedminster will bring.
Finally, the Society would like to see an entrance to the railway station on to the Green. If, as seems likely, this is too costly and operationally difficult to implement, the development should contribute to improvements to the access to the station and the station itself in order to encourage greater use of the railway.