May 222019

It was very satisfying to see that our AGM in April at St James’ Priory was very well attended. The audience might have been drawn down the hill by our local speaker but they then heard that we had had a busy year in and around Kingsdown. Our chairman, David Winter summed-up for us the myriad of building applications we have commented upon. Amongst these have been several applications by both the Hospital and the University which impact greatly upon Kingsdown.

There followed a discussion about the state of the defunct launderette on the Cotham Road South / Portland Street and the application by the owner to turn it into flats. His application has been turned down twice and lost in appeal.  It’s such a pity this important corner site on our local run of shops looks so derelict. New ideas are needed on how to get it back into use.

Also discussed was the possibility of losing the ‘Hare on the Hill’ if it were ever to be changed into accommodation  It was suggested that there was a case for it being listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.

And St Michael’s Church has a new owner with possible new plans for making it into ’events space’. 

It was with huge sadness that in March we lost one of our long standing residents, Ben Hamilton Baillie. Once a chair of the KCG, a leading figure at Sustrans and an influential promoter for ‘Shared Space, he will be sorely missed.

Then we had an excellent talk on ‘Bristol and the Civil War’ by Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at University of Bristol. We will never look at Fremantle Square again without thinking of the 300 soldiers ( slaughtered in the attack by Cromwell on Prior’s Hill Fort)  buried beneath the Square.

 Posted by on May 22, 2019
Dec 042018
18/04977/P – Proposed demolition and construction works between Marlborough Street and Montague Hill South
Kingsdown Conservation Group (the Group) would like to emphasise that it does not criticise the desire of the Hospital Board to ease the difficulty some people have when travelling to the various Hospital buildings; it is the particular solution proposed that is objectionable.

 In its letter of 8th November, the Group strongly objected to this application. The letter argued that the proposal was in direct conflict with the Joint Transport Plan and the Bristol Core Strategy, that it involved the demolition of the existing multi-storey car park and all 36 of the fundamentally sound flats on Eugene Street and that it adopted an approach of demolition, clearing and re-building which has been entirely discredited for inner city development.

In this second letter, the Group wishes to add that the proposal is also in direct conflict with a number of other BCC policies.

To quote from Bristol City Council’s Kingsdown Conservation Area Character Appraisal,

6.2.1 The topography of the City is unique and views across it make an important contribution to Bristol’s townscape and character. The spectacular City-wide views enjoyed from Kingsdown are fundamental to its special interest.

6.2.2 . . . The tall houses on the escarpment can be seen from many points across the City.

6.2.3 . . . The preservation of Kingsdown’s views is vital in protecting the area’s character and special interest. New developments within the City centre, … the Hospital and University sites, are all posing a significant threat to Kingsdown’s views.

Map 7 in the Character Appraisal shows the site of the proposed development to be within an area where there is a “Threat of insensitive development …”

With regard to the above, it is unfortunate that the Accurate Visual Representations (AVRs) in the Design and Access Statement are from selective viewpoints. There are neither views from the west end of Dove Street nor from Dove Street South. Similarly, there are no section drawing showing the proposed car park in relation to the topography of Kingsdown. These views and sections are important to enable all to comprehend the impact of the proposed multi-storey car park on the townscape setting.

It is a matter of frequent comment that the above proposal is an application to fill in the last significant uninterrupted gap between the Hospital buildings on St Michael’s Hill to the west and the Dove Street flats to the east. An anachronistic and illuminated eight-storey car park would mark the final obliteration of an essential element of Bristol’s topography, the escarpment of Kingsdown.

In the face of the city’s recently declared popularity as a place to live and visit, surely, it cannot be Bristol’s policy to submerge its topography and heritage assets in a rising tide of massive generic buildings.

 Posted by on December 4, 2018
Nov 072018

This is our response to the proposed UHB multi-storey carpark. We hope that as many residents as possible write in and express their opinion on this planning application.  This is a link to the relevant on line comment page.


18/04977/P  Outline application to block up Eugene Street, to demolish all 36 purpose-built flats on Eugene Street, and to demolish the existing serviceable c.150 bay multi-storey car park, in order to build an 8-storey 820 bay multi-storey car park on the cleared area of ground between Eugene Street and Montague Hill South

Kingsdown Conservation Group is aware of the difficulties faced by those who need easy access to the wide range of buildings administered by UHB. However, it regards the proposed solution as obsolete.

Times have changed. Local roads are highly congested and pollution levels are excessive. Smarter solutions must be found and the city is concentrating on developing new ways for people to travel. The proposed multi-storey car park would conflict with the joint transport plan. In the context of its agenda to keep expanding clinical provision annually by between four and five per cent, the Trust should integrate its thinking and decision making with existing parking provision and emerging modes of transport. The Trust cannot remain trapped on a treadmill of attempting to accommodate an ever increasing numbers of patients’ cars.

In addition to the above aspect of the proposals, the Group is shocked to see that the brief has remained effectively unchanged since the idea was floated several years ago. The idea of demolishing 36 fundamentally sound, purpose-built flats is repugnant. The idea of demolishing a functioning c.160 bay multi-storey car park, in order to build another multi-storey car park alongside, is wholly offensive. All the proposed demolition is unsustainable.

The Planning Statement raises The Bristol Core Strategy, as if to imply accordance, yet the proposals conflict with it, including elements of BCS5, BCS10, BCS15, BCS20, BCS21 and BCS22.

The proposal’s conceptual approach of wholesale demolition, clearance and re-building would repeat town planning errors made across the nation and notoriously on the slopes of Kingsdown, when Bristol’s most important early Georgian suburb was ransacked in the 1950s and 60s. The mass, height and length of the multi-storey car park would assault Kingsdown’s surviving historic townscape by being built to an entirely different scale and, unforgivably, at a low level of the escarpment. Views in and out of the Kingsdown Conservation Area would be obstructed.

Both the Grade II Listed Montague Court and the Locally Listed King Edward VII Memorial Hospital building are immediately adjacent to the proposed eight-storey car park and the setting of other heritage assets that are in The Stokes Croft Conservation Area and The St James’s Parade Conservation Area would be substantially harmed by the brash new building.

The Group profoundly objects to the proposals and intends to lodge further comment elaborating on certain aspects.


 Posted by on November 7, 2018
Nov 012018

An outline planning application has been lodged to block up Eugene Street, to demolish all 36 of the purpose-built flats on Eugene Street and to demolish the present serviceable c.150 place multi-storey car park, in order to build an 8-storey, 820 place multi-storey car park on the cleared area of ground between Eugene Street and Montague Hill South.

Members are advised to look at the application number 18/04977/P on the city’s website or by following the link below.

The Conservation Group believes the proposed gigantic structure would assault the topography of Kingsdown and is the most challenging application to confront the Kingsdown Conservation Area since its designation in 1973.

The Group will be submitting a letter of objection shortly.



 Posted by on November 1, 2018
Oct 102018

Discussed at September meeting:

‘Urban Living’ This is a BCC policy document about more tall buildings. The group have written complaining that the revised document does not respond to public feedback against tower blocks, obscuring the topography of Bristol. Consultation now closed.

Hospital Proposed Eight-Storey Car Park: Application is still awaited to demolish the existing 250 place Multi Storey Car Park and all of the existing 36 purpose-built flats on Eugene Street in order to build an 820 place replacement Multi Storey Car Park. 

22 Dove Street. It’s noticed that setts have been lifted and replaced with slabs. Group will investigate.

 Posted by on October 10, 2018
Aug 252018

Matters discussed at the August meeting

42 Tyndall’s Park Road – The Group has lodged an objection to an application to remove the boundary wall to the street and devote the front garden to hardstanding for three motor cars, in conflict with local and national planning policy.

LED Advertising. In common with other local and national amenity societies, we continue to try to resist the advance of illuminated advertisements in conservation areas and in the setting of listed buildings. This month we have objected to proposals to introduce LED advertising panels to bus stops on Triangle West and at eight further locations.

19 Ninetree HillWe have lodged comment on a current application to extend one of a pair of what may be the earliest remaining, free-standing, semi-detached houses in Kingsdown.

12E Alfred Place – An appeal (Ref: APP/Z0116/W/18/3207120) has been lodged against the refusal of the retrospective application 17/01805/H (which can be seen at www.bristol.gov.uk/planningonline ) to build the roof extension, which can be seen from Montague Place.

Individuals can submit their views on-line, check the information and progress using the Planning Casework Service at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/CaseSearch.aspx. One should use the last seven characters of the Appeal Ref above to search for this case. Further guidance to taking part in planning appeals is available on the Planning Portal website at www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/planningappeals.

The Group and many individuals strongly objected to the application.

Hospital car park. We fear UBHT intend to purse their misguided ambition to demolish all 36 of the purpose-built flats on Eugene Street and also to demolish their existing 250 place multi-storey car park opposite in order to build an 850 place eight-storey car park. A recent ‘drop-in’ event was well attended by Kingsdown residents. The enormous scale of the proposed construction was not clearly shown in the presentation. The Group oppose this shocking scheme.

Old Hospital. Both individuals and the Group had lodged comment in support of the welcome initiative of the Planning Department to extend The St James’s Parade Conservation Area to include the site bounded by Marlborough Street, Whitson Street and Lower Maudlin Street, on which the BRI Old Building, its (recently listed) chapel stand, together with the listed buildings of The Eye Hospital on Lower Maudlin Street

 Posted by on August 25, 2018
Aug 172018

A 2nd planning application to turn the laundrette into flats was refused, and the applicant’s 2nd Appeal has again been dismissed. The inspector cited the poor quality of the proposed flats and the negative effect the loss of commercial (not specifically a laundrette) use would have on the character of this part of the Conservation Area. The Redland Cotham Conservation Area Appraisal was published after the previous Appeal and this has strengthened the case against conversion to flats.

 Posted by on August 17, 2018
Jul 202018

The Old Building c.1780 ( Upper Mauldin Street ) is the 4th oldest hospital in the UK and Bristol’s largest Georgian building by far.  In November its chapel was listed by Historic England, and in the disappointing absence of the BRI Old Building itself being nationally listed, Bristol City Council is now hoping to protect it by extending the boundary of the adjacent St. James’s Parade Conservation Area to include the BRI Old Building, its newly listed Chapel and the two splendid listed Georgian buildings at 16 & 17 Lower Maudlin Street, which are occupied by the Eye Hospital.


It is vital that all supporters of this proposal (both groups and individuals) respond to the consultation before the 9th August deadline, but sooner if possible.


Please click on the link just below and then the secondary links to study the proposal, and then submit your support if you wish.  Even a short word will do, as every individual response counts as one more towards a successful decision.


 Posted by on July 20, 2018
Jun 192018

Minutes of a Committee Meeting held on 6th June 2018 at 42 St Matthew’s Road

Present: Pauline Allen, Pat Harrad, Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (minutes), Nigel Tasker (chairman), David Winter

Apologies: Helen Phillips, Sue Paterson, Alastair Gambles

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 1st May 2018 were approved.

Matters arising: 

DW declared he had not responded on the Group’s behalf to Unite’s pre-application proposals for the redevelopment of the former BRI buildings between Marlborough Street, Whitson Street and Lower Maudlin Street.

AK would circulate the KCG response he submitted to the appeal against the refusal of 17/01973/F – 1 & 3 Cotham Road South – Proposed conversion of the existing shop to residential use.

17/06169/F – Tyndall Avenue – The application proposing closure to motor traffic had not been withdrawn but appeared to be in limbo.

NK and JN are to attend the University Community Forum on 12th June. AK suggested they raise, once again, the disfigurement of the streetscape caused by the present and chronic gap in the terrace of University buildings on the west side of St Michael’s Hill. Replacement buildings should be commissioned.

Agenda items:

Earlier this evening, Helen Phillips and a gathering of members had planted a Hawthorn tree in the Triangular Garden at The Back of Kingsdown Parade.

Planning applications:

18/01057/F – The Ark, St Matthew’s Road – DW would circulate a draft response to the proposal to fence-off an area of ground to form a garden approached via a new door.

18/02025/F – 6 Kingsdown Parade – Proposed restoration of the existing house and the building of 5 further houses. JN to circulate a draft response.

AGM NK would forward the minutes to AK who would put them on the KCG website.

NT undertook to assemble a paper copy of future minutes of each meeting in an appropriate file.

A majority decision indicated a preference to increase the annual subscription of the Group to £10 per household, although that increase would not be introduced at present. An audit of the membership would be made.

A synopsis of each meeting’s business should written by the minute taker, in order for it to be put on the website.

Next meeting: 5th July 2018 at 12A Kingsdown Parade

 Posted by on June 19, 2018