TRESA comments on proposed development at 345 Bath Road

Ref: 345 Bath Road Brislington – Galliford Try Partnerships

TRESA’s initial comments on this proposed development are below. You can contribute your comments on the website here:

132 new dwellings are proposed with at least 30% affordable housing (a mix of social rented and shared ownership tenures). The maximum height is seven storeys above ground level at the Bath Road elevation. Two commercial units are included.

TRESA’s initial impressions of this development are favourable, especially in terms of height, provision of affordable housing, retention of mature trees and plans to improve the walking route along Bath Road. Some issues which should be considered are listed below.

We understand Paintworks are concerned about the limited number of commercial units in this proposal as their ethos is work/living space. However, Galliford Try say they have maximised affordable housing (rather than workspace). A balance needs to be struck and Bristol City Council will need to consider whether it is appropriate to prioritise affordable housing on this development over commercial units. The development also needs to be considered in relation to other proposals along the Bath Road towards Three Lamps junction. Is the balance between residential, commercial and services appropriate? Given the lack of parking, the ability to work from or near home is an important issue, and the availability of local shops and services is also a key concern. For this development, in order to enhance a sense of community, the inclusion of a shop or café space where neighbours could meet would seem appropriate.

The height of the tallest building is probably acceptable. However, further impressions of the impact of the bulk and height of the development are required from all four angles to fully understand how it sits within the current setting e.g. in relation to Arnos Vale cemetery buildings across the road, and the adjacent curved Paintworks building.

Since there is limited parking provision, a car share parking space for the development would be welcomed.

Active frontage and improvements to the pedestrian environment are welcomed. Consideration should be given to the provision of benches as resting places along the Bath Road. Appropriate lighting to increase the perception of safety in the evening, would also help to enhance the pedestrian environment along the Bath Road. There is no through access to Paintworks at this stage, but we understand the aim is to discuss access with Paintworks at a later date. In the meantime, it is important to ensure that the pedestrian route into Paintworks is as convenient, attractive and accessible as possible.

The bus stop for those wishing to go into Bristol city centre is on the opposite side of the road. A light-assisted safe crossing, near the site of the current pedestrian ‘island’, would be welcomed as an increasing number of people will need to make this crossing. Coming back from Bristol city centre the bus stop is conveniently located at the entrance to the development.

The provision of public art, to give some identity and added interest to the development, would be welcomed – preferably visible from the Bath Road.

The provision of some maisonettes is welcome. However, the space allocation in some of the homes is tight. Where will families with children they store buggies, larger toys, bikes etc? Additional storage for residents (in the underground area) appears limited. Given that space within the residential units is tight, consideration should be given to whether storage for larger items can be increased.

The arrangements for recycling and household waste disposal require residents to use the lift and go to specific points to dispose of their waste. This may be the only solution, but it would be helpful if Bristol Waste checked these arrangements to comment on whether they are reasonable.

Bicycle storage seems adequate but it will be necessary to ensure that it feels, and is, secure.