In 1971, residents who cared about Kingsdown and the way it looked set up the Kingsdown Conservation Group. Those residents had successfully fought the Council’s plans to demolish large parts of this historic Georgian suburb – back in those days some buildings looked like this.
In 1973, Kingsdown was designated a conservation area – “an area of special architectural or historic interests, whose character and appearance it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. Today the situation is different. The Council supports our work; it has produced a Kingsdown Conservation Area Character Appraisal, which identifies the townscape details that contribute positively to the conservation area and describes its negative features. What gives Kingsdown its special sense of place is its village atmosphere, which is created by its views, historic street pattern and the quality of the Georgian houses. It has a human scale. Kingsdown has 200 listed buildings, 49% of the total, and a number of surviving setted streets. The private areas of green space are an essential characteristic of Kingsdown.
The main threats to the conservation area are the loss of traditional gardens to infill and parking, unsympathetic infill development, poor building maintenance and loss of architectural details. Kingsdown’s streets suffer from the volume of parking and the litter of wheelibins and graffiti. . The hospital continues to leave Marlborough Hill blighted with poorly designed temporary buildings and it wants to over-develop some of its surplus land to sell. The University has permission to build an over-sized building that would overbear the St. Michael’s Hill / Tyndall Park junction. For the time being it has postponed the remainder of its ambitious development plans. These concerns need constant vigilance.
On the positive side, local residents have successfully opposed several inappropriate planning applications. They maintain the St. Matthews Road garden and help the Council to maintain Montague Green. KCG has discussions with the Council to improve Montague Green, Spring Hill and the slope below Dove Street. The Group has paid to install modern box lanterns on traditional lamp posts.
Members and Committee – Around households in Kingsdown are members. Please see The Committee page for more information. Penny Mellor lends us her extensive collection of local photos and permits us to quote from her two excellent books.
What the committee does – the committee meets each month to respond to planning applications and proposed developments. It writes KCG’s responses to the Council’s new planning policy documents that affect Kingsdown. It posts a summary on the four noticeboards (including Alfred Harris’s window) of the matters that it discussed at its monthly meeting. The summary is also posted on the http://kingsdownbristol.net website. The meeting is open. If you would like to come and help, please send a message to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website and photo archive – to be informed when new items appear on the website click on ‘Sign up for updates’ on the front page. Our photo archive at www.flickr.com/photos/kingsdown contains 1,000 photos taken by KCG members, and an open group – www.flickr.com/groups/kingsdownconservationgroup/ – looked after by Penny Leaver-Green, gathers photos from the wider ‘flickr’ community.
Join KCG – let us know what you think needs doing next in the area. Tell the Secretary if you would like to take an active part in KCG’s activities.