Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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Michael Woodman-Smith
Another busy year, we have sent over 33 letters and emails to the Council. Between 5 October 2006 and 6 August 2007, there were 513 planning applications made, all of which were scrutinized. We rave collaborated with the Bristol Community Planning Network through a series of meetings with !he Planning department to revise the Council's Statement of Community Involvement. We hope this will lead to a more fruitful and effective dialogue with the Council in future. We have continued to have quarterly meetings with our Councilor, and former leader of the Council, Barbara Janke together with Steve Perry and other officers of the Council. It is our wish to improve the effectiveness of these meetings during 2008.


Enforcement, or rather lack of, has been a major issue during the past year. Numerous issues have arisen in Princess Victoria Street which have been the subject of a formal CHIS complaint to the Council,

At Wiseman's, the former Clifton College boarding house, consent was given to the replacement of the original cast iron 10 pane Gothic casement windows with 2 pane metal windows to match the existing. The contractor installed rectangular single pane aluminium windows with heavy sections omitting the arch heads. The result in our opinion was. and is, completely unacceptable. CHIS requested enforcement action. The Council decided on a 'compromise' and ineffectual solution with parts of some windows merely 'decorated' black not white. CHIS propose to lodge a formal complaint to the Council regarding their failure to enforce and failure to involve the community through a revised planning application as required by their own guidelines.

27 The Mall (Garage Site)

As reported last year, the site remains undeveloped, and constitutes a major blight in the very heart of Clifton Village.

During the year we highlighted the problems caused by heavy delivery lorries using residential roads, and causing obstructions in the Village. With Barbara Janke. we will continue to press for an alternative and acceptable delivery system. This problem appears to have been completely overlooked here as it was at the Tesco local supermarket in Clifton Down Road.

2-16 Clifton Down Road

The developer decided, wisely in our opinion, not to press forward with a Planning Appeal. I think we can claim something of a victory.

The Streetscape Group are continuing to progress the pedestrianisation of both Boyce's Avenue and Kings Road with the traders, Barbara Janke and the Highways Department of the Council.

Bridge House

CHIS suggested at a meeting with the Chief Planning Officer and Barbara Janke that 3D visualization models should be required to allow officers and residents alike to be able to visualize the impact of proposals such as this. We will continue to press to have this recommendation adopted by BCC.

Rear of 97 Pembroke Road

The application for a pair of semi-detached houses was refused.

Bristol China Factory, Vyvyan Road

An application was submitted for a pair of three storey semi-detached houses CHIS assisted the local campaign group in their objection to the application which would have been out of keeping with the fine Georgian houses in Codrington Place. The application was withdrawn on the advice of the Planning Officer following a joint meeting with CHIS.

Avon Gorge Hotel

A number of the multiple planning applications for the hotel and restaurant complex were either withdrawn or rejected during the year. most importantly the proposals to construct a pavilion on top of the ballroom and car parking overhanging and overlooking the Gorge have been withdrawn.

As yet no decision has been reached on the proposed 'conservatory' restaurant, or the conversion of out buildings. CHIS has major reservations regarding the potentially substantial. and as yet unquantified, impact on local residents of substantial additional non-residential restaurant capacity in terms of vehicular traffic, car parking and late night noise.

We have recently learnt of the sale of the Hotel to the Swire Group who are an Asia-focused conglomerate that is one of Britain's oldest trading firms in Hong Kong, and which plans to assemble a European hotel empire worth hundreds of millions of pounds. It is believed they would plan to invest and upgrade the hotel, but lets wait and see what they propose.

Canynge Road

I am delighted to be able to report that the Architects Registration Board dismissed the complaint of professional mis-conduct brought against MWS by Robert Adam, the architect of developer Edward Ware Homes (EWH). The ARB found that there was no case to answer.

EWH have lodged an appeal against refusal of planning consent of their minimally revised scheme. This would be the third planning appeal for this parcel of land. We note with interest however their lack of enthusiasm to proceed with the Appeal.

Polack's House, 3 Percival Road

In spite of the two Appeal decisions relating to the Canynge Road development, the Council has granted consent for the modern rear extension fronting College Fields (the former synagogue) to be refaced on two sides only with render and fake stone quoins The existing elevations (one of which is to be retained) are made of random coursed and squared reconstituted stonework. which offers a fair resemblance to the existing rubble limestone.

We intend to pursue this matter with the utmost vigour as we do not believe that render is capable of replicating the historic stonework. We do not believe that a historically illiterate pastiche of Regency architecture. can possibly sit alongside a modern elevation in the architectural vocabulary of Victorian Clifton.

We believe that the precedents set by this matter and that of the replacement windows (see enforcement above) would be exceedingly damaging to the character of our Clifton Conservation Area, and that CHIS must strive to have both decisions reversed.

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