In September 2018, planning permission was granted to restore and convert 31 and 32 Portland Square to form 93 flats fronting Portland Square, Cave Street and Surrey Street. The developer has now applied for planning permission to change the use and provide specialist student housing.
Externally, the current scheme is almost identical to the 2017 scheme in terms of design and massing, with minor changes to the internal layout. The Society supports local objectors who prefer the original housing scheme. Student accommodation is not a good option bearing in mind the concentration of student residences that has developed and continues to increase in St. Pauls to Stokes Croft. Conventional residential use would create a more balanced and stable community that would support ancillary activities.
Bristol Civic Society Portland Square January 2019 update.