Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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CHIS Planning Advice and Infomation

Maggie Shapland
Watching planning applications is a lot easier than it used to be now that application details are on web sites. They help you monitor:

Length of time for comment on individual applications

There is 3 weeks grace from the receipt of a letter giving notice of an application and about 5 weeks from the date of registration.
As from March 2010, any elected officer can refer a planning application to a planning committee, before it used to be the planning officers decision. More details

Anyone who feels they might like to speak at a Development Committee Planning Meeting must book a slot early - midday on the day before the meeting. A good showing from passionate local people should play well- but do not speak for more than 3 minutes, only present the main points of your objection since it should have been read earlier by the panel, and do try to orchestrate the campaigners to make sure each puts forward different points. Councillors can be very responsive to a gathering of local objectors, which is perhaps no surprise given that they are elected officials.
Do write as individuals against a particular development, making sure to state your context (resident, neighbour, local shopkeeper etc). Comments about planning applications to: Planning, Transport and Sustainable Development, Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol BS1 5UY. Telephone: 0117 9223976
You can search for planning applications, decisions, site histories and appeals via Bristol City Council public Access website, and on the national planning website (see the useful website section for more details)

Protocol for minor Amendments for Planning

Application suffixes

Ever wondered what the suffix on the end of and application meant? eg 11/03339/F and why sometimes there are two application numbers (usually LA and F, or LC and F)
A Advertisement
COND Discharge of conditions
F Full Planning
H Full Planning (Householders)
LA Listed Building Consent (Alter/Extend)
LC Conservation Area Consent
M Reserved Matters
NMA Non material amendment of planning permission
VC Works to Trees in Conservation Areas
VD Dead/Dying/Dangerous trees
X Variation/Deletion of a Condition

Closure of Planning Reception, Brunel House

It is no longer cost effective for the number of visits to the reception, which has fallen from 50 /day to 50/week, to keep two officers just sitting on reception. You now need to make a call to the planning office saying which application was wanted and giving them enough time to get the documents out. Apparently some of the older information is now kept off site near the Create Centre so if you are looking for background information that needs to be collected from there they would need 24 hours to get the documents over to Brunel House. Any new applications are kept in house so only a short period of notice is needed. They are also talking about getting some larger screens installed in planning reception so that people can look at drawings on screen. Apparently a number of applications are now submitted online so that it is costly for the planners to print them out for people to look at on paper. It is therefore going to be more usual to have to look at drawings on screen.
The bonus is that all applications including tree applications are now going to be scanned and put on line.
There are a number of Customer Service points where the application drawings can be viewed free of charge on PublicAccess, the council planning application service
Nearest Customer Service Point addresses:

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. Due to be ratified in July 2014.

All documents, including sustainability appraisal information, will be available on our website (supported by interactive mapping and an on-line questionnaire) ( Paper copies of the Options Document will be available to view in local libraries and customer service points from Wednesday 16th June.

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.

We have arranged a series of drop-in events in each of the Neighbourhood Partnership Areas around the city for people to come along to. Parks Officers will also be at these drop-ins to answer questions about the Area Green Space Plans which will be consulted on during the same period (see The drop-in events will run from Midday until 8 pm on the following days, and further drop-in events are currently being arranged in a central location: Comments can be submitted via our on-line questionnaire. You may also wish to suggest additional policies or sites.

Website: Freepost:Site Allocations (CD/BH) Freepost BS6529 BRISTOL BS1 5BR Telephone: 0117 903 6725 This is an important opportunity for you to influence the future of your area and we look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully
Sarah O'Driscoll, Service Manager, Strategic Planning, Strategic Planning Team, City Development, Bristol City Council, 0117 90 36725

Clifton Conservation Area Character Appraisal

Signed off 19 July 2010. Special thanks have been acknowledged for the support of CHIS.. Bristol City Council's Urban Design & Conservation Team have produced a Character Appraisal for the Clifton Conservation Area. Character Appraisal Maps (building ages, routes and spaces, building types (listed etc), land use)
A Character Appraisal is a document that outlines the significance and special interest of a Conservation Area; it details the features that make that specific area unique. It is one of the documents that guides and informs planning policy for an area.
Available on-line (follow link to Character Appraisal page) or hard copies are available on request for £35 (100 pages and maps). A copy will be available in Clifton library.

Bristol currently has 33 Conservation Areas, and the city council has a statutory duty to review their character, special interest and boundaries.

Since 2006 the city council has committed to undertake a full review of Bristol's existing 33 Conservation Areas, through the production of a Character Appraisal and set of Management Proposals for each area. Character Appraisals are a record of features that will inform sound decisions on the future management of the area.

To date, the following Character Appraisals have been adopted:


Send issues to
Enforcement Report for 2009


June 2010:The HMO law has now been scrapped
April 2010:The law has now changed. Units holding 3 or or more individuals will now need planning permission,
More details

Guidelines for Pre Application Involvement

The following steps are recommended as good practice that the Council will expect from planning proposals that have significant local impact and are drawn from the SCI Ground Rules: This record will be agreed and signed by both parties and submitted with the planning application. If no agreement on the document can be reached, then both parties may submit their own statement to the Council to be considered along with other information relating to the application.

The Statement of Community Involvement is a legal requirement introduced as part of the Government's drive to improve the planning system by making it more accessible to the public. The document aims to be a clear statement of how and when the public will be involved in planning Bristol's future development.
February 2007: discussed by community groups and the Council
August 2006: The Planning Inspector decided that the Council's statement did not pass the test of good practice. The Council had to rewrite the statement and go through another public involvement exercise
This document can be accessed over the Council web site or inspected at their offices (Brunel House), hard copy (£3).

Removal of Trees

Planning Issues you can comment on:
Comments against the proposed removal of the tree MUST be based on planning issues, I have listed a few examples below or you can visit the planning applications commenting section at this address ;
Example Planning Issues: What your letter must contain;
Your letter or email must include date, name, address, application number and the Site address , if you email; include the letter as an attachment if you want to avoid publication of your email address.

Conservation Planning Advice and how to comment on applications

Ring Kingsley Fulbrook (922 2966) who deals with conservation matters, if you are concerned about a development changing the appearance of the original building and it's grounds in a Conservation area.

Satellite Dishes

Planning permission is needed for satellite dishes in a conservation area for an antenna installed on a chimney, wall, or a roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a road or a Broads waterway. (If you are not sure, get advice from the local planning authority.).
If you live in a ‘listed building’ and want to install an antenna on that building, you generally need to apply for ‘listed building consent’. This consent is different from planning permission. You need listed building consent for any antenna that affects the character or appearance of a listed building or its setting.
More detail in Planning Portal - the government's online service for planning.

Protection of Private Gardens (Housing Development) Bill

June 2010:'Garden grabbing' to be curbed The Government will announce new measures today to stop the practice of ''garden grabbing'' which has seen green suburbs turn grey as developers cram ever more houses into suburban spaces. Decentralisation minister Greg Clark is giving local councils immediate powers to prevent the building of new homes in back gardens, which has been on the rise in recent years.

Oct 2006: There is a worrying issue of the designation of private gardens as brown field land and subsequent development of these gardens. We are concerned that the classification of all gardens as brownfield land could lead to speculative builders buying up old houses with large gardens and replacing these with poorly situated flats that could in time substantially change the nature of an area. This could also put strain on existing services and deprive communities of the valuable amenity of gardens that provide pleasure for the owners and enhance the entire area. This issue is causing a lot of concern, not only amongst organisations such as the Civic Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society, but also to many MP’s from all parties. To tackle this issue a private members bill has been introduced by Greg Clark MP. This bill, the Protection of Private Gardens (Housing Development) Bill, seeks to stop the practice of designating private gardens as brownfield sites for planning purposes. The bill, which can be seen here: will have its second reading on October 20th 2006. We urge all our members to write to their MP’s in support of this bill.

Planning Use Classes

Updated in March 2005. The following classes of use are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (referred to in Part 2). See Statutory Instruments 1987 and Communities and Local Government Changes of use of Buildings and Land

Height Matters

'Height Matters?' is a consultation initiative to consider Bristol's existing tall buildings and what stance should be taken by the City towards future tall buildings. Throughout April, May and June 2004 the Council used a series of public events, exhibitions and surveys to find out the public's views on tall buildings. Additionally, policy guidance on tall buildings (prepared by the Council), was placed on the Bristol City Council website. Indication of areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings. Of particular interest to CHIS was that the Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment - has been suggested as area that may be appropriate for an iconic tall building. The report published on 20th January 2005 giving planning guidance to the city council states that planners should consider applications for tall buildings. The new policy on tall buildings has been approved at a meeting of the council's environment, transport, and leisure executive. It sets out the areas in the city where tall buildings should and should not be included.

Fighting the developers

This link describes the standards that developers should adhere to, but in practice do not: Unless you continually keep contacting the Bristol City Council's Highways Section (who are very helpful), the developers will try to get away with everything they can.

Effect of changes to householder permitted development rights

Statutory Instrument 2008 No 2362 was implemented October 2008, in which Permitted Development was altered to allow householders to modify their property in certain ways without needed planning consent. It was not clear from the document whether the relaxation applied to protected areas and properties such as listed buildings, Article 4 Direction, Conservation Areas, etc.
Alan Shrank of Network of Residents' Association wrote to the Minister of Housing, then Margaret Beckett on 11 October 2008, and failing a reply then wrote to the Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, on 17 December 2008. He has just received the wanted letter from the Department of CLG which should dispel our fears.

Useful websites:

Planning links
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