Temple Quarter

BTQEZ smallThe Society has submitted a response to the consultation on the Temple Quarter Spatial Framework. The Framework “is an important planning tool to guide and shape new development in the area”. It is not a masterplan, and “will be easier to change to accommodate shifts in the culture, economic models, and demand through the life of the Enterprise Zone”. There is a suite of documents: the main Framework document, a Mobility Plan, and a Public Realm Guide. The Society supports all three documents.

The documents will not by themselves realise the ambition for the Zone. Economic factors will determine both the location and sequence of future development. The Society applauds the council’s proactive approach of buying up sites to influence development. The Society suggests that the Enterprise Zone Board should actively seek a high profile partner who could act as an incentive to stimulate and attract future employers.

As a document to foster and direct investment, developers may want guidance that is shorter, more specific and detailed. To further influence future development at a more detailed level, the Society suggests that the Council should proceed to invest design resources in Project Briefs for the Temple Meads Gateway and Post Office/Cattle Market plots that have the greatest expectation of attracting developer investment in the next five years.

The Society does not support the proposals for allowing tall buildings at various sites. Building heights should respond to the predominantly low-rise surrounding developments. Other solutions to providing the same level of floorspace should be exhausted before inviting tall buildings.

The success of the project in terms of place-making will depend on creating high quality, interesting and well-connected spaces. This is all in the Framework documents but when briefs are prepared for individual development opportunities, they must include a strong lead on public space-making, particularly street-level activities, materials and linkages.

The Society makes various comments on the plans for pedestrian and cycle access from the North, West and South. The Society supports the new wide single-pass pedestrian crossing at the end of Brunel Mile, and the “Bath Promenade” parallel to Bath Road, but suggests further improvements and alternatives. The Society also suggests that more emphasis should be given to the provision of “wayfinding and information infrastructure” to support the dispersed arrangement of interchange with buses and taxis, including colour trails in the pavement.

The Society recommends that bridges need to be built in advance of commercial development, to open up opportunities in the Silverthorne Lane area in the same way as HCA funding enabled Brock’s Bridge in advance of the Arena development.

Bristol Civic Society’s full response [PDF, 526KB] Right-click to download, click to view.

Alan Morris

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