Annual Reports and AGMs

 

Kingdown Conservation Group – AGM 2014

Held at St Matthew’s Church, 30th April
David Winter opened the meeting with a tribute to Henry Miller, who had very recently
tragically died abroad, and the whole meeting offered condolences to his family

John Frenkel gave a brief report on current issues which briefly included: University of
Bristol expansion, loss of local family homes, BRI development and more local issues (6
Kingsdown Parade), Spring Hill redevelopment, improving local lamp posts, and the KCG
website.

Pauline Allen gave a review of the yearly accounts, copies of which were tabled at the
meeting, and the accounts were accepted by the meeting.

There was general view from the committee that KCG funds should be used for some
purpose or other and not remain in the account. The meeting was asked to suggest
possible projects which might be current or new, and it was suggested we might use the
funds for match-funding grants from other sources. All to be agreed in due course.

Thanks were offered to Helen for all her efforts in organising the wonderful local brunches,
and Helen asked that each person attending the meeting should try and get at least one
other person to sign up to the website so they would receive emails about events etc.
There is no obligation to get involved, just to be aware of current matters.

Thanks were also offered by David Winter, on behalf of all involved in KCG, to John
Frenkel for “his enormous contribution over the past 10 years as KCG Secretary”. David
Winter praised his ability to “see through the fog”, and also commented that there were
many things that had not happened due to Johns intervention, and these should not be
forgotten and were perhaps “his greatest achievement”. KCG gave John some wine
vouchers that all hoped would be happily spent, and it was confirmed that Joel Baillie-Lane
would take over as Secretary, with assistance from John as required.

Thanks were also offered for all the help Duncan Pepper and Mary Wright had provided
over the years, now that both have stepped down from the committee.

The committee was re-elected, (less resignations above), with the additional resignation of
Caroline Hunt, and Ruth Rimmer was adopted onto the committee. David Winter reiterated
the openness of KCG to all members and confirmed that everyone was invited to all
meetings.

John Frenkel gave a brief talk about the Metrobus scheme proposals so that all attending
were brought up to scratch on the various options and routes – Long Ashton into the city
centre (thankfully not via the dockside) and then the North – South route reaching out to
South Glos.

David Winter closed the meeting, and introduced Nick Hunt who gave an extremely
interesting illustrated talk based on his book Walking the Woods and the Water, which
retraced the walk undertaken by Patrick Leigh Fermor in the 1930s through pre-war
Europe to Istanbul. The talk was concluded with a photograph of Nicks wonderfully worn
shoes after their months of trekking.

Notes by Joel Baillie-Lane

 

 

[Reports for AGMs 2011, 2012, 2013 pending]

 

Kingsdown Conservation Group – Annual Report 2010

This is a short account of what the Committee and other members have done for the Group during the past year.

Members and Committee

95 households in Kingsdown are members. The Committee is Pauline Allen (Treasurer), John Frenkel (Secretary), Charles Grant, Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (Kingsdown’s representative on the Conservation Advisory Panel), Helen Phillips, Nigel Tasker, Wendy Tomlinson, Mary Wright. Ottilie Shorcott resigned in April due to business commitments. Duncan Pepper has been coopted to the committee. Bridget and Malcolm Parker are the Membership Secretaries. KCG is grateful to Tony Kerr who edits the website and to Peter Ferne who supplies free hosting and technical support.

What the committee does

The committee meets each month to respond to planning applications and proposed developments. We decide KCG’s response to the Council’s new Development Plan Documents that affect Kingsdown. The Secretary manages the Group’s correspondence and posts a summary on the four noticeboards (including Alfred Harris’s window) of the matters that the Committee’s discussed at the last monthly meeting. The summary is posted on the http://kingsdownbristol.net website.

The website and photo archive

In 2009, 2507 separate people (‘absolute unique visitors’), from 54 countries, visited www.kingsdownbristol.net. Half just came by chance, but the others were repeat visitors, most of whom just look at the news items on the front page. If you want to be informed when new items appear on the website, then just join the 83 people who have clicked on ‘Sign up for updates’ on the front page. Our 1,000 photos – www.flickr.com/photos/kingsdown – have been viewed 32,000 times in total, and they attract comments, queries and information from people all over the world. www.flickr.com/groups/kingsdownconservationgroup is a pool of other peoples’ Kingsdown photos – – thanks to Penny Leaver-Green for looking after this.

Planning

The Council’s Conservation policies aim to promote development that enhances or preserves Kingsdown. KCG welcomes development that complies with the Council’s conservation policies. To some proposals, we suggest improvements. We object to intensive and unsuitable development. To respond fully, we read each application on the Council’s website. Before we respond, we usually speak to other interested parties and neighbours. We are particularly concerned about the plans of our big neighbours, the hospital and university. We now post KCG‘s responses to planning applications on the website.

The University

The University has not yet decided to move to the next stage of the construction of the Biological Sciences buildings. The University must complete a construction contract before it can demolish the standing buildings. The former Children’s Hospital begins to show dilapidation. The University has indefinitely postponed the construction of the Maths Building and the redevelopment of the Hawthorns, the Drama Department and all subsequent phases of its Masterplan. Its current plans are to improve and renovate its existing buildings.

University Hospitals Bristol

The Heart Institute opened last October. It was nominated for three better Health Care Awards – for the building – for its internal design and for its art work. Bedford Hillsteps are rebuilt the site fence removed. The lamp on the steps works again. We wait for the completion of the Woodland walk planting scheme. Radio-pharmacy – KCG regrets that the Council extended permission for this ugly temporary building for another five years. KCG told the Council that many of UHB’s neighbours find its appearance to be out of place in a conservation area. Southwell Street – around the car park entrance various road safety measures have appeared – a white paint path – notices that block the south pavement – a siren. KCG is pursuing UHB and the Council to improve the appearance of this busy road. BRI redevelopment/helipad – In April, UHB will apply for planning permission to build the new Terrell Street Wards, the Helipad and extend the top of the Children’s Hospital. We also expect to see UHB’s plans to re-clad and improve the Maudlin Street elevation of the Queen Elizabeth Building.

Signs signs signs

KCGasks the Bristol University and UHB to declutter and to rationalise their signage. The University has responded and culled some of the 11 signs at the Royal Fort entrance. It would be nice to see the end of“sign writer’s archaic” language.

Planning applications

Horfield Road boarded up garden – after KCG opposed UHB’s proposal for a block of flats it now proposes a row of terraced houses. KCG has said that the new proposal is suitable for our conservation area. 4-6 Kingsdown Parade – KCG wants to see development on the site but it opposed UHB’s first design. UHB has produced a second design. KCG said that 8 new houses overdevelops the site. KCG has successfully opposed applications to convert two more Kingsdown gardens into houses. It agrees with Kingsdown’s Conservation Area Character Appraisal that any further loss of traditional gardens to infill development adversely affects the area’s quality. KCG also opposed two applications where the design was not good enough. The Council agreed. KCG attended to support the Council in the developer’s appeal against the refusal to give permission to build the most recent scheme to redevelop Westmoreland Houseand theCarriage Works. KCG desperately wants to see this site developed but not as a mass of tiny homes. Clarence Place – The Council supported KCG’s request to Somerfield not to use Clarence Place as a service area and to remove its unauthorised street advertising.

Streets

KCG paid for a new box lantern on Spring Hill. Congratulations to UHB for installing traditional, box-type lamp posts at the bottom of Alfred Hill above the new steps into Cottage Place. Congratulations to Bristol Water for restoring the setts so neatly after replacing the water main in Alfred Hill. KCG continues to object to Planning Enforcement about Satellite dishes mounted on the fronts of building. They can usually be sited on the roof. English Heritage says that one of the greatest threats facing conservation areas is unsightly satellite dishes.Graffiti removal – Notify Waste Services & Street Scene Department by telephone as soon as a graffiti attack happens – tel. 922 2100. Ask for a reference number for your call. Electronic requests for the Bristol Clean and Green Team to remove graffiti can be downloaded from https://www.bristol.gov.uk/GraffitiAndFlyposting or from the KCG website at www.kingsdownbristol.net. Nigel Tasker at Alfred Harris keeps paper graffiti application forms and freepost envelopes.Following local objections, the Council gave up its proposal to site large rubbish collection binson Kingsdown Parade. KCG is in conversation with the City again, about possible improvements to Spring Hill. It is too early to say whether we shall succeed this time.

Residents’ Parking Scheme

At the time of going to press the Council has not announced whether it will introduce the Kingsdown RPS. KCG remains highly concerned about the loss of parking spaces and the visual impact of the signage.

Green matters

Our thanks to St. Matthew’s Church for their support and to all Kingsdowners who took part in Home Grown last September. Stalls and sideshows – gifts and traditional competitions – the sun shone in approval. Our thanks particularly, to Helen Phillips who again organised the event. The Committee cut the hedge and cleaned up the St. Matthews Road corner. KCG is talking to the Council about improvements to Montague Green. Some of the bins are new and look better. We propose that there should be a new seat to give a view down Montague Hill, to replace the rose bed.

New Book – Bristol’s Vertical Suburb

Written by local authors Penny Mellor and Mary Wright. At £16.99 for 128 pages with 60 colour illustrations it sounds a snip, and you buy it from Waterstone’s, the City Museum Bookshop, Amazon or the publishers – www.phillimore.co.uk.

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MINUTES OF 2008-9 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The meeting was held at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday the 5th March 2009 at the Ark, Cotham Road South, charied by Nigel Tasker and attended by 51 residents. Charles Grant sent his apologies for absence.

Minutes of the 2008 general meeting had been approved at the April 2008 committee meeting.

The report of the past year – Nigel Tasker summarised the annual report of the last year’s business, which was available at the meeting and posted on www.kingsdownbristol.net.  The report was adopted.  Tony did not make himself available for re-election has stood down from the committee after many years.  The committee are very sorry to lose him because of the invaluable service that he has given to the Group.  The meeting thanked Tony for his work.

The annual accounts – Pauline Allen presented the Group’s accounts for the year (for a downloadable version in Word format, see kcgacc08) , which were adopted.  Capital payments this year were made for a tree in the St. Matthews Road garden, two new notice boxes and a lantern box for the lamp post at the bottom of Spring Hill.

Membership There are 136 members in about 100 households.

The 2009/10 committee The meeting elected the officers and the committee who will be Pauline Allen (treasurer), John Frenkel (secretary), Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (Conservation Advisory Panel representative), Helen Phillips, Nigel Tasker, Wendy Tomlinson and Mary Wright.  Helen Phillips retired from the secretaryship but offered to continue as a committee member.  Helen has been secretary for many years.  The meeting thanked her for her service.  Tony Kerr promised to continue to maintain the website with Pete Ferne.  Bridget and Malcolm Parker have agreed to continue as membership secretaries.  Committee Members’ details appear on the KCG website

The committee emphasise that any member who wishes to come to a committee meeting is welcome.  The Group needs more committee members to share the work.

David Mellor told the meeting that with Ian Abrahams and others he proposes a small working party to negotiate the design of the proposed pilot residents’ parking scheme with the City’s Highways  Department.  Residents will be kept informed via the website and the noticeboards.

The formal meeting then closed to be followed by a talk by Madge Dresser who has recently published a book on the Ethnic Communities of Bristol.  Madge’s topic ranged from the year 1,000 to the present.  A feature of Bristol that could scarcely be over-emphasised was Bristol’s ferociously exclusive parochialism and religious non-conformity.  Helen Phillips thanked our speaker.

Andy and Lucy King very kindly provided wine and soft drinks for members.

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Annual Report 2008-9

This is a short account of what the Committee and other members have been doing in the past year on behalf of the Group.

1. MEMBERS AND COMMITTEE

Around 100 households are members. The Committee consists of:

Pauline Allen (Treasurer), John Frenkel (Minutes Secretary), Charles Grant, Tony Kerr (Website), Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (represents us on Bristol Conservation Panel), Helen Phillips (Secretary), Ottilie Shorcott, Nigel Tasker, Mary Wright.

Bridget & Malcolm Parker are our Membership Secretaries. Peter Ferne kindly provides free hosting and technical support for the website.

We meet each month to respond to planning applications and to consider possible future developments and the effects on Kingsdown of national and Council priorities. We are all indebted to our Secretary, who organises the correspondence and administration of the Group, and to John Frenkel, who takes minutes and prepares the monthly summaries. These are posted on our noticeboards and on the website, which was visited by over 1700 people (‘Absolute unique visitors’) in the last 6 months, of whom several hundred were ‘regulars’. There have been over 20,000 ‘views’ of our online photo collection. 65 people get informed via our email list when there is new material on the site.  You can join this via the website, or give us your email address. We now have two brand-new noticeboards, making a total of four places where our information is displayed (including Alfred Harris).

As usual, our business in 2008 has ranged from small but important local matters to city-wide policies and programmes which affect Kingsdown.

2. KINGSDOWN

We study each application, either at the planning department or online via the Council’s website. We don’t usually comment on the minority which are well-designed and comply fully with the Council’s policies and the Conservation Group’s aims, but many schemes are for intensive or unsuitable development, such as converting shops and houses into multiple occupation or putting blocks of flats in gardens. We talk to neighbours and other interested parties, and then decide whether to comment. Among other activities this year:

We successfully opposed the three unsuitable applications from the United Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (as they are now called) for intensive housing development on sites in the Conservation Area, but under planning law the Hospital Trust can appeal when such decisions go against them, or just come back with minor revisions. They intend to appeal against the refusal to let them build flats in the garden of the listed building (no 42) at the bottom of Alfred Hill.

We also successfully opposed various applications, including some to destroy garden walls, demolish part of a pub (the King Charles in King Square), convert buildings to multiple occupation, etc.

But we don’t just oppose things. Working with various Council officers, we have continued to arrange local improvements – a new tree at Prior’s Hill, a wildlife hedge on Montague Green, a box lantern (paid for, but not yet installed) on Spring Hill and another (provided by the hospital trust, we hope) on Alfred Hill. We even got involved in requesting the unblocking of drains (a matter on which the Council have been quick to respond) and asking for the Premier Inn sign lights to be turned down.

As always, we have had to follow up several breaches of planning law, in respect of illegal conversion to multi-occupation, concreting of gardens, installing visible satellite dishes, replacing traditional walls, roofs and windows unnecessarily and (Somerfield) piling rubbish in the street,. Often these seem minor (particularly to the householders concerned, and sometimes to the City Council who are supposed to take action), but their combined effect, if allowed to proceed, would be to degrade the whole area. We are encouraged by the increasing numbers of people who now talk to us first, which can often lead to a sensible solution rather than an expensive and stressful conflict.

3. NEIGHBOURING AREAS

Because of Kingsdown’s geographical position, we need to keep an eye on developments outside the Conservation Area boundary:

a) The Hospital. As well as the housing developments mentioned above, we have had regular discussions about the need to reinstate the rights of way, and improve public access, round the new Heart Institute. We decided not to oppose the helicopter pad, on which we felt there was no prospect of success. We understand that the hospital plan to seek new permission to leave in place the ugly laboratory building which a planning inspector decided should be removed by this summer. In summary, a lot of work with only mixed success and a clear need for continued vigilance. We are cautiously optimistic that the new regular meetings, and the City Council’s increasing support for community involvement, will lead to at least some improvement next year.

b) The University. A lot of time and effort has again been spent on pressing the university to either stick to its own (and Council-approved) masterplan or produce improvements. We have repeatedly expressed our support for the principle of developing the University’s facilities, but, just like the hospital, they don’t yet seem to understand that positive dialogue is perfectly possible if there is goodwill and a bit of listening on both sides. They, too, expect to hold regular meetings with local groups, so, again, something positive may emerge from all the effort.

c) Stokes Croft. We take an interest in this area because there are few residents to speak for it. We would like to think that our extensive and constructive responses helped to influence the improved designs to redevelop Hamilton House and the DHS building in Stokes Croft, and the former A’Court Electrical Contractors building in Jamaica Street.  We were disappointed to hear that the City has abandoned its plans to compulsorily purchase Westmoreland House and Godwin’s Carriage Works because its development partner has withdrawn from the regeneration scheme.

d) King’s Square House. KCG made an extensive response to the planning application to convert the former NHS administration building into student accommodation. We expect work to start soon.  The Council negotiated a payment of £180,000 from the developers to mitigate the impact of the development, and we will press for most of this money to be spent locally to improve Spring Hill.

4. WIDER POLICIES and DEVELOPMENTS

We try to influence the City Council and to contribute to the development of better local policies:
We congratulated the Planning Department on the excellent Kingsdown Conservation Area Character Appraisal, published in March 2008. The final document is beautifully produced and illustrated, and a credit to the Department.  It is available from the Planning section of the Council’s website and from Brunel House. The Committee worked hard to help produce the Appraisal, and are very pleased that the Conservation Officer adopted nearly every suggestion that KCG made. This is a very important policy document for Kingsdown.
Neighbourhood planning network. We continue to contribute to this important local community-based network, which exchanges information and ideas between community and amenity groups so that they can learn from each other and have more influence. The City supports the Network and we hope that it will help us to improve our dialogue with our dominant neighbours, the University and the Hospital authorities. We are represented on the City’s Conservation Advisory Panel and the Civic Society Executive.

Residents’ Parking Scheme. The City has resolved to pilot an RPS in Kingsdown, and the Highways Department will write to all local residents before Easter to tell them what it proposes. KCG will work closely with the RPS group to ensure that there are as many parking spaces as  possible and that the impact of the signage is minimised.
tk/4 Mar 2009
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MINUTES OF 2007-8 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

March 31st, 2008

7.30 p.m. Monday the 10th March 2008 at the Ark, Cotham Road South.

The meeting approved the agenda and appointed Tony Kerr as chair for the evening. 40 residents attended. Apologies were received for their absence from David and Penny Mellor, Carolyn Harman and Paul and Lorna Robinson.

Minutes of the 2007 general meeting were approved.

The report of the past year

The report summarised last year’s business and was circulated at the meeting and it can also be found on the Kingsdown Conservation Group’s website. The report was adopted. Next year will be very active because the University and the Hospital will continue to pursue their development plans. Peter Ferne was thanked for his continued help in running the website. The Committee thanked the 20 residents who responded to Andy King’s questionnaire about UBHT’s redevelopment proposals for its surplus land. It is vital, whenever the Committee meets third parties that it can demonstrate that it has significant local support.
The treasurer’s report
Pauline Allen presented the Group’s accounts for the year, which showed a reserve of £6,593 split between the general fund of £3,928 and £2,665 in the “Spring Hill Restoration Fund”. During the year there was a surplus of £222.75 of income over expenditure. KCG had contributed £340 towards the fees of Richard Pedlar, who prepared a conservation architect’s report to support KCG’s objections to the proposal to build eight four-floor houses on the Somerset Street display gardens. The developer subsequently withdrew the planning application. The meeting thanked David Mellor for his professional assistance that he gave free of charge

The meeting resolved to spend £160 to restore a traditional box lantern on the cast iron lamp post at the bottom of Spring Hill. In response to members’ questions, the Committee confirmed that it planned to replace the fallen tree in the garden at the corner of St. Matthews Road. The meeting thanked Stephen and Jean Macfarlane for grinding out the stump of the old tree. The Committee will investigate whether a working lamp can be installed in the lamp holder above the Kingsdown Parade entrance to Montague Green. Since our report last year, a tree on the north side of Kingsdown Parade and the trees around Prior’s Hill Flats have been replaced. The report was adopted. The meeting thanked Pauline for her work. The Committee welcomes any ideas to invest the reserves to enhance Kingsdown.

Please check to ensure that you pay £5 and not the former £3 subscription.

Membership
Bridget Parker presented the Membership report. Seven newly arrived residents joined KCG last year. Please encourage more residents to join KCG. The more members we have, the more we are listened to. Membership forms can be downloaded from the website or paper copies obtained from Malcolm and Bridget Parker at 43 Kingsdown Parade. The meeting thanked Bridget and Malcolm for their work. They agreed to continue as membership secretaries.

The 2008/09 committee
The Committee appealed for new members. Charles Grant volunteered to rejoin the Committee and the current members agreed to stand again. Next year’s committee was elected unanimously. It will be: Pauline Allen (treasurer), John Frenkel (minutes), Charles Grant, Tony Kerr, Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (Conservation Advisory Panel representative), Helen Phillips (secretary), Ottilie Shorcott, Nigel Tasker and Mary Wright. Committee Members’ contact details appear on the website.
The committee emphasise that any member who wishes to come to a committee meeting is most welcome. If you think that you would like to become a Committee member, invite yourself as an observer to a Committee Meeting. The Group needs more committee members to share the work.
Tell us your views on local developments and what we should be doing. Please contact the secretary at secretary@kingsdownbristol.net, or use the ‘contact us’ link on the website.

After the formal meeting, Mary Wright spoke about “The greatest aesthete of them all”. She gave a tour d’horizon of the life of the Bristol architect, E W Godwin. In his personal life he was a friend to James Whistler and Oscar Wilde and the father of Ellen Terry’s two children. His architectural practice brought him international recognition. All aspects of design interested him. He designed fabrics, tiles, wallpaper and furniture. In his corporate life he reformed the Bristol Society of Architects.

Mary spoke forcibly about our City’s neglect of Godwin. In his lifetime, he won the City Council’s architectural competition to build new Law Courts but the City gave the contract to its own surveyor. There was a national scandal. Godwin moved to London. Today, Godwin’s pioneering Carriage Works in Stokes Croft stands ruined and neglected by its owners and the City Council. In contrast, Northampton has restored Godwin’s town hall and renamed its Council chamber, “The Godwin Room”. Godwin’s furniture is displayed at the V & A and has appeared in international furniture exhibitions. In 1947, Godwin’s daughter made a bequest of 14 pieces of his furniture to Bristol City Museum. The Museum has exhibited the furniture once, in 1976 after which, it has remained in store. The Museum has no current plans to display it.

If you share Mary’s anger at the City’s treatment of the Godwin bequest please write to press for Godwin’s furniture to be permanently exhibited. Kate Brindley is the Director of Museums – Kate.Brindley@Bristol.gov.uk or Bristol Museums and Art Gallery, Queen’s Road, BS8 1RL. Councillor Rosalie Walker is the Cabinet Member for Health and Leisure – Rosalie.Walker@Bristol.gov.uk or The Council House College Green BS1 5TR.

Annual Report 2006-7

This is a short account of what the Committee and other members have been doing in the past year on behalf of the Group.

1. MEMBERS AND COMMITTEE
There are currently around 100 members. The Committee consists of:

Pauline Allen (Treasurer) – John Frenkel – Tony Kerr – Nick Kidwell – Andy King – Jeremy Newick – Helen Phillips (Secretary) – Ottilie Shorcott – Nigel Tasker – Mary Wright.

Our Membership Secretaries are Bridget & Malcolm Parker.

We meet each month to look at planning applications, likely future developments and relevant Council policies. Whoever hosts the meeting also chairs the discussion. We are all indebted to our Secretary, who organis es the correspondence and administration of the Group, and to John Frenkel, who takes minutes and prepares the monthly summaries. These are posted on the website, which is now our main means of communication, visited by 260 people (‘Absolute unique visitors’) each month, twice as many as a year ago. We still only have 30 people on our email circulation, though, so please join via the website, or give us your email address, to be informed once or twice a month when the site is updated.

As usual, our business in 2007 has ranged from small but important local matters to attempts to influence city-wide policies and programmes which affect Kingsdown.

2. KINGSDOWN
We study each application, either at the planning department or online via the Council’s website. We don’t usually comment on the minority which are well-designed and comply fully with the Council’s policies and the Conservation Group’s aims, but many schemes are for intensive or unsuitable development, such as converting shops and houses into multiple occupation or putting blocks of flats on gardens. We talk to neighbours and other interested parties, then decide whether to comment.

Some developers don’t even bother to apply for permission – they just start work and then claim ignorance if they’re challenged. We alert the Council, and ask them to take action, which usually requires a lot of reminders, and doesn’t always work even then. This year:

We secured the reinstatement of an illegally demolished garden wall in Ninetree Hill, and made the developer get planning permission, which produced an improved plan for the site.

We have for many years been urging the Council to improve Spring Hill and Montague Hill. Now they’ve repaired the barriers, we propose to spend £160 to reinstate the c19 box lantern between King Square and Dove Street, if approved by the AGM. We continue to press for reinstatement of granite setts.

On two occasions, together with many others, we objected to proposals to build a block of flats in the back gardens of Somerset Street houses (towards Dove Street). The density of dwellings/acre in Kingsdown is already at the level required by Government policy and we will continue to oppose further ‘infill’.

We have objected to several other proposals to demolish garden walls in Kingsdown Parade, replace traditional tiles with concrete ones, and otherwise harm the character of the area.

We have worked with the Council to develop their Conservation Area Character Appraisal, and are pleased that the officers have been receptive and well-informed. Nevertheless, we have had to complain about the unfortunate omission of the Management Plan that is specified in English Heritage’s guidance. There’s little point highlighting Kingsdown’s good features unless we know how they will be preserved and enhanced. We have been told that the Council does now intend to remedy this.

On Montague Green we tidied up the borders and cleared away saplings; one valiant member dug up the clump of pampas grass beside the steps. At Prior’s Hill flats, several younger members and others planted seven trees under the guidance of Council specialists.

3. NEIGHBOURING AREAS

We also study and comment on nearby applications and activities that affect Kingsdown:

a) The Hospital. We welcome UBHT’s efforts to be a better neighbour, in particularly by telling us in advance about their proposals for developing several local sites for housing. We realise that they want to get as much money as possible for the sites they own, but we feel their current ideas go too far and would lead to overdevelopment. We hope to see revised proposals that we can support, but if not then we will have to object formally. Many thanks to the 20 people who commented on our draft response to UBHT – all supported our views, and several made important points that were incorporated in the final version. It is very helpful to know that we really are representing member’s views accurately.

b) The University. We commented on the masterplan last year, and have kept up the pressure to either stick to it or produce improvements. Our press release about the dreadful plans for the Biological Sciences building on St Michael’s Hill led to an Evening Post article and a Radio Bristol interview, and subsequent meetings with the University Authorities have been relatively encouraging. They do now seem to be listening, and we will shortly be walking round the University with them and their landscape architects to discuss the enhancement of what the authorities call the ‘external realm’ (streets, spaces between buildings and other public spaces). We are pleased that the plans for a tall sail-like ‘landmark building’ on Tyndall Avenue have been dropped.

c) Stokes Croft. We contributed to the Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal to ensure a focus on heritage issues and balance the ideas for the area to be just a graffiti free-for-all or a ‘gateway’ for the new Broadmead. We drew attention to the unauthorised internal and external changes being made to this historic Full Moon, but the Council accepted, and then approved, a retrospective planning application. We have objected to the plans to demolish the Lakota Club and Coroner’s court, as these are important parts of the local heritage which link to the City Baptist Church , currently being refurbished with Lottery funding. We also objected to the scale and design of the plans to develop the upper floors of the DFS building.

d) Others:

St James’ Priory. We contributed to discussions about redeveloping the North Aisle and East Front, arguing that the building should continue to look like a church.

Together with many others locally, we successfully objected to the plans to replace Royal Park Garage, Oxford St. and to two attempts to put a large communication mast on Cotham Road (we asked, but haven’t been told, why the huge hospital chimney can’t be used instead).

We didn’t object to UBHT’s plans to alter their boiler house but we did ask for a condition requiring them to tidy up the site.

4. INFLUENCING WIDER POLICIES
We try to influence the City Council and to contribute to the development of better local policies:

Neighbourhood Planning Network. We contributed to this important local network, which exchanges information and ideas between community and amenity groups so that they can learn from each other and have more influence. Through them, we also objected to the Council’s Core Strategy Preferred Options for the city’s whole future development, and are now helping to set out an alternative view to the official ‘concentrate development only in South Bristol’ approach. The Network has also had a big input to the Council’s much-improved policy on community involvement in planning.

Parking. KCG decided some years ago not to take a position on the Council’s plans, as our membership was divided on the matter. The Council has decided on a scheme for the whole City Centre area, including Kingsdown, which will in time cover adjoining areas such as Redland. No decision has yet been taken on the timetable, nor which (two) areas are to be selected as pilots.
tk/8 Mar 2008

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MINUTES OF 2007 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

(You can also download these minutes as a Word version –
AGM 2007 Minutes)
Date of meeting – 7.30 p.m. on Thursday the 15th March 2007 at the Ark, Cotham Road South.

John Frenkel chaired the meeting that 38 residents attended. We were pleased to welcome members of the Dove Street Action Group. Andy King sent his apologies for absence due to his attendance at the meeting between the Bristol Communities Planning Network and the City Council to discuss the new Statement of Community Involvement.

Minutes of the 2006 general meeting were approved
.
The report of the past year – Tony Kerr produced a four page summary of the last year’s business, which was circulated at the meeting and posted on www.kingsdownbristol.net. John Frenkel has paper copies of the report at 23 Somerset Street. The report was adopted. The meeting thanked Tony for his work.

The treasurer’s report – Pauline Allen presented the Group’s accounts for the year, which show a surplus of £428 and total assets of £6,370. There followed a discussion about the part of the surplus hypothecated to the Spring Hill Restoration Fund. Tony Kerr said that the money was originally raised because the City Council lifted KCG’s hopes of match money for this project. Nothing then happened. KCG’s funds were far short of the cost of any significant improvement. Another use for the reserve is to fund tree planting. The City Council says that it will replace the missing tree on the north side of Kingsdown Parade. Last year the City replaced the dead trees outside Prior’s Hill Fort but the new trees died. The Group is again in conversation with the City to plant new trees on this important corner. Other proposals are to replace the dead cherry trees on the west side of Spring Hill, just below Dove Street and/or a replacement barrier at the junction of Spring Hill and Somerset Street. Do you have any proposals to use this fund to enhance the conservation area? The report was adopted. The meeting thanked Pauline for her work.

Membership. The committee posted leaflets to Kingsdown residents last autumn to recruit more members. The leaflet contained Penny Mellor’s “Brief History of Kingsdown”, which includes a number of attractive line drawings. If you care about Kingsdown, join the group. It only costs £5. The more members we have, the more we are listened to.

· Look at the website so you know what’s going on.
· Give the secretary your email address so that you can receive the monthly email update.
· Offer your skills, time, and knowledge – as much or as little as you like. All you need to be is interested in the area.
· Tell us your views on local developments and what we should be doing.
The secretary’s email address is – secretary@kingsdownbristol.net.

The 2007/08 committee
Pauline Allen (treasurer), John Frenkel (minutes), Tony Kerr, Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick (Conservation Advisory Panel representative), Helen Phillips (secretary), Nigel Tasker and Mary Wright retired and offered themselves for re-election. The meeting unanimously re-elected the committee. Bridget and Malcolm Parker did not offer themselves for re-election. The meeting thanked them for their work. They agreed to continue as membership secretaries. Committee Members’ details appear on the KCG website, www.kingsdownbristol.net.

The committee emphasise that any member who wishes to come to a committee meeting is welcome. The Group needs more committee members to share the work.

The formal meeting then closed to be followed by Mike Hooper’s talk on “Broadmead, Before the Shops”. Mike’s photographic archive was truly astonishing. He started with aerial views of the Broadmead area taken shortly after the blitz. He then brought us down to earth with an east west and then a north south walk through the area. The photographs caused conflicting impressions. Parts of the area appeared almost irredeemable slummy but, many fine buildings survived the blitz only to be demolished in the name of improvement. It is sad to think that the improvements, however misguided, were carried out with the best of intentions. Mike’s book “Broadmead”, one of the Images of England series, is published by Tempus Publishing Limited www.tempus-publishing.com.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2006-7

This is a short account of what the Committee and other members have been doing in the past year on behalf of the Group.

1. MEMBERS AND COMMITTEE
There are currently 95 paid-up members, eight of whom joined during the year. The Committee consists of:

Pauline Allen (Treasurer) – John Frenkel – Richard Guise – Tony Kerr – Nick Kidwell – Andy King – Jeremy Newick – Bridget Parker – Malcolm Parker – Helen Phillips (Secretary) – Nigel Tasker – Mary Wright

We meet each month to look at planning applications, likely future developments and relevant Council policies. Whoever hosts the meeting also chairs the discussion. We are all indebted to our Secretary, who organises the correspondence and administration of the Group, and to John Frenkel, who takes minutes and prepares summaries of all our meetings.

2. ACTIVITIES: HOW WE WORK AND WHAT WE DO

We looked at 61 different items in 2006, ranging from relatively minor matters such as replacing dead trees, to more significant developments such as mobile phone masts, illegal attempts to alter buildings without permission, an application to build 14 flats in the garden of a Grade II listed house, and several major developments outside the official boundaries of the area.

a). Kingsdown
We pick out from the Council’s weekly list of planning applications all those in Kingsdown. Committee members then study each application (including its drawings), either at the planning department or online via the Council’s website.

A few proposals are well-designed and comply fully with the Council’s policies and the Conservation Group’s aims, so we don’t always need to comment officially on them. Many schemes, though, involve intensive or unsuitable development, such as converting shops and houses into multiple occupation or putting blocks of flats on gardens. We talk to neighbours and other interested parties, then decide whether to comment and what to say.

Some developers don’t even bother to apply for permission – they just start work illegally and then claim ignorance if they’re challenged. We alert the Council, and ask them to take action. This usually succeeds in the short term, but we then need to keep pressing as the planning section is short of staff (and, apparently, the will to follow up effectively – perhaps because Government targets encourage quick decisions, rather than good ones). Even when the Council stands firm developers can usually appeal, though the public can’t – that’s the law.

Even relatively minor issues can take up a great deal of time. It can take weeks of correspondence just to find out who owns a piece of land and whether they will allow us to plant a tree on it.

b). Proposals in neighbouring areas.
As we are surrounded by major development sites, we also study and comment on applications and activities that will have an effect on Kingsdown.

· Sadly, and despite a very well-attended public meeting with senior staff from the BRI, we had very little influence on the plans, and several listed buildings were destroyed. The Cardiothoracic Centre is now under construction, with other developments to follow. We were pleased, however, that Bristol City Council agreed with local residents that the temporary traffic arrangements on Marlborough Hill had been badly implemented by the contractors; the dangerous and confusing signs have now been replaced.

· We commented on the University’s masterplan, and continue to attend consultation workshops and events in the hope of modifying the current plans, which would, in effect, create a campus of teaching and research facilities, and the students’ union, round Tyndall Avenue. Present residential buildings and the current Students’ Union building (by Alec French & Partners, 1965) would be demolished or decommissioned. The models and drawings displayed so far show a stylistically derivative high rise replacing the Arts and Social Sciences building. We are, of course, also concerned about the design of the spaces between buildings, in particular the Royal Fort park and gardens, which still have some of the features designed by Repton in the 18th century. We have also been involved in the University’s new Good Neighbour initiative, designed to improve relations with local residents.

· Stokes Croft Appraisal. There has been a spate of planning applications in Stokes Croft recently, and more can be expected under the ongoing Townscape Heritage Initiative. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £0.5 million, matched by City Council funding, will enable some historic buildings to be restored. We have contributed suggestions to the Council for the appraisal and management plan being prepared to support a further funding bid.

· The Full Moon. In response to a complaint about unauthorised work on this listed building, the Council issued a ‘stop notice’. The new owners claimed to be unaware of the particular quality of the building, but submitted a listed building application (on which a decision is awaited). We objected to the lack of information in the proposals, emphasised the architectural and historic importance of the premises, and urged the Council to take whatever action is needed to preserve the Full Moon’s fabric and character.

· Westmoreland House Site, including Godwin’s Carriageworks (Listed Grade II*). These empty buildings have blighted the area for 27yrs., and in August the City Council decided to start compulsory purchase proceedings if it failed to purchase the site by negotiation. The owners responded by applying for permission to demolish the 1960s building and replace it with multi-storey flats and some commercial units. They proposed a theatre, with flats above, in the Carriageworks. 94 of the total 200 flats would be single-bedroom, and we objected to this over-intensive use of the site, as well as to the height, massing and design of the buildings.

· Hamilton House (former Finance House). The owners consulted on plans for a 5-floor ‘mixed use’ redevelopment (85% housing, 15% retail/office). The option of demolishing the 1970s building was rejected as uneconomic. We feel that the design is undistinguished, too high, and adds yet more small flats in the area. No application has yet been registered.

· Dovercourt (former VW dealer, Cheltenham Rd). Linden Homes has obtained planning consent for 129 flats (106 of which are 1 or 2-bed) on this site, with some commercial units. The early c19 house behind the showroom will be retained and some trees will be planted on the Cheltenham Rd frontage. The applicants modified the original plans, but KCG remains dissatisfied with the massing, the relationship with existing buildings the inward emphasis of the development, and blank car park grills on the Bath stone frontage.

· St Michael’s Hill. In the context of two recent planning applications, we are arguing for the removal of parking from the forecourts of buildings on the west side, by the café.

c). Influencing wider policies
We try to influence the City Council and to contribute to the development of better local policies:

· St Paul’s Supplementary Planning Document. KCG commented on this draft Council policy, suggesting that if yet more small housing units are allowed, it will exacerbate the present imbalance (almost half the accommodation in the area is single-person). It will also fundamentally undermine the Council’s own policy of creating balanced and sustainable communities in the city centre. We stressed the need for the planning policy to be firmer, and applied consistently.

· Conservation Advisory Panel. Jeremy Newick continues to represent us on this City Council body, so is able to argue for Kingsdown’s interests, both on particular local decisions and on broader policy issues, as well as learning about matters that will concern us in the future.

· Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan. The Council is now obliged to replace the current Conservation Area Enhancement Statements, which apply to its 36 conservation areas, with updated documents in a modern format. We have prepared a lot of material to submit, but due to lack of resources the Council will not begin work on Kingsdown until next year.

· Statement of Community Involvement. We supported the Civic Society’s very successful challenge to the Council’s weak and jargon-heavy Statement. The Independent Planning Inspector who examined the document at a public hearing concluded that it was ‘unsound’. We are participating in the work of producing a new version, under the auspices of the Civic Society and the new Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network, which brings together many of the 20 to 30 local planning groups which were concerned about the Statement.

· Shops. Is the loss of local shops inevitable? The Group has resisted applications for Change of Use on three local shops: One of these was successful. Johnsons was lost at Appeal. Now we await the Inspector’s decision on the Laundrette (May). However the great thing is to use the shops that we have more and the supermarkets less!

d). Other
· Website and communications. Our redesigned site at www.kingsdownbristol.net was accessed by 130 people in February, 60% of whom were visiting for the first time. Over half come via a search engine (mainly Google), but 40% come direct (suggesting that they know what they are looking for). We update the site two or three times each month with a summary of the most recent Committee meeting, and other news. These are also posted on the noticeboard by no.11 Kingsdown Parade and sent to our email circulation list and to several other local groups and the Civic Society. The Photo Gallery now has nearly 600 pictures and we welcome further contributions, particularly those of historic interest.

· Wheelie bins. Last September residents organised a public meeting (attended by one of our Councillors, Mark Wright) to discuss the City’s new waste collection service. We all supported the aim of recycling more, reducing litter and improving our streets, but this time last year Kingsdown didn’t have a problem and now it’s Bin City. Bins were given to all households, even those with nowhere to store them. Now the pavements are blocked with wheelie and compost bins and black bags, to say nothing of all the unsightly and unhygenic rubbish spilling out. The Head of Environmental Services has written “We are now in the process of highlighting particular areas within Kingsdown, starting with Kingsdown Parade. We will work with the residents to find a solution which suits all parties, culminating in an agreed approach. Once that agreement is in place, this will enable us to take enforcement action (if necessary) against breaches of the agreement.” If you find that your wheelie bin is more of a nuisance than a convenience, Environmental Services (tel: 0117 922 3838) will take it back and let you use plastic bags instead.

3. HOW YOU CAN HELP:

· If you care about Kingsdown, join the group. It only costs £5, but the more members we have, the more we are listened to.
· Look at the website and sign up for the email update so you know what’s going on. · Offer your skills, time, and knowledge – as much or as little as you like. All you need to be is interested in the area.
· Tell us your views on local developments and what we should be doing.

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MINUTES OF 2006 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Date of meeting – 8.00 p.m. on Thursday 24th March 2006 at the Ark, Cotham Road South.

About 30 residents attended the meeting that Nigel Tasker chaired.

There were no apologies for absence.

Minutes of the 2005 general meeting were approved.

The report of the past year – The Committee thanked Tony Kerr for producing a summary of the last year’s business. Jeremy Newick corrected a reference to himself. He was not a member of Conservation Advisory Panel in own right but a representative of KCG. The report was adopted.

Matters arising

Stephen McFarlane – said how disappointed he was with the outcome of the City Council’s consultation on Community Involvement. He supported the Civic Society’s excellent response. KCG’s endorsement of that advice encouraged him. English Heritage has issued a new consultation advice which can be downloaded.

Nigel Tasker said that the City Council approached the problem defensively. It first instructed consultant and then consultated. Because their proposals had become concrete the City Council treated any response as hostile.

Tony Kerr said that the Civic Society will pursue its views. It hopes that the examination of the City Council’s statement by the ODPM will not be by correspondence but at a meeting.

Tony Kerr drew members’ attention to the KCG website – and to Ukplanning.com, website where drawings for all Bristol planning applications can be found.

Heather Frenkel said that KCG had a publicity problem. The website said continuously that it was under reconstruction. It did not say what the group is doing. Compared to the CHIS and Redland and Cotham websites, which are far more proactive, it looked a two bit organisation. She said that a better website would give better publicity and more residents would attend the meeting. KCG needed more members to access greater expert resources. An active website was the way to do it. KCG should produce leaflets to make residents aware of website.

Tony Kerr said that Pete Ferne had produced a new format for the site, to which material from the old site is now being transferred. .

A resident who lives in Somerset Street West End said that she did not receive notification of meeting. By accident she saw the notice in KCG box.

Tony Kerr said that the door to door distribution had runout of leaflets, so some properties in multiple occupation received only one or two. The Committee proposed two more public notice boards.

The Report of the past year was accepted.

Annual Accounts The Treasurers report was adopted. All members bar one, pay by standing order.

Stephen McFarlane asked how KCG proposed to use its funds to restore Spring Hill.

Nigel Tasker (?) said that the money was originally raised because the City Council lifted KCG’s hopes of match funding (?) money for this project. Nothing then happened. KCG’s funds were far short of the cost of any significant improvement.

The meeting discussed the proposal to re-erect railings around Fremantle Green. This was not a KCG issue. Richard Harrad said that the proposed railings caused health and safety issues. The compromise was to erect an iron gateway. This had met general satisfaction.

Helen Phillips had been very active about re-planting the dead cherry trees outside Priors Hill Flats. Suddenly two new saplings were planted. The question was asked; if KCG saved money on planning trees at Priors Hill, could it not plant trees on Spring Hill, just below Dove Street? There are vacant spaces whether other dead cherries were cut down.

Stephen McFarlane proposed that some of the fund could be spent on producing a draft Kingsdown Conservation Area Appraisal. Bristol City Council is frightened of any local initiative. In Leeds the Headingley Conservation Area took the initiative. They drafted their own Planning Proposal, which Leeds City Council took over to become their model. Jeremy Newick said that it was time and human resources that were critical, not money.

The meeting then referred to some of the issues of principle to be considered in the local planning framework. The new legislation requires the City Council to re-consider the boundaries of each Conservation area. Should High Kingsdown join the Conservation Area? Should Kingsdown be incorporated into a neighbouring Conservation Area?

There is a strong argument that any Conservation Group requires a critical mass through a website. KCG must have access to enough expert resources and advice to produce and keep up to date an attractive website and gather specialist advice on a consultancy basis to respond for example, to the City Council’s Statement of Community Involvement consultation and to produce an Area Appraisal Statement.

There was concern that KCG should not dilute its sense of purpose. Larger, neighbouring groups had problems of internal communication. It was probably better to combine with other groups for specific purposes. The Civic Society is trying to bring together likeminded organisations. KCG has acted effectively. It had drummed up 30 letters to the City Council on the launderette planning application and 100 letters about Johnsons. It is a group capable of marshalling local support.

The Committee repeated the invitation to all members to come to any meeting to offer their expertise and opinions – for example on the BRIplans and elevations (displayed at the meeting) for the cardiothoracic unit shortly to be built on Cottage Place.

All members present agreed to twist the arms of two friends to join KCG.

Election of Officers and Committee

Charles Grant, Peter Ferne, Mike McKee and Richard Harrod do not offer themselves for re-election to the Committee. They were thanked for their contributions to date.

No-one has come forward in the last few years to act as chairman, so, by convention, the person who hosts each meeting also acts as chairman.

Pauline Allen was re-elected the Treasurer.

Helen Phillips was re-elected secretary.

Malcolm and Bridget Parker were re-elected membership secretaries.

Tony Kerr, Nick Kidwell, Andy King, Jeremy Newick and Nigel Tasker were re- elected committee members and John Frenkel and Mary Wright were elected.

The formal meeting then closed. It was followed by Mary Wright’s paper on Stokes Croft, which she illustrated with slides. This was a truly witty, opinionated, scholarly presentation of living local history. She demonstrated how the past must inform and mould our current visual, social and economic development. She was warmly thanked for a most entertaining and informative talk.

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Annual Report 2005-6

This is a short account of what the Committee and other members have been doing in the past year on behalf of the Group.

Members and Committee

There are currently 105 paid-up members. The Committee consists of:

Pauline Allen – Peter Ferne – Charles Grant – Richard Harrad – Tony Kerr – Nick Kidwell – Andy King – Mike Mc Kee – Jeremy Newick – Bridget Parker – Malcolm Parker – Helen Phillips – Nigel Tasker

We meet each month except August to look at developments that affect Kingsdown. Meetings are chaired by whoever hosts the meeting. We are all indebted to our Secretary, Helen Phillips, who organises the correspondence and administration, and to John Frenkel, co-opted during the year, who has helped enormously by taking minutes and preparing summaries of all our meetings. Mary Wright (our AGM speaker) was also co-opted during the year.

Activities: What we do and how we work

Planning applications

We look at the weekly list (available on the City Council website) and then someone goes down to the planning department (behind the Council House) to study the individual applications and accompanying drawings (available to anyone, and now online at ukplanning.com). We talk to neighbours and other interested people, and then decide whether, and how, to comment.

A few applications are for well-designed schemes that fit in with the Conservation Group’s aims and with the Council’s policies for the area; we don’t need to comment on these. Many, though, are proposals for intensive development, converting shops and houses into tiny flats, building on gardens, etc. We can often help the Council enforce their own policies by pressing for changes to schemes, such as reducing the scale of developments, supplying proper drawings, or making the details more sensitive, but even if the Council stands firm developers can always appeal (though the public can’t – that’s the law).

We looked at 39 different items during the year. Here are a few examples:

  • We successfully stopped the illegal development of 17 Ninetree Hill – though historic garden walls have already been destroyed, and the developer has now submitted a planning application which we will need to watch closely.
  • We opposed the plan to put far too many bedsits on the site of the photographer’s shop at 19 Cotham Rd. South. The scheme has now been amended.
  • We’ve successfully opposed several applications that conflicted with long-standing policies for the area (preventing further development of historic gardens in Somerset St and Kingsdown Parade). We repeatedly objected to unsuitable proposals for over-development of a garden on the south side of Somerset St. and, again, the scheme has been modified.
  • We’ve continued to press the Council to enforce the planning conditions for converting the old Johnson’s shop site.

Major developments

Both the United Bristol Healthcare Trust and the University have long-standing ambitions for developments that will have very significant effects on our area. Trying to influence their plans has been a time-consuming and very frustrating process, but we feel we must persevere.

  • We met several times with the members of UBHT’s development project team. They were, in theory, keen to listen to local views but seemed to concentrate on generalities rather than the details of how their plans would affect us. When they finally gave us access to the critical documents, it was impossible even to read them in the time before the formal planning applications were submitted. The project team attended a stormy public meeting in Kingsdown, but did not seem able to understand or act on most of our views. Since then, the team leader has moved on, and we have been working to establish links with the Director of Estates. On the positive side, the plans are at least very much better than the ‘tower blocks on the hillside’ scheme that the Conservation Group had to fight twenty years ago.
  • We have attended several of the University’s consultation workshops and events. It’s hard to know how much influence we (or any other groups) have had. We’re pleased that they’ve dropped the idea of closing Tyndall Avenue, but we still feel the plans represent a very undesirable step towards a closed precinct full of brash new buildings that will dwarf the old ones in St Michael’s Hill. The new Union building will bring literally thousands of students into the area, with predictable effects on parking and other problems.
  • We’ve commented on several other developments which affect Kingsdown (e.g. the Bus Station site), though haven’t been able to spend so much time on them.

Influencing wider policies

We try to find time to influence the City Council and to contribute to the development of better local policies.

  • Conservation Panel: Jeremy Newick represents us on this City Council panel, so is able both to argue for Kingsdown’s interests and to alert us to some of the wider issues coming up.
  • Statement of Community Involvement: The Council is now required to set out how it plans to involve local communities more effectively in planning matters. We were disappointed by the draft, and made several suggestions for improving it, which we presented to the Council Cabinet and then, by invitation, jointly with the Civic Society at a meeting with the Cabinet Member responsible. We still think the latest version is weak and represents a missed opportunity to build on what communities, rather than developers, want.

Other

  • Tree-planting at Prior’s Hill flats. You’d be amazed at how much legwork and negotiation is needed to plant a tree on someone else’s land. After considerable effort by Helen Phillips, it looks as if something will appear.
  • Some of the Committee cleaned up the triangle of land where the Back of Kingsdown Parade joins Clevedon Terrace. We still don’t know who actually owns it, but are trying to find out so we can urge them to attend to the tree before it collapses.
  • Website and other communications. Our first attempt, at www.kingsdown.ik.com, is being replaced by a new ‘blog’ format designed by Peter Ferne at www.kingsdownbristol.net We now post summaries of each meeting on the website and the noticeboard by no.11 Kingsdown Parade. We send them to the email list and to several other local groups and the Civic Society (who featured the Group in their Round and About in Bristol spot).

The Year Ahead

Among the changes we will need to consider are:

  • Developments in and around the area: UBHT, University, Dovercourt, Hamilton House, the Carriageworks.
  • Permanent closure of Alfred Hill under the hospital plans – will it affect you?
  • A larger Kingsdown? New laws require the Council to review all their Conservation Areas. They could keep the same area, expand it or amalgamate it with another one. What do you think are the ‘right’ boundaries for Kingsdown? Should it include High Kingsdown, or all the area down to Stokes Croft?
  • New plans for Kingsdown. The Council will also have to develop plans for the area which go beyond just preserving the heritage. We will need to refresh and extend the suggestions we made to the Council’s last review of policy for the area two years ago.
  • Better communication with members – would a couple more noticeboards help, for example?

How you can help:

If you care about Kingsdown, join the group. It only costs £5, but the more members we have, the more people listen to us.

Sign up for the free monthly email so you know what’s going on. Just email KingsdownConservationGroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Offer your skills, time, and knowledge – as much or as little as you like. You don’t have to be a ‘conservation expert’ (whatever that means), just interested in the area.

Tell us what you think about local developments and what we should be doing.

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