Second Response to the proposed multi-storey car park

18/04977/P – Proposed demolition and construction works between Marlborough Street and Montague Hill South
Kingsdown Conservation Group (the Group) would like to emphasise that it does not criticise the desire of the Hospital Board to ease the difficulty some people have when travelling to the various Hospital buildings; it is the particular solution proposed that is objectionable.

 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.


3 comments on “Second Response to the proposed multi-storey car park”

The Eugene Street flats have been added today to the Bristol Local List of valued buildings. This gives them no statutory status but they can be taken into consideration if they are affected by a planning application……..

Agree with the above comment, it is an excellent letter, however I do also wonder about whether such a car park development would add to the rate of pollution in the area, especially as it is situated in a sort of vale and could therefore add considerably, negatively, to the quality of air in Kingsdown. (I also wonder if the BCC has a policy on the reduction of pollution in the city…?)

Excellent letter making very valid points.

(You might be interested to know that there is a proposal to move the Galleries post office to a part of W.H.Smiths on ground floor of the Galleries where it will be franchised with Smiths; existing experienced employees, some of them having spent their working lives with the P.O., to be replaced with minimum-wage, inexperienced ones, thus saving money. B.C.C. put up a ‘Consultation’ which is impossible to find and which ends today, probably midday – so effectively with no consultation so looks like a done deal – very wrong in my opinion, let’s hope the new site will be adequate for a major city like Bristol.)

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