PLANNING GROUP ANNUAL REPORT 1 AUGUST 2007 - 31 AUGUST 2008Gill Blakeman
There have been two innovations in Planning this year. The weekly planning applications for BS8 published on the CHIS website now have the added facility of being linked to the City Council's public access (www.bristol.gov.uk/public access), which enables the full details and drawings of the individual applications to be available to members.
Developers are being encouraged to present their plans to local amenity societies before they are registered with the Council. This has enabled members of the Planning Group to be involved in discussion re proposed developments on
- Mortimer House,
- Sion Hill Car Park,
- the modern shopping complex round W H Smith on Clifton Down Road,
- 1-3 Alma Vale Road (where the original plan for 73 student studio flats on the old Edward's garage site has been reduced to a far more acceptable proposal)
- & 3 Park Place.
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 and emails. It is so important that if there is a planning proposal that affects you or your neighbourhood, that you write to Brunei House expressing your views.
Major applications in which CHIS has been involved:
- Canynge Road Squash Courts - CHIS has supported the local campaign group since July 2002, but the fourth application, relying on an exceptionally narrow interpretation of the Inspector's judgement, was accepted by the Council, the final proposal, however, is a huge improvement on the original, and the Head of Planning made it publicly clear that there was no threat to the rest of the New Field.
- 4 Camp Road - CHIS has consistently opposed all proposals to build on gardens, on the grounds that they provide the green setting for the buildings, and are the main reason that Clifton is a popular place to live. Destroy them, and you effectively destroy the Conservation Area. This is a tough battle because the government line is that all gardens are brown-field sites, but the fact that the Natural Environment and rural Communities Act is now in force strengthens our argument.
- Sustainability - It shocks us that, despite Bristol's objective to be the Green Capital of Europe, and the existence of a sustainable building guide issued by the Council, very few applications make any attempt to apply sustainable principles to their buildings, and we regularly draw attention to this failure, which is very slowly leading to a change in attitude
- Use of Land off Ladies Mile for controlled overflow parking by the Zoo - we were surprised that permission was renewed by delegated powers for a period of three years. The Downs was given to the citizens of Bristol as an open space for perpetuity and encroachment such as car parking must not be allowed to become an accepted fact.
- Conservation Advisory Panel A representative from the Planning Group is always at this monthly meeting at the Council House, which discusses items affecting not only the whole city but many from BS8.