The Bristol Green Spaces Plan recently underwent a round of consultation, with some significant implications for Horfield Common. In early December Wellington Hill (in the neighbouring Horfield Ward) was one of 8 sites which the Cabinet announced had been withdrawn for sale because of the public response. We have expressed particular concern about the financing of the Area Green Space Strategy by means of selling some sites for development.

It is hoped that Bristol North Baths Scheme which has continued to be a casualty of the building recession, will take place soon. Repairs to the chimney have been followed by two planning applications to re-site the Orange telecommunications apparatus (which would otherwise remain on the pavement) next to the library and apartments when the new scheme is built. Some concern has been expressed about the appearance of the (three) emitters, especially as the chimney is listed as part of the Baths building. They could possibly be re-sited somewhere else such as attached to the tower of the former Methodist Church (now Nailsea Electrical) alongside the site.

We welcome the decision to grant planning permission to a proposal on Pigsty Hill (148-154 Gloucester Road) for the replacement of a derelict row of shops with affordable flats and town houses. However we strongly objected to a recent application to demolish 25 Seymour Road (circa 1830-32) and replace it with an entirely unsympathetic scheme of five town houses. This application has been refused by the planners but we understand that a revised set of proposals has been submitted. Unfortunately to the disappointment of local residents, the Society (and no doubt the planners), a recent application to English Heritage to have the old farmhouse listed has been rejected and permission to have it demolished has now been granted.

In addition, we are very disappointed with several other recent planning decisions. These include approval for the building of 12 “Cluster Flats” (32 student rooms) to replace 3-9 Ashley Down Road, and at 11 Brynland Avenue, replacing a stone wall and hedge with a car space and low wall with nearly 2 metre high wooden cladding. Wooden fencing, removal of front gardens for car ports and roof extensions and other inappropriate developments are becoming more commonplace in our streets with consequent loss of the character and amenity.

We are also concerned about an application for Sancta Theresa in Claremont Road which is a classic case of “garden grabbing” – the limited size of the garden can only reasonably accommodate one new house rather than the two units being proposed. We also objected to an application to build four houses to replace a row of garages in Arundel Road which has been refused by the planners. A more acceptable development could be achieved with fewer housing units and a more thoughtful design and lay-out. We have also objected to a proposal to replace a sign shop at 377 Gloucester Road with a restaurant and take-away. We are particularly concerned about the possibility of licensed premises in a section of the Gloucester Road which currently almost entirely consists of retail activity.

 After four applications and two appeal refusals, yet another application has been submitted for 20 Falmouth Road (at the corner with Manor Road). Whilst this application is better than the previous one there is still strong opposition to the development within the garden area of the existing house. In addition the detailed design of the proposed development is not in sympathy to the surrounding buildings.

 Finally Gloucestershire County Cricket Club has decided to scale back their proposals for permanent seating from 18,500 to 8,000. The local residents’ group ‘Howzat’? is currently seeking clarification on this and their other plans such as the enabling development for which the GCCC still need detailed planning permission.

 

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