Dec 302017
The committee of the Kingsdown Conservation Group would like to wish all residents a Very Happy and Positive New Year.
 Here are a few of the topics we discussed and acted upon in 2017:
1. Bristol University’s proposal to close Tyndall Avenue to all vehicles. The committee of the KCG would like the University to consider a Shared Space option instead, which means that pedestrians and vehicles share the road – with the right planning this works really well, as in Exhibition Road, London. The University plans to redirect the traffic – even buses – down narrow St Michael’s Park. This application is open for comment until January 10th on the BCC Planning website.  Application Number 17/06169/F 
2. The Old Building of the BRI. The Chapel has now been listed by Historic England. Although this scuppered the proposed planning application by Unite, there is some doubt over whether permission to clear the site still exists. We await new events.
3. St Michael’s on the Mount.  There are plans to re-use the building as a community space.
4. Thefts of our pennant stone paving happened in October. We’re open to ideas on how to safeguard our pavements.
5. The triangle garden at the west end of St Matthew’s Road suffered the loss of its Catalpa tree in the high winds. We hope to plant a more robust tree (or trees) in the new year.
6. Due to threatened budget cuts there is uncertainty about the maintenance of our Parks and Green Spaces. We need to discuss how much help the community can give to the care and maintenance of our streets and open spaces, and who should organise this.
 Posted by at 9:52 am
Dec 182017


The university has submitted an application to close Tyndall Avenue to traffic, remodel it as a pedestrian and cycle route and to manage it as part of their estate. Bus routes will be diverted via S Michael’s Park.

KCG has raised concerns over this proposal at pre-app stage (see attached) and will be writing regarding the proposals now submitted for planning consent.

There are three applications:

17/06169/F (main application)

17/06170/LA (listed building application)

17/06171/F (demolition in conservation area)

All can be found on Bristol City Council website (https://www.bristol.gov.uk/planning-and-building-regulations/look-at-and-track-planning-applications)

We would encourage people to write in regarding the application, which can be done online.

The deadline for comments is 4th January 2018

This plan can be viewed on our noticeboards


Our Response to the Pre-Application August 2017

Kingsdown Conservation Group (the Group) is grateful for the recent opportunity to see the current version of the University’s proposals for Tyndall Avenue and St Michael’s Park.
The Group notes that there appears to be a tacit understanding between the City Council and the University that the desire to “maintain two-way vehicular traffic” on Tyndall Avenue described in the University’s Strategic Master Plan, SPD 11, has been abandoned; indeed, the “Stopping up of Tyndall Avenue” was a requirement of the brief written by the University with regard to its present enterprise of re-landscaping Tyndall Avenue.
If it is the case that the City Council has accepted the principal of overturning SPD 11 in this respect, the Group sees no benefit in prolonging the argument, although it recognises that the problematic matters associated with privatisation of a public street concerning rights of access, behaviour, assembly and so forth, should be aired as soon as possible.
Despite the efforts of consultants to present St Michael’s Park as a feasible alternative thoroughfare, there remains a strong feeling that St Michael’s Park will not easily carry the volume of traffic required. Of particular concern to the Group, the turning circle of buses seems to have caused a proposal to realign the pavement at the south-eastern corner of the boundary wall of the Queen Anne, Grade II listed Oldbury House. Historic England’s listing description particularly notes both the symmetry of the entrance front of the building and its wrought-iron front garden railings; neither should be upset. 
At some later date, the restricted scale of the junction of St Michael’s Park and St Michael’s Hill caused by execution of the University’s present grand project should not be used as an argument to support a proposal to demolish Twist and Whitley’s increasingly valued Arts and Social Sciences Library.
The Group is not persuaded of the virtue of the loud, swirling paving proposed for Tyndall Avenue. It is felt that the orthogonal character of the street should inform the landscape of the space between the buildings. The proposed, diverting pattern-making seems to be intended to conflict with the established streetscape: it would lead one’s attention away from the experience of being at the core of the institution. Each building’s architectural qualities should be celebrated, as the street presents of series of stylistic approaches, that in combination tell a valuable story of the development of the University.
While the Group welcomes the ambition to extend the ecology of flora and fauna of The Royal Fort into Tyndall Avenue, the proposed planting of stilt hedges, trees and other associated features should make the most of the present geometry of architectural form, mass and perspectives, rather than present the onlooker with confusing cross-currents, scattered with the misplaced forms of a retreating tsunami.
 Posted by at 8:44 pm
Sep 272017

The application to demolish the Old BRI Building on Marlborough Street has been withdrawn from the meeting of the Planning Committee scheduled for today. This is because Historic England has decided to list Frippes Chapel as Grade ll. The Public Inquiry has therefore been postponed.

 Posted by at 6:07 am
Sep 152017

There will be an important Planning Committee meeting to discuss Unite’s proposal to demolish the historic BRI Old Building and the Mortuary Chapel on Wednesday 27th September.    [NB this date now CORRECTED]

We encourage people to attend this meeting to show how strongly we object.

Statements can also be delivered in writing or be addressed at the meeting – see protocol in the final paragraph below.

Application no. 17/02413/F   Old Bristol Royal Infirmary, Marlborough Street. Bristol

Proposal: Demolition of the existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a part 7, 8 and 9 storey building fronting Marlborough Street, comprising 715 student bedspaces; communal areas…..(please see application for full details of proposal)

This application will be considered by the Development Control Committee B at its meeting on. Wednesday 27 September 2017.   The meeting will take place in City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR starting at 2pm, although it is not possible to say when this case will be considered.

Please note the applicants have now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of “non-determination” (failure to make a decision within the statutory timescale). The Committee will be meeting to consider its case at appeal. This committee may be webcast.  Please go to website www.bristol.gov.uk/webcasts to find out more.

From the Wednesday before the committee date, a copy of the officer’s report and recommendation can be viewed with the planning application documents (or www.bristol.gov.uk/planningonline ).

Whilst the report will have a recommendation to either grant or refuse permission, it is important to note that the recommendation does not mean that the decision has already been taken, as the decision now rests entirely with the elected members.

You have a right to attend the meeting, and you are able to make a statement to the committee, subject to advance notice being received. Further information on making a statement is contained in the leaflet titled “Having your say at Bristol City Council’s Development Control Committees”. Please note that the statement should be sent to the Democratic Services Team by 12 noon on the day before the committee meeting and not the case officer.

 Posted by at 7:49 am
Sep 092017

As you may have seen, the Catalpa that was on the Gravel Triangle on Back of Kingsdown Parade/St Matthews Road has disappeared. Well, most of it.

A few weekends ago, it was caught in a strong wind and one of its branches was torn off leaving it very lopsided tree and with a bad gash down its trunk.

This has happened before, and it seems it could easily happen again as its large leaves make it vulnerable to our increasingly extreme weather. It obviously wasn’t the right tree for this site.

It has been ‘tidied up’ and the debris is being removed while we discuss what kind of replacement tree we will have. The site is very exposed and there is little or no depth of soil ( only foundations of a previous building) so our options for a new tree are restricted. Rowan, Hawthorn or Field Maple are possibilities.

Maybe if you would like to give an opinion on further developments of this communal garden then come along to the next Charity Brunch on Saturday 16th September. 9.30 – 11.30 am

 Posted by at 9:20 am
Aug 302017

There have been six incidents of the theft of Kingsdown’s pennant stone paving in the past few weeks. Montague Hill and Spring Hill have been especially targeted. These paving stones are irreplaceable and we need to be vigilant in their protection against theft. If you see people working on the pavement and you have any doubts please phone the police on 101. Take photographs if possible. The neighbourhood policing team are aware of the problem so if you hear anything suspicious at night, again phone 101. In either case Cllr Anthony Negus would like to be kept up to date and can be contacted on 0117 353 4713


  Montague Hill

 Posted by at 11:13 am
Jun 142017
Oh no!
 A developer, Unite, has submitted a new application 17/02413/F to completely demolish the BRI Old Building and its chapel. Both buildings are on Bristol’s Local List of Valued Buildings.

The Old Building has been much altered and extended since it was designed by Thomas Paty in 1784 but surely should be re-configured to serve a new purpose. (The General Hospital was successfully converted to residential use recently, as we all know.)

 The Chapel is on Whitson Street, opposite the coach station, was designed by Samuel Charles Fripp (mid- late 19th century) and is unusual for being a two-storey building. Now buildings around have been cleared away, it can be better seen for what it is and looks marvellous.
Both buildings have great potential and should infuse a renaissance of the site.
A great number of letters of passionate objection to their demolition have been submitted but more should be written, particularly from the Kingsdown.
 Further objection could and has been made to:
the height and mass of the very ordinary building proposed to all but fill the area between Marlborough Street, Whitson Street and Lower Maudlin Street.
the 715 student bedspaces and the intensification of that monoculture in the locality
Visit https://www.bristol.gov.uk  and find your way to planning application 17/02413/F
View the proposals and other citizens’ comments.
Submit comments online by clicking the Comment button or by email to development.management@bristol.gov.uk
The closing date for comment is 20th June 2017.
 Posted by at 11:48 am
May 022017

Kingsdown’s Green Spaces

Are you interested in helping with the care and maintenance of our communal garden spaces?  Would you like to do some gardening?

This Sunday, 7th May

Meet at The Gravel Triangle ( Back of Kingsdown Parade/St Matthews Road ) at 11am, and on Montague Green ( end of Kingsdown Parade ) at 12am


Green High Kingsdown is starting its community gardening sessions this Wednesday at 6.30 pm.  Meet at the playground.   All welcome

 Posted by at 7:29 am
Feb 122017

University of Bristol’s Plans for Pedestrianisation of Tyndall’s Avenue

Letter from Avril Baker consultants

I am writing to you on behalf of the University of Bristol regarding emerging plans for public realm improvements to Tyndall Avenue and to invite you to take part in consultation on this project.

The scope of this project is to bring forward the re-design of Tyndall Avenue as a public space to serve the University, the local community and the general public. This includes proposals to pedestrianise Tyndall Avenue and re-route vehicular traffic along St Michael’s Park. This will enable the University to provide a high quality and flexible public realm at the heart of the University precinct, and to enhance the student experience by re-orientating the student focus and facilities along Tyndall Avenue.

The public realm proposals are still at an early stage and a first pre-application planning enquiry will be made to Bristol City Council later this month.  The University and its project team would therefore like to share these initial proposals with key stakeholders and the local community before working up a more detailed scheme and submitting a planning application.

You may be interested to know that a public exhibition of the proposals will be on display in Senate House foyer until 22nd February.  There will be a staffed session for near neighbours and the wider public at the exhibition from 4 – 7pm on 1st February.

From 1st February more information about the project, together with the exhibition material and a feedback survey, will also be online at www.bristol.ac.uk/estates/projects/tyndallplace/


Kingsdown Conservation Group supports the intention to “maintain two-way vehicular traffic and cycle routes” on Tyndall Avenue published in the University Of Bristol’s Master Plan, which was adopted by the city as planning policy in 2007.

The use of the road as Shared Space, which has been implemented on Exhibition Road in Kensington, is the design approach favoured by the Group, which does not support the proposed pedestrianisation of Tyndall Avenue outlined above. Members are encouraged to consider the wider consequences of these pre-application proposals and visit the exhibition.

 Posted by at 10:26 am
Jun 082016

Old Hospital / UNITE Proposals

old building Rio 0282_A-05-51.dgn

KCG has been very active in campaigning to save the ‘Old Hospital’ building (on the south side of Marlborough St opposite the BRI) which UNITE have purchased. Our efforts have been successful as UNITE have accepted it a ‘landmark building’ and now intend to relocate their own HQ in the building, and develop a Medical School in the lower floors in conjunction with the University. They are also retaining Fripps Chapel on the site. Apart from an inappropriate ‘2-storey box’ stuck on the top of the Old Building KCG is happy with the proposals, and indeed thinks that it will have real architectural merit

However, UNITE are proposing to build 738 Student Units on the lower (south) section of the site, and KCG, amongst others, is extremely concerned at the prospect of a 12-14 storey building (approx. 30m to the top, plus 2 further storeys set back) in this very tight urban location. St James Priory just opposite is one of Bristols oldest buildings, and the impact upon the adjacent streets will be enormous – existing historic buildings completely dominated by the proposals


The application can be see at www.bristol.gov.uk and follow the links to search planning applications, and the reference number is 16/01888/F. This will give access to all the applications documents and drawings.

 KCG feel that the drawings do not properly convey the enormity of the proposals, and would urge others to comment on the proposals


 Posted by at 8:52 pm