Objections to 9 Flats Proposed on Corner of Bathwell Rd/Goolden St

The area on the corner of Goolden Street and Bathwell Road is going to be redeveloped.  The developers have proposed that 9 flats (intended for up to 34 people) will be built to look like 7 houses. Whilst it’s great to see development of this land, the development will:

  • Be three storeys high – and will feel a lot higher to those living on the downhill side (Stanley Hill, Summer Hill and Goolden Street);
  • Be built right up to the pavement with no front garden area (so won’t look like local houses and consequently will feel imposing); and the new residents of these flats will face significant safety concerns from vehicles on a daily basis.
  • Block out the view of the church for many residents, impacting the character of the area and a view visible across the city; and will
  • Only have space for 2 bikes per flat and will have no car-parking spaces. The houses will also reduce current on-street parking availability.
  • By cramming in as many residents as possible have an impact on local services (roads, amenities and doctors etc.) yet the services have received no extra funding, at a time when there are also significant developments occurring nearby (e.g. the 300 new homes at the Paintworks, less than 5 minutes’ walk away/ St Michael’s Dr’s closing).
  • Look significantly unlike any of the neighbouring houses. It is proposed that they are brick with colour panels around the windows – unlike anything else locally.

In November 2016 a development was already agreed for the Scout Hut section of this land – for 6 additional houses.  TRESA (Totterdown Residents Environmental and Social Action) are supportive of local developments, particularly where they are built to consider the quality of life of the future residents of the new development and the quality of life of the existing residents in the immediate vicinity.

If the following major changes were made to this development, we would welcome the addition of new housing as we want our area to be part of the solution to the housing crisis.

However in its current form, this development will have a highly detrimental impact on the current residents. We strongly urge the developers and council to make the following changes:

  • Reduce to two storeys high only – thus ensuring the neighbours’ homes aren’t being looked into and don’t lose light; and that the new residents aren’t experiencing the alienating impact of being ‘packed high for profit’.
  • The flats should be set back from the main road, with small garden areas, to prevent the new residents’ safety being compromised from being on a dangerous road known for its rat running (540 cars in 1 hour 40 minutes were counted on this narrow, residential Victorian street). If the flats are built directly onto the street as is currently proposed, it will be only a matter of time before a vehicle crashes into the building or a serious collision takes place, due to the rat run, the awkward camber with which many drivers struggle, and the frequent use of this road by lorries. In addition changing to set-back gardens will ensure this development is more in-keeping with the houses in the vicinity, and prevent the flats from looking imposing. It will also prevent the new residents from having people looking into their windows as they pass by on the street, as is common with flats with no set-back.
  • The flats should only be two storeys high to prevent the iconic view of the church, a focal point for the neighbourhood being completely blocked from residents living around it.
  • The flats should have car parking as it is highly unrealistic to expect 34 people plus visitors to have no cars. Tenancy agreements reflect a limit on car ownership.
  • Funding should be released to help local services (roads, doctors etc) as part of the S106 or CIL system.
  • The flats should be rendered and painted in colours in keeping with the houses in the immediate area.

If you would like to respond to the planning application – in support or against – you will need to refer to specific planning rules and do so by 1 February 2017 (links below). We have put some information together to help you and would welcome your action on this important matter.

Use this link to submit your response to the planning application (by 1 February) http://bit.ly/2iFejwk  Find the full planning application details  http://bit.ly/2jBMVyK  

Topic Impact Planning Rule
Size of building

– excessive height with large mass and bulk

  • The steep slope of the landscape, the narrow streets and the prominent position of the site in neighbourhood and long-distance views are not reflected in the height and mass of the building.
  • Building is significantly taller, than all the facing buildings.
  • Building is positioned so close to the pavement line that it would not be in-keeping with the height, scale, massing, shape, form and proportion of existing buildings and building lines.
  • The height of the building will be effectively magnified for those living on Goolden Street, Summer Hill and Stanley Hill in particular due to the topography of the area. These streets are on a downhill side so the large scale of the building will dominate the area.
  • Whilst three stories were granted for the adjoining Guinness Trust application (16/01311/F) , this was only permitted in light of the affordable housing included in the development. This street is also of different character to the one this development is on.
  • The SW elevation outlined in  16_05428_F-PROPOSED_ELEVATION___SECTION.-1538838  shows the overbearing nature of the building, the block of flats is 60% higher than the homes opposite. (Drawing above from developer’s plan)
DM26i, DM26vi, DM27

DM29x NPPF 58

Position of buildings

– extends to the line of the pavement

  • Not in-keeping with the character of the existing streets on which all houses are set back from the pavement
  • The development has an overbearing impact on the street scene and existing neighbouring properties which will only be accentuated by the site’s prominent location at the top of two steep hills.
Important views

– will block view of church

  • The local views of the iconic Holy Nativity church will be impacted from multiple approaches therefore affecting the historic character of the area.
  • Inhabitants of houses on the Wells road to the West will have their views out of the area blocked and replaced by a large bulky mass blocking out even views of current immediate neighbours.
  • The development will feature prominently in long-distance views from Temple Meads and the main railway line to the north and east.
  • The scale of the proposed building compared to the surrounding buildings will be incongruous in the Totterdown townscape/landscape.


Local landmarks/focal features affected
  • The Holy Nativity Church is the principal landmark locally. The scale of the proposed building will significantly overpower the Church’s setting in the neighbourhood, blocking current views of it from most points on the lower slopes to the North and East, where it is currently a prominent and much valued characteristic of the neighbourhood.
  • The site has seemingly never been fully developed, let alone as intensively as is proposed (see historical maps http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/knowyourplace)


Design and style

architectural styles, rhythms, patterns, features

– predominant materials, colours, textures, landscape treatments and

boundary treatments

– design of new buildings

– texture, pattern etc.

  • The proposed building lacks the strong pattern & rhythm of all houses facing on Bathwell road as the proposal lacks front garden areas.
  • Whilst the roof line does reflect individual house unit found in the area, the pavement frontages fail to carry this through lacking doorways for each gabled roofed unit.
  • The proposed development presents itself as responding to local character through the use of small patches of render and multiple colours. However, the predominant materials among the existing buildings are painted render with freestone dressings. In this context the proposed building with its brick façade and texture would be a jarring feature in the street scene,
  • The colour panels are unattractive and make the development actively stand out from the surrounding style.
  • There is a lack of any landscape treatment to the front which is not reflective of the local area.
  • The only building in the immediate vicinity to display significant brickwork is the church. This is a public not residential building, it sits away from the render clad houses of Bathwell road separated by the current open plot of land and therefore has a very different relationship to the street scene than the proposed development will have.
  • Poor use is made of the prominent corner, with no active frontage and relationship to the public realm. Absolutely no use is made of the corner, which would be entirely blank in this regard despite the prominent location of the site in both local and long-distance views.




NPPF 126 (the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local
character and distinctiveness);


Green infrastructure/ spaces
  • The proposed design includes no green infrastructure to the street frontage. The site, until clearance in 2016, was an historical source of considerable greenery in the streetscape.
  • Given that any development of this site will result in a loss of openness to the surrounding streets, it would seem reasonable to expect some form of new green infrastructure to be provided to the street frontage by way of compensation.
  • BCC (re16/01311/F) Arboricultural Team: ‘The proposed site is being heavily developed with little or no green space being provided for the future occupants. This in turn has caused a complete loss of any natural visual amenity the site currently possesses and causes the loss of all green infrastructure assets on site. This is in direct contravention of BCS9, DM15.’
  • The proposed building represents an over-intensive use of the site which, as a result, provides minimal opportunities for green infrastructure, particularly to the public realm.



DM15, DM17

  • The bike storage area and the bin store have no ‘real’ windows, this presents a significant area with no active frontage along a prominent part of the building most visible in close and medium range (approaching up Stanley Hill and Summer Hill). In an area of obvious family residential housing this lack of active frontage will look out of place and damage the character of the surrounding streets.
  • The proposed building fails to fully enable active frontages to the public realm.


Privacy and daylight
  • The proposed building, by reason of its excessive scale, siting at the pavement line would have an overbearing impact on adjoining properties in Bathwell Road, Stanley Hill, Summer Hill and Goolden Street.
  • It will also have an overbearing impact on the gardens and ground floor and first floor rooms of properties on Wells Road (which back onto the development). This will lead to a loss of daylight and an oppressive sense of enclosure.
  • A loss of privacy to the upstairs rooms of facing properties on Bathwell road and Stanley Hill could also occur through a direct sight line from the living spaces on the upper floors into bedrooms of existing properties.
  • As already discussed, the proposed building would have a number of detrimental impacts including the new development being overlooked by homes on the Wells road.
  • The nature and orientation of the plot means that the outdoor space would be overlooking the living and sleeping areas of adjacent dwelling in the development.


Ice hazard
  • By reason of its position to the south of the surrounding streets it will also have a significant shadowing effect stretching down Stanley Hill past the Firfield st Junction. This will be particularly impactful in winter months when the lengthened shadow, caused by the additional storey, will extend the area of steeply sloping highway to the North of the development that will be prevented from thawing.
DM27iii (climatic conditions)
Density of dwellings
  • The plot being developed is 0.046 hectares. Proportionally that would equate to 5.52 dwellings. Comprising 9 dwellings this development would be over cramming and out of keeping with local patterns of development.  The developer is only achieving this by adding an additional storey. The prevailing pattern is for 2 storey individual units.
  • Removing the extra storey the developer could still achieve 6 individual houses on this site.
Bristol’s core strategy document  Diagram 4.20.2: Examples of Residential Densities

states 120 dwellings per hectare (dph) for Totterdown.

Diversity and demography
  • Goolden Street and Bathwell Road already suffer from all houses being sub divided into multiple occupancy units with a corresponding transient nature to occupancy.
  • More flats in this particular area will create a concentration of high turnover occupancy and not take the available opportunity to add to diversity of community. A more suited use would be for family homes.
Highway Safety and Parking provision
  • The design proposes no parking provision in line with the Council’s zero parking policy.
  • On-road parking space is at a premium on all surrounding narrow roads.  The development will likely add more vehicles to the number needing on street parking whilst simultaneously reducing the available space for parking .
  • In winter ice and snow provide a significant hazard for both cars and pedestrians in this area. This development with its excessive height will cast an extended shadow north past Firfield Street further delaying thawing.
  • This is a very busy roadway and is locally described as a ‘rat-run’. Positioning the development so close to the road on a very sharp corner raises safety concerns. Cars and lorries often mount the pavement and reverse to pass one another at this point.
  • Bin collection from outside the development will be challenging due to the topography of the area.
DM23 2.23.2
Appropriateness of plot (history)
  • There is little evidence of this land having been developed in the past. (http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/knowyourplace/ back to 1880’s) and it would be prudent to ensure that this is not for reasons of unsuitability of the structural capacity of the land to sustain significant structures.  There have been consistent concerns with the stability of the sewerage pipes on the site.
DM37: Unstable Land
Appropriateness of plot (drainage)
  • There is regular/constant leakage of water from the bottom end of the plot that drains down Stanley Hill (not only associated with preceding rainfall)  The perimeter boarding make it impossible to see what the origin of this water is.
DM27 Landscape Design iv
Recycling and Refuse Provision
  • The recycling and refuse storage is poorly sited and designed at a prominent corner, which will cause problems by odours and obstruction of footways on bin collection days
DM32 2.32.1
OTHER DOCUMENTS These documents are also available online at  http://bit.ly/2jBMVyK Reference in document

Indicating a lack of care, due diligence and professionalism.

2.1 Wrong street name
2.5 States on pavement parking due to no active frontage, therefore implication is that a development will cause parking to be lost. If cars parked off pavement here due to the narrow width of the road it would be impossible for cars to navigate the road without extreme hazard and damage.

The communal entrance to the proposed flats would not be accessible by any delivery/removal vans
2.8 No recorded accidents however many residents’ cars have lost wing mirrors/been scraped.
3.2 Of the 7 buses mentioned 3 are wrong and do not serve the Wells road (8/9/X5)
3.5 Document states Bristol Temple Meads 1.2km. Actual 1.4kn whether by Wells rd or SummerHill/A4 17-18 mins not 14mins
4.4 There are no garages with this development. If this refers to the Guinness Trust development then 16/01311/F Condition 20 states: ‘Cars shall not be parked in the areas in front of the garages at any time.’
6.2 argues if there were onsite parking with dropped kerbs this would add pressure to public parking stock on road. This development with up to 34 people will do that anyway and provides no additional parking. Providing no parking does nothing to reduce parking need.
6.3 “car use and ownership of new residents is “expected to be very low”  What evidence is this based on?
6.6 ‘car ownership would not be financially viable’ – unsubstantiated assumption
8.5 ‘a number of pedestrian routes… to the city centre’ – untrue, the very dangerous & polluted Bath Road bridge is the only direct way to town
8.8 document states “the Goolden street frontage has limited function (h)as a pedestrian through route and thus limited footfall”. This is not so, Goolden street is a busy thoroughfare for pedestrians especially children and parents walking to Hillcrest primary school via non main roads via School rd park.
The Transport Statement fails to address the most obvious issues in this spot: high volume of through traffic and constant row of parked vehicles on both sides of the narrow streets.

www.fixmystreet.com/report/819602 (photo&video evidence)



3.5 / 8.3







Indicating a lack of care, due diligence and professionalism. This raises concerns about the trustworthiness of the developer to follow through on their ‘intentions’ outlined in the document.

The introduction mentions associated parking – there is none with this development.
1.1 Document mentions 3 ½ storey building. This is an error.
1.3 b “states large areas of glazing are to be located on the South elevation to allow for thermal gains from the sun during the winter”

  • The rear southern elevation shown on

              16_05428_F-PROPOSED_ELEVATION___SECTION.-1538838 shows the glazing considerably

            smaller than those on the front facing windows.

  • Due to the rear of the building being set back from Bathwell rd toward the church the rear of the block will be in the shadow of the church for most of the winter months and receives no direct sun, as a site visit would easily evidence.
  • The Southern elevation will also likely be overshadowed by the 3 storey development on the old scout hut site should that go ahead.

1.3c Mentions the technologies being considered for ‘Station Approach site” This has no relevance to this development. Again a cut and paste approach showing no diligence in the specifics of this site.
2.0 reference to Kings weston Lane – not relevant to this development

  • Mentions parking provision 0.5 spaces per dwelling. This is incorrect
  • Bike storage ratio incorrect.

3.0 Mentions “flat roof”  for solar panels. Incorrect. The roof is made of multiple valleys and peaks mainly on an east west aspect therefore less suitable for solar panels.
3.0 Water. Mentions permeable paving in car parking area. This is not provided therefore what is the plan for the exterior shared amenity space regarding drainage?





3.0 Water

There are obvious cut and paste errors and incostistencies.

7.  Waste Storage and Collection – no notes regarding collection

11. Foul Sewage ‘Unknown’ –  this is a major issue as the main sewer is broken see photo below

The location of the sewer; running through the site, parallel to the road edge, this creates a non-developable zone to the rear.’ (16/01311/F  DAS)
12. Assessment of Flood Risk

How will surface water be disposed of? Soakaway –  drains are over capacity already
13. Biodiversity and Geological Conservation

BCC (re16/01311/F) Arboricultural Team: ‘The proposed site is being heavily developed with little or no green space being provided for the future occupants. This in turn has caused a complete loss of any natural visual amenity the site currently possesses and causes the loss of all green infrastructure assets on site. This is in direct contravention of BCS9, DM15.’
14. Please describe the current use of the site: Implementation of planning application(s) for 10 flats and 2 maisonettes – Untrue statements contradicting Consultee Comments (16/00233/)
15. Trees or hedges – untrue statements contradicting Consultee Comments (16/00233/)






GEOTECHNICAL REPORT This document was produced in 2008 for a different proposal therefore outdated .

Site area 0.02ha – incorrect

Building Level ‘necessitate the removal of up to 3m of soil to achieve foundation level’ – excessive excavation

‘Former oil tank’ contamination (from a garage)

‘The new foundations must not overstress the sewer…’ – the main sewer is already in a vulnerable state


‘Former oil tank… intend to remove all traces of oil… 115-130m3 non-hazardous soil’ to be excavated

Other links for Highways Safety issues

https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/819602 Stanley Hill photos

https://tracker.trafficchoices.co.uk/issue/507/show rat run


http://www.hands-on-bristol.co.uk/projects/#/test/ UWE project    

Use this link to submit your response to the planning application (by 1 February) http://bit.ly/2iFejwk   Find the full planning application details  http://bit.ly/2jBMVyK