PLANNING GROUP REPORT 1 AUGUST 2003 - 31 AUGUST 2004Gillian Blakeman Planning Group Co-ordinator.
The Planning Group has been enlarged and re-arranged this year. We have been extremely fortunate that a new member, Michael Woodman-Smith, an architect who has moved to Clifton from London, is interested in advising us, especially on the larger planning applications. Peter Rendle now represents CHIS at the monthly meetings of the Conservation Advisory Panel and with Richard Bland, Roy Vaughan and Frank Martin overseeing the many applications for felling and pruning the trees in this Conservation Area, Katherine Croft notifying members of planning applications adjacent to their properties, Brian Wilson monitoring the many conversions of front gardens into car parks with their consequent damage to the bio-diversity of the area and Haydn Mason, a former Chairman of CHIS, we have a very strong and active group.
Michael Woodman-Smith successfully presented the architectural case on behalf of the local residents and CHIS against the proposal by Crosby Homes to build 5 flats on the Clifton College squash courts, rifle range and playing fields in Canynge Road at the Appeal last November. The Appeals were dismissed but now the site has a new application for a pair of semi detached houses by Edward Ware Homes.
Multiple occupation is still a concern. The proposed halls of residence by the University on the site of the sports centre at 34 West Park (right on the edge of the CHIS area) of 197 bedrooms was granted by the Development Control (Central) Committee last December. Now the Westbourne & Seeley’s Hotels in St Paul’s Road are planning to convert part of their premises to student accommodation. CHIS is worried about the heavy strain on the services and parking in this neighbourhood with already one of the most highly concentrated populations in the city.
The proposed 8 flats on the empty site at 29 Sion Hill were dealt with by Michael Woodman Smith who joined the local residents in objecting most strongly on all angles of another poorly designed high density development. So far no decision has been taken on this application.
Neighbours of the former St John’s Church in Apsley Road (now an auction rooms) fought hard (with the support of CHIS) and won against the plans to install base stations for Orange within the towers of the Grade ll listed building. Further mobile phone equipment was proposed on Fry Wing of the Halls of Residence at Clifton Hill House but was refused after condemnation by the Conservation Advisory Panel.
CHIS is happy that the Bishop’s House on Clifton Hill is to be a family home and there appear to be sympathetic internal works of restoration by removing later additions.
The weekly planning lists from the City Council are now received by the undersigned via email - such is progress! They need careful scrutiny and very often letters, commenting on individual applications by one or more members of the Planning Group.
Thank you to all the members who have drawn our attention to alterations, new developments, etc and especially those who take the trouble to write to the Planning Department and send us a copy of their letters. It is so important that if there is a planning proposal that affects you or your neighbourhood, you write to Brunel House expressing your views.