Revised proposal for 94no. residential units including a new-build block of 34no. flats.

Further to our earlier comments on the original application, The Bishopston Society would like to register its remaining concerns with the revised application.

We accept that the new-build block has been reduced from 40no. to 34no. units and that 12no. parking spaces have been incorporated within the building, increasing the parking ratio from 54% to 76%. However, we are still concerned with the character and bulk of the new-build block and the lack of any satisfactory relationship with the listed block. Whilst the end elevations are lively/articulated, the front SW elevation is lumpen and unrelieved, with the major windows to each block set too far apart. This is not to suggest that the new-build block should be a replica of the listed building, but more that it should acknowledge the presence of its distinguished and cherished neighbour. We are not convinced by the use of grey brickwork to replicate the Pennant Stone of Brunel House and are further concerned about the complete absence of any detail on the new block which might help to relate it to the listed building. We suggest that real Pennant Stone is carried around the ground floor on the front and side elevations of the new flats and separated from the grey brick above by a Bath stone string course, and that the windows have some element of Bath stone detailing. The detailing should be fine, slim and contemporary (there is no need to match the old building exactly). The major windows at first and second floor could be linked by a stone surround. This would help to enliven the new block and to forge a positive link between the old and the new.

On the question of materials we would question why the proposed brick is shown as a brown colour on the elevations whilst the Pennant Stone is grey. We trust that the approval process for materials samples will ensure that the brick and its mortar are as near a perfect match to the Pennant stonework. The drawings refer to the colour coated aluminium/zinc to the windows and cladding to the staircases as grey/green rather than brown.  Grey/ green clearly ties in much better with the old building.

We still consider that the level of parking proposed is too low and that it would lead to a worsening of the existing parking problem within the local area. We are also still concerned about the inadequate provision of affordable housing within the scheme. Neither of these shortcomings are acceptable within a quality development which is located within a part of the city where property values are high enough for the project to be able to pay its way.

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