Oct 022019

Kingsdown Conservation Group wishes to encourage all its members to visit a display of proposals to radically alter the pattern of road use around and beyond the junction of Woodland Road, Elton Road and Tyndall Avenue. (Although application 17/06169/F to close Tyndall Avenue to motor traffic has not been withdrawn, the current pre-application would supersede it, if it were pursued.)

The ramifications of the proposed changes would be extensive. Much local and through traffic would be obliged to adopt arduous diversion in order to make its way across the city.

These proposals have been prepared by Bristol University and are now unexpectedly included in what is called a second pre-application enquiry to the Bristol City Council regarding the proposed building of a new university library on the site of the present Hawthorns Building, opposite Bristol Grammar School on Elton Road. 

The University has put up a number of display panels in Beacon House, which is next to the Royal West of England Academy BS8 1PX on Queen’s Road, illustrating certain limited aspects of both the proposed changes to road use and of the proposed library. A ‘staffed drop-in session’ will take place in Beacon House on 15th October between 3 and 5 pm. 

The pre-application enquiry consultation period, the display at Beacon House, which is also at The Hawthorns and online at www.bristol.ac.uk/library/about/new-library/ will close on 21st October. 

 Posted by on October 2, 2019
Sep 242019

At its September meeting the committee discussed the following:

  • Planning and Enforcement cases.  It has objected to the proposed Heart Institute Laboratory on Marlborough Hill on design grounds and to the proposals for the Western Harbor. The group are involved in pre-application consultations for a new University Library on the site opposite the Senate House (recent plans on view in Royal Fort Gardens). It supports the application on the Old Hospital site opposite the BRI, which retains the main 18c building and Fripps Chapel and is of a greatly reduced scale from previous applications.
  • St Michaels Church. Roof permission now obtained and work is in progress.
  • Flagstones have been purchased to repair the pavements in Kingsdown.
  • Wheelie Bins left on pavements.
  • Laundrette site in Cotham Road South.  Cllr Negus has asked BCC Business Rates why Stafford’s Laundrettes (which own several premises) are claiming ‘small business’ relief.  Response still awaited.
  • Electric Car Charging. There is a current BCC Petition asking for these in Kingsdown.
 Posted by on September 24, 2019
Jun 212019

Wheelie bins on the pavement are ‘an obstruction of the Highway’ and against city policy. The council says ‘take your bins off the highway as soon as possible after collection.’ If you wish to report an offence, the link is https://www.bristol.gov.uk/complaints/services?type=BINS_RECYCLING_LITTER You can also attach a photograph, if you wish. We would be grateful if you can also inform KCG on kcg@tancrede.plus.com

 Posted by on June 21, 2019
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