planningapplicationsPlanning application 16/05364/F

Change of use and conversion and extension of existing first floor (Use Class B1) and addition of two storeys within roof and roof extension, to provide nine apartments.

The Bishopston Society objects strongly to this second submission for the conversion of this building into 9 flats.
248 Gloucester Road is an attractive Edwardian brick and stone former bank building at the bottom corner of Longmead Avenue. Whilst not actually listed, no. 248 is a Character Building which makes a positive contribution to the overall character and sense of place of the Gloucester Road and the area of Bishopston. One particularly elegant feature of the building is its sweeping slate roof set behind a fine timber eaves cornice. The main block on the corner is complemented by a smaller side extension which creates an attractive grouping and provides a suitable transition in scale to the residential properties in Longmead Avenue.
This latest proposal is to extend the main hipped roof with a large bulky flat roof extension so as to create two additional storeys of accommodation within the roof space. Furthermore, to demolish the attractive and wholly appropriate rear extension and replace it with an ugly and badly designed 4 storey block which has no satisfactory relationship with either the main building or the residential properties in Longmead Avenue.
Let us examine the proposals within the extended main roof space. Firstly, the dormers at second floor level are too small and too few to satisfactorily light the interior. More crucially, the elevations show that the headroom within the top floor is totally inadequate. The Gloucester Road elevation in particular fails to correctly represent the bulk of the roof on the west side facing the prison. The top level of the building (above the dormer windows) is lit only by small velux rooflights which are not shown on the elevations. It is obvious that this will prove inadequate to provide sufficient daylight and outlook and that at the Building Regulations stage of the project these rooflights will be both enlarged and increased in number.
The banality of the proposed rear extension and its inappropriate zinc clad link is breathtaking. The resultant 4 storey rear elevations in unrelieved render is not an acceptable solution. The courtyard elevation in particular will present an ugly and bulky termination to Longmead Avenue.
The Bishopston Society considers that this proposal represents substantial overdevelopment and the despoiling of an attractive Character Building. Our view is that this proposal demonstrates exactly how NOT to convert a period property to alternative use. Existing buildings of quality and character are the meat and drink to charming neighbourhoods like Bishopston and should not be taken for granted and exploited merely for their floorspace.

We strongly recommend refusal in this case.

Update  :  The application was allowed on 29 December 2016, subject to conditions.