A revised application has recently been submitted for the development of this unusual site alongside the 'Arches' Railway Bridge on Cheltenham Road.This seeks to replace the (closed) public conveniences and add a first floor with a creperie on the ground floor. An alternative headline for this article could therefore have been: 'From craperie to creperie'! Among several concerns we have is whether it is appropriate to have a living space on the first floor which could be subject to considerable noise and vibration. The WC block is a listed building.
The full letter sent by the Bishopston Society to the submitter of the application is given here:
The Bishopston Society have considered your latest proposal and have to say that we have certain reservations.
Firstly, whilst we have no role to comment on Building Regulations issues, you should be aware that there are problems with the design as it stands including;
• You show refuse stored both in the Kitchen and at the foot of the escape stair. This is not acceptable either in terms of hygiene or fire safety.
• The WC within the shop should be an accessible design.
• The building is directly alongside the railway bridge and a new dwelling is proposed. This dwelling will be subject to considerable noise and vibration and may not be appropriate.
• The floor level of the shop is shown at 220 mm above pavement level and no means of disabled access is shown. As the building is not listed but is in a conservation area, we understand that you are required to consult both the Access Officer and the Conservation Officer to establish what facilities for the disabled are appropriate in this case.
• As regards the design concept, we remain to be convinced that the proposals could be carried out to the quality required to match the existing building. Although set back on the frontage, the first floor addition is still built up tight to the bridge which is an uncomfortable arrangement. One minor point, the corners at first floor level are shown with sandstone quoins to match the bridge. The WC block does not have quoins and we feel that they should not be introduced in the new extension. We feel that perhaps it would be more appropriate to fully develop the ground floor as a commercial outlet, perhaps with skylights allowing light into the interior, and to forget the residential unit above. In this way the original architectural character of the building would be retained.
In conclusion, we would not support the application as drawn.