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planningapplicationsPlanning Application 16/03139/F

349-353 Gloucester Road Horfield Bristol BS7 8TG 
 Proposed change of use to A4 including internal alterations, new M & E equipment and kitchen extract

Neil Embleton, our Planning guru, writes  :-

I am a local resident and am writing to object to this further/third planning application from Wetherspoons. I am encouraged by the number of local residents who have written in to object, clearly indicating that the local community is extremely concerned about the impact of a Wetherspoons outlet on local traders and residents.

I note that the proposals are identical to the two earlier applications except that the roof top terrace has been omitted and acoustic fencing has been added around the mechanical plant.

I remain extremely concerned about this application for a large drinking establishment on the Gloucester Road. There are many other pubs and café bars on the Gloucester Road but nothing on this scale. The Gloucester Road was designated as a Cumulative Impact Zone in August 2010 at the specific behest of the police in order that all new licensing applications should be considered in the full light of the character of the area and the wellbeing of the local residents. Bishopston is primarily a residential area comprising largely family houses. The proposed drinking hours for this new establishment of 07.00 - 12.30 Sun to Wed and 1.30am Thurs to Sat, and all night opening for New Year, are completely incompatible with normal family life. Bishopston is already under increasing pressure from late night drinking and its associated noise, nuisance, litter, damage to property and anti-social behaviour, so this further application is the last thing that the area needs.

Whilst the rooftop terrace has been removed, we are still extremely concerned about the impact on local residents of the 1092 sq ft open rear pub garden which will generate noise and disruption for local residents and is incompatible with a family residential area. The proposal is to separate the pub garden from adjacent residential gardens by means of a timber boarded fence. It is clear that this will not provide effective protection for neighbours. In addition to the pub garden we are still concerned about noise break out and disruption from the 3849 sq ft bar area which opens out fully onto the Gloucester Road. Bishopston is already a 'leisure destination' with many pubs, restaurants and cafes and we do not want it to become a city-wide drinking venue like the Whiteladies Road with all its attendant problems.

The opening of such a large establishment - largely alcohol led and with such late opening hours - would harm the ambiance of Bishopston and the quality of life of nearby residents not to mention the impact on independent local traders who are the hallmark of the Gloucester Road. The importance of this application to the local community cannot be over stressed. I would strongly recommend that the decision is taken by the committee (rather than under delegated powers) and ask once again that the application be refused.

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