Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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CHIS News Archive 2013

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The Swivel Bridge Group

8 September 2013: The Swivel Bridge Group in coordination with the Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society and the Avon Industrial Buildings Trust and CHIS are organising a working party to slow the deterioration of the Brunel Swivel Bridge- , improve its neglected appearance and raise its profile. Contact Maggie Shapland ( for more details about the work party.
Brunel Swivel Bridge

Central Library Petition

Background information Bristol City Council is considering leasing space at the bottom of the central library to the new Cathedral Primary School. A decision is expected in Autumn 2013.

A retired librarian has asked us to help. They want to stop Cllr Simon Cook from persuading the council to permit the Cathedral school to take over and to gut the bottom two floors of the building for a private school for 30 primary school children. Yes it sounds fantastical doesn't it, and this year is our 400th anniversary as well. Apart from the tragedy to the service one has Charles Holden's building to take into account and the damage it would inflict on it. Most of the art library stock, the lending library reserve and all of the reference periodicals are housed on these floors for starters, and much more besides. They want to ship the books out to a warehouse and say that it will make no difference to the service. Quite frankly it will see the end of any worthwhile reference service in the city. Bookstacks cover virtually the whole of each floor. These are said by Cook to be "under used space". Whether or not you are still in Bristol, the regional importance of this historic library should not stop anyone from signing the petition.

I should be most grateful if you could and encourage friends and family members to do so also. My apologies to anyone who would rather not be bothered by this. Emails to your councillors and the evening post are also welcome, should you wish to go further.

Closing date:Fri, 11 Oct 2013

Bristol in Bloom

Blaise Nursery announces its annual sale on June 24th from 8am.

Bristol demonstrates pride of place shown by its communities. In 2012, Royal Horticultural Society’s South West in Bloom Awards Bristol was joint overall cup winners in the large city category. In 2012, 2011 Clifton won the best urban community trophy. In 2011, Waterloo Street won Gold Medal for Shopping Area in Bristol in Bloom. In 2008, Clifton was the Urban Community Award Winner of RHS National Trophy

bristol in bloom

Easter Garden

October 2013: the acquisition of the land had been secured from the developer after protracted negotiation. SJRA held a street party.
8 April 2013: Easter Garden meeting. At the meeting of the council's Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee 8 April it was decided that the whole site should go to a Public Inquiry, but that there should also be a discussion with the owner of the strip in case it could be bought.
Use the Council Committee Meeting Finder for April 2013 The councillors had to decide whether to accept the findings of the independent report.
On 7 Feb 2013 Campaign to save Easter Garden, a community garden, Wesley Place, Clifton may have been dealt a fatal blow after a bid to have the space designated as a town green was rejected by an independent inspector. More details in the CHIS planning section.
Easter Garden

Former Whiteladies Road Cinema 44 Whiteladies Road Bristol BS8 2NH

cinema tower cinema side

24 June 2013: 244 backers, £7,796 raised, 6 days left to raise £10,000. First of all we would like to thank everyone who has already become a backer on Kickstarter - we have had an amazing month so far and, at the time of writing this, we have raised 77% of our total.

We have until 12am on Monday the 1st of July to reach our funding goal of £10,000. This is an all or nothing fund-raising scheme and if we do not reach the target goal all funds pledged so far will be refunded.

The £10,000 will be used to pay for vital building surveys and concept artwork that will become the foundation of our plans for the building

We aim to

Kickstarter is an opportunity for you to become involved and make an impact on the project. This is an all or nothing fund-raising scheme in which in exchange for your investment you are awarded with gifts and a warm fuzzy feeling of goodness.By becoming a backer you will be helping to finance our research and the surveys needed to produce the artwork. If we fail to meet our self set funding target within 35 days all money is returned.
Whiteladies Picture House Campaign

26 March 2013: 12/00067/F,12/00068/LA Alterations and extension to allow partial conversion of existing building to form 5 no. additional flats and to retain auditorium for use as a gym.

The appeal has been turned down as has the application for costs against Bristol City Council.

Clifton Rocks Railway news

On March 11 it was 120 years since the Clifton Rocks Railway opened
Clifton Rocks Railway

Lamp post news

More details
March 2013:cast iron lamposts being installed on the suspension bridge

lamp posts
August 2012: planning application 12/03632/F | To install 6 no. supplementary footpath lamp standards to the Clifton approach of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. | Suspension Bridge Suspension Bridge Road Bristol

Observatory Playground consultation

13/03224/FB - The Downs New Play Area, Clifton Down Proposed play area applied for Aug 2013, granted October 2013
observatory playground
CHIS commented: We commented in detail on the original proposals for this site, and are delighted that most of our concerns have been met. The new proposals are much more appropriate, and the numerous benches will be much appreciated. We would like to make one or two comments, because, as parents and grandparents, we have all been involved in this site since it was first developed, and we as a society put in funds originally, and in tend to do so again.

Firstly the natural hedge which is planned to fringe the vertical former quarry wall, replacing the present chain link fence. This must ensure that there is no access to the vertical cliff for small boys- the present chain link fence ends just before an intriguing small natural cave in the quarry face that every five year old has to climb up to. The vertical face is genuinely dangerous, rather than being a health and safety fad, and, because this is also the planned site for the swings, it will attract more children than at present. There needs to be thought to the distance between the hedge and the swing, to enable parents to push, and adventurous children to drop off the swing at the top of the ride, without landing in the hedge. The distance looks too small on present plans. The responsibility for hedge clipping also needs to be very clear.

Secondly the proposal for the woodland trail to clear the understorey. There is a badger sett in this area, and the discovery of it by children is an exciting feature. The present capacity to become lost in this area is also an attractive feature for small children. The existence of numerous interlocking paths through the understorey created by children exploring the area over forty years is a fascinating and unique playground feature that should be retained because it is far far better than anything that could be created artificially. Because the understorey is largely elm scrub, rather than brambles or nettles, and the vegetation is Alexanders, which was formerly used as a vegetable and is not unlike celery, it is an unusually safe. Please maintain this area as it is, only intervening if bramble or nettles appear. A further consideration is that the existing understorey acts as an effective screen from the Suspension Bridge Road and Sion Hill.

Thirdly the equipment looks on the whole appropriately rustic and the use mainly of wood is appropriate. We hope the colours of the equipment can be muted rather than gaudy. However the sketch design does not include an elevation plan, and the climbing apparatus appears to be at a high point on the approach to the site from the North. It is not clear how visible it would be from Clifton Down Road, or the Bridge approach road. The joy of the present site is that it is hidden from almost all directions until the last moment, and this element of concealment and surprise should be retained.

The Officers responded: As a result of negotiations the climbing unit has been relocated in place of the balancing beams within the bowl of the site. The agent has advised that the revised location being within the bowl of the site and at a lower ground level than at previous, with the backdrop of trees, should reduce any visual impact concerns. The Landscape Officer has commented that he feels uncomfortable with the height of the equipment in this location but that moving the tall climbing frame to within the bowl of the play area is an acceptable compromise. It is considered that although the equipment, having a maximum height of 6.15m, would be visible from outside the site; being located at a low level within the bowl of the site and screened by trees, it would not appear overly prominent with the area and would preserve the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Also, that this addresses the issues raised by CHIS on this matter. The other equipment is lower in height and being located within the bowl of the site would be acceptable in appearance. The other works are very minor and also acceptable.

March 8th 2013: The Observatory playground Consultation ends. The consultation proposals can be seen at Do have a look and comment. It is only a choice between 2 schemes, no apparent chance to suggest anything else
The result of the consultation was that the majority of people responding preferred the option without the bespoke unit.

Victoria Square play area

Friday 15th March 2013 Christchurch School: Victoria Square - proposal for a small children's play area - residents consultation meeting Residents voted against an expensive scheme

I very much recognise the fact that Victoria Square is an extremely well-used, highly valued green space in this area of Clifton.I also very much appreciate the historic setting and aesthetic importance in a very densely populated residential area as well as its importance as a significant feature and a gateway to the Clifton conservation area.

Local councillors first heard of this proposal through an appraisal of the Clifton area, covering the wards of Clifton and Clifton East by the Area Green spaces team. As part of the city's strategy for enhancing and promoting the city's green spaces, teams undertook this exercise with a view to investing scarce funds based on a strategic, objectively based analysis of community needs across the city.The result of the study carried out in Clifton was that there was a shortage of play space within 10 minutes walk of where people live. This is requirement is a basic principle of the council's citywide play policy. Officers will explain more about this at the meeting. Friday 15th March - 6.30 pm. Christchurch School:

Councillors were invited to submit bids for funding for play areas in their local wards. We were still doubtful about this proposal for the reasons above but nevertheless submitted a bid for funding within the Clifton area. We were successful in our bid and are now in the process of consulting local people on the precise use of this funding.

In view of the limited space and local context officers have suggested that a discreet small child and parents play area, on the lines of those provided in some squares in Paris, would be most appropriate. The funding that has been allocated cannot be used other than for its specific purpose, as agreed by the council. We are therefore trying to find a way in which the funding could be used to add to the refurbishment of the Downs play area, should the proposal for Victoria Square not be acceptable.

I have made it clear to officers that if this proposal is to have any chance of success, there must be local support. Local councillors are clear that if the proposal is not supported by residents, they will not be pursuing them further. This is why we are consulting residents first of all. I hope therefore that as many people as possible will attend the above meeting to hear specifically, what could be provided and let us know their views.

I look forward to seeing you there, Best wishes, Barbara Janke

Saville Place

June 2013: Post returned, the split has been welded and it has a nice new coat of paint
saville place

6 Feb 2013: On the 6 February, the distinct large 1842 iron post was at the entrance to Saville Place, looking rather drunken. By the 7th it had gone. The Police have been contacted. I had no idea at the time whether someone recovered it to put it back up, or whether it has been taken by metal thieves. The police could not proceed as I did not know the owner. Guy Bentham-Hill of the Conservation department has been informed, and the maintenance company tell us that the builders have it and it will be restored. CHIS have written to the maintenance company too.

saville place
saville place
Edebrook and Field 1842
saville place

Localism Act

On Saturday 24th March 2012 we went to a Conference about "Planning our future" The Localism Act and neighbourhood planning.

The Localism Act is intended to give communities a real voice in the planning system. It allows community groups to form `Neighbourhood Forums' and to create Neighbourhood Development Plans, to help shape development in their area.
But how will it work in practice? How much power will community groups really have? And just how will decisions be made about which groups act as the Neighbourhood Forum for their area?
CHIS will write an article in one of the newsletters when they have had time to digest the information.
Speakers included Paul Miner (CPRE Senior Planning Campaigner) and Sarah O'Driscoll (Bristol City Council Strategic Planning Service Manager).
There were also talks by `front-runner' groups from the Myrtle Triangle (Bedminster) and Backwell about the reality of producing Neighbourhood Development Plans, and discussions on the more awkward questions that the Localism Bill has brought up - just what are the limits of Localism? How can community groups effectively involve and engage the people in their area in planning? And can communities really use the Localism Act to say no to unwanted development?
For more information please contact:

Joe Evans Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Avonside 07854 741130

Cumberland Basin Piazza

The Hotwells Community Association have a bold plan to breathe life into the derelict area beneath the Cumberland Basin flyover. It is a disgrace that Sylvia Crow’s bold and imaginative landscaping scheme of fifty years ago has been allowed to deteriorate into drab soullessness. Anyone who wants to be actively involved should contact Ray Smith at

Clifton a Cumulative Impact Area

Tuesday 18th Jan 2011: At Cabinet meeting, Clifton was ratified as a Cumulative Impact Area at last. Map. More information in licensing section. We wish to thank Guy Pultney, Barbara Janke and Trevor Blythe for all their support and hard work. At the Cabinet meeting Barbara and Trevor thanked us for our for strong support and hard work bringing this together. Particular thanks are due to Maggie Shapland, who has worked tirelessly with us on this matter.

Site Allocations and Development Management Options

Bristol City Council wants to involve you in considering the future use of land in Bristol and would like your input into the Site Allocations and Development Management Options Document. Consultation on this document started on Monday 14th June 2010. Final check 10 May 2013. Expected to be ratified in 2013

All documents, including sustainability appraisal information, will be available on their website (supported by interactive mapping and an on-line questionnaire) (see: Paper copies of the Options Document will be available to view in local libraries and customer service points

This document builds upon the Call for Sites which many people contributed to in autumn 2008, and sets out draft proposals for allocating land to meet the city's development requirements up to 2026 as set out in the submitted Core Strategy (see Different options for the use of potential development sites are identified for comment. A variety of uses are proposed across the city, including housing, business, industry, mixed-use and Gypsy and Travellers' residential sites.

In addition, the document proposes to designate land within the city for a number of different uses. These designations propose to protect or safeguard land, for example, for important open space, industry and warehousing, nature conservation or transport infrastructure, or where specific policies apply, such as to town, district and local centres.

The final section of the document presents ideas for new Development Management policies which will give detailed guidance on issues to be taken into account when planning decisions are made. Expected to be ratified in 2013
Sarah O'Driscoll, Service Manager, Strategic Planning, Strategic Planning Team, City Development, Bristol City Council, 0117 90 36725


The aim of the society is to bring together everyone who is interested in the huge diversity of historical riches in the area.
Treasures gives an opportunity for invited people to share their enthusiasm about something special for 5 minutes each. By popular request invited local people will talk for around five minutes about something of interest.
Good news! There will be more time for people to get together afterwards to talk and enjoy a drink. Please bring along anything of interest to display!
There will be no charge but a collection will be taken to defray the costs. PLEASE TELEPHONE O1179277157 or e.mail sue.stops@aolcom to reserve a place.

Tyndale Baptist Church meetings

There is a meeting at Tyndale Baptist church, Whiteladies Road (opposite Clifton Down shopping centre) every Wednesday evening, called Time@Tyndale. One of these meetings every two months or so is called a Community Forum and they invite a local councillor or 'big-wig' to address the meeting on a topic of relevence to the Community. They always invite local Resident's Groups to the meeting which is also attended by members of their congregation. People attend from all over the city, but mostly in the Clifton, Cotham, Redland area.

West Bristol Art Trail

Usually in October. The trail twists its path through the work of 120 artists exhibiting in over 50 homes and venues throughout the area. You will discover ceramicists, filmmakers, jewellers, painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors and textile artists as you follow the trail from its bed in Hotwells and the richly historic docks, through a maze of cobbled lanes and secret passages to the summit, the Georgian stateliness of Clifton and as far as Blackboy Hill.
CHIS has been a major sponsor again
More details on

Ten Ideas for CHIS

We would be interested to know if you have any bright ideas for Clifton projects to make Clifton an even better place to live! Contact
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