The 'temporary' hospital building

Local resident Hugh Adams explains what he has been doing to ensure that the BRI sticks to the conditions of its planning permission:

Many of you will remember the considerable furore caused locally by the UBHT’s application for the erection of a “temporary transportable building” (something which it transpired was none of these things!) for use as a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit, near the junction of Marlborough Hill Place and Dove Street. Although this was refused by the council’s full Planning Committee (Jan. 2004), an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (31st August 2004)allowed it, with several conditions. These included the provision of adequate screening and that it be removed by 2009. I feel neighbours should be alert to the fact that if the council’s Planning Enforcement section does not take action to enforce removal then, like a number of other ‘temporary’ erections, it will remain in default and after a few years can no longer be challenged.

It will come as no surprise that the Planning Department’s part in the story has been characteristically dire throughout. So much so that I complained about its inertia in the face of non-compliance to the Council’s Complaints Manager but then had to complain about his inertia and loss of correspondence, tardiness etc. Eventually I complained to the Local Government Ombudsman (I really should have won a “Meldrew” for all this!), who did in fact find against the council for mis-management and maladministration. Net effect: nil.

The industrial ducting grossly exceeds what was in the original drawings; the screening of chicken wire is a joke but the enforcement bods decided that neither was sufficiently deviant to warrant their taking any enforcement action.As it is the hospital is creating a light industrial estate by stealth at what it perceives as the “back of its estate” but which unfortunately is at the front of ours.

Having written extensively on the important role of the arts in healthcare and very positively about the role of visual arts in the new Children’s Hospital, I feel totally cynical about this health trusts commitment to a well-tempered environment.Bristol City  Council’s too, for all its vaunting its commitment to public art and pleasant communities, it  is impotent and hopeless in the face of the effective development of a badly graffitied slum stretching between Stokes Croft and St. Michael’s Hill.

What message does it give to visitors and what does it project about healthcare that it is conducted in buildings possessing all the allure of seriously run-down factories?

If neighbours feel able to write asking what is being done to ensure removal of this building, it will at least give them the idea that they can’t yet again try to slip something by us.

The original Planning Application reference is: 03/00846/F/C


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