Committee meeting 12th December 2007 – notes

Kingsdown Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Statement

On 29th November the City Council’s Planning Department held a public meeting at the Ark in Cotham Road South to discuss the content of the Kingsdown Conservation Area Appraisal and Management statement. Please download the draft statement from the City Council’s website because it is important that we have the best statement that is possible. Send any suggestions or comments to City Centre Projects & Urban Design Team Brunel House St George’s Road Bristol BS1 5UY – E-mail: co**********@br*****.uk
Kingsdown Conservation Group

Bristol University – Phase 1 development
Did you visit the Senate House in Tyndall Park to look at the display of the University’s proposal new Biological Sciences Department to be built above the old Children’s Hospital to the corner of Tyndall Avenue? KCG supports the University’s ambition to build high quality buildings and to improve the quarter that it shares with the City. However, we were shocked by the proposal is to build a 5 storey building – equal to a 6 story building when the roof to house the services is included. At the old Children’s Hospital end, the new building would stand on a basement plinth to give it the height of a 7 storey building. The University wants to build a 7 floor Maths Department, plus a projecting atrium roof, new behind the St. Michael’s Hill building.

The draft Kingsdown Appraisal statement says that “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 pose a significant threat to Kingsdown’s views.” How right it is. Look at the photographs in Alfred Harris’s window to see how the buildings would affect Kingsdown’s view of the Wills Physics Tower.

Earlier this year the City Council adopted the University’s Masterplan as its formal planning policy. The Masterplan said that the new building would have a “strong vertical composition to respond to the context of neighbouring architecture.” It would be built from materials that “show an understanding and respect of the local vernacular and be sympathetic to their surroundings.” The Masterplan illustrated a building of 4 floors built in 3 blocks that step down the hill. The proposed building looks like any commercial office block anywhere complete with external blinds or louvres. The buildings are more than twice the size of those illustrated in the Masterplan. In the words of the Masterplan, the University’s new building will “mend the street”. What we would get would be another brutalist building to join St. Michael’s Hospital and the Social Sciences Library – which the University proposes to demolish. Why, we ask, have a Masterplan and ignore it?

Kingsdown Conservation Group has sent its views to the University and to the Planning Department. Please to the same.

Next Meeting of the committee – is on Tuesday the 23rd January 2008.

If anyone has a matter of concern about Kingsdown to raise, please email se*******@di*******.net


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