Bristol Old Hospital Building / Unite Proposals

Old Hospital / UNITE Proposals

old building Rio 0282_A-05-51.dgn

KCG has been very active in campaigning to save the ‘Old Hospital’ building (on the south side of Marlborough St opposite the BRI) which UNITE have purchased. Our efforts have been successful as UNITE have accepted it a ‘landmark building’ and now intend to relocate their own HQ in the building, and develop a Medical School in the lower floors in conjunction with the University. They are also retaining Fripps Chapel on the site. Apart from an inappropriate ‘2-storey box’ stuck on the top of the Old Building KCG is happy with the proposals, and indeed thinks that it will have real architectural merit

However, UNITE are proposing to build 738 Student Units on the lower (south) section of the site, and KCG, amongst others, is extremely concerned at the prospect of a 12-14 storey building (approx. 30m to the top, plus 2 further storeys set back) in this very tight urban location. St James Priory just opposite is one of Bristols oldest buildings, and the impact upon the adjacent streets will be enormous – existing historic buildings completely dominated by the proposals


The application can be see at and follow the links to search planning applications, and the reference number is 16/01888/F. This will give access to all the applications documents and drawings.

 KCG feel that the drawings do not properly convey the enormity of the proposals, and would urge others to comment on the proposals



8 comments on “Bristol Old Hospital Building / Unite Proposals”

Many thanks to Kingsdown Conservation Group for their help in getting Unite’s proposals thrown out by Development Control Committee last night. No doubt they will be back with new plans but my guess is that they will need to scale back the height, mass and density of the scheme to get it through.

Further to J.Freeman’s comment – 2015 preliminary results, company expanded from 43,000 bedspaces worth £2.9B in 2014 to 46,000 bedspaces worth £3.8B in 2015 with earnings up 84%. See,0.pdf for more details

Rob Harding
Volunteer at St James Priory

With all the new building and supply of student accommodation (which is only occupied for two thirds of the year) created in the past couple of years together with the predicted reduction in student numbers due to finances there should be sufficient already in Bristol and surrounding area. We should also be encouraging students to consider their carbon footprints as they will most likely be bringing in additional cars to an already saturated ‘Green’ city.

Lets please leave some distinctive buildings around the City .. It is looking more and more like you could be just about anywhere , all the same!! new buildings with streets disappearing into just a regular lego town, no individual Bristol feel. Just keep some older stuctures and modernise the inside if need be. This is Historic and a recognisable place .

There is already so much student accommodation in the centre of Bristol and the proposed building would just add to the ‘concrete jungle’ feel in so much of Bristol city centre. Please Unite, reconsider this proposal as it is unsatisfactory on every level.

I feel that the proposed UNITE development is too dominant of the surrounding buildings and will have an adverse effect on the area, in short it is far too big.

The amount of student accommodation is spiralling out of control.. The city needs more affordable housing for the growing number of, especially young, people on low incomes. Even this kind of housing should not be on this site. nor in this style. Please reject this plan.

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