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.