22/05155/F – 706 Student beds in new buildings at plot 6, Silverthorne Lane
The application is consistent with the approved Master Plan for the greater Silverthorne Lane redevelopment site but, although the Society prefers the present application to the earlier proposal, we have a number of serious concerns to raise. These relate to:
- The assessments on energy and sustainability and noise. We are concerned that the building proposals would, as it stands, appear to result in residents having to choose between overheating and noise in hot weather. They would need to open windows to cool rooms but that would expose them to traffic noise. Either way living conditions would be poor for students or, if the accommodation were converted to conventional housing, residents.
- The appearance and impact of the building. Greater emphasis by central government is now being put on the quality of design of new developments. The Society supports this. We do not, therefore, support the construction of a 16 storey building on the site. The site is located in the Silverthorne Lane Conservation area. There are no other nearby tower blocks of this size and so it would be particularly conspicuous. It would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area and could be harmful to the setting of the locally listed Rhubarb Tavern building. Much of it would also overlook the proposed secondary school to the west.
- Access to the buildings in the event of fire. Provision needs to be made for emergency vehicle access to the buildings as Silverthorne Lane is narrow and could easily be blocked by parked vehicles.
- Lack of improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. The student accommodation and other adjacent developments will greatly increase pedestrian and cycle movements in the area. The Society is doubtful that the Feeder footbridge and footpath leading to it are adequate for the increased use. The tunnel under the railway also needs improvements to make it pleasant and safe for pedestrians and cyclists. These improvements need to be funded from this and other developments proposed at Silverthorne Lane.
Improvements on earlier proposals to the public realm including the hard and soft landscape and relationship with the Feeder have been made. These do not outweigh the concerns we have and the Society, therefore, objects to the proposal.
Bristol Civic Society full response.