Plans for a block of flats that would ‘dwarf’ a historic pub in Bristol have been submitted by developers.
A total of 52 flats are being proposed in a nine storey building on Bath Road in Totterdown, on a site which is currently a car wash.
The development site is located next door to the Grade II-listed Thunderbolt pub, which was built in 1840 and for years was better known as the Turnpike Inn.
READ MORE:Building up or building out? Do we solve Bristol’s housing crisis with skyscrapers or new suburbs?
A development company called PYL Bath Road Limited has submitted the planning application, through Thornbury-based planning agents Rackham Planning.
Of the 52 planned apartments, 16 would be one-bed flats, and 36 would have two beds. The developer is proposing that 16 of the flats would be classed as ‘affordable’, which meets the minimum 30 per cent affordable housing policy from Bristol City Council.
Of those 16 affordable flats, six would be one-beds and ten will be two-beds. If plans are approved, 12 of the affordable flats would be for ‘social rent’, the most affordable rent status, while four would be offered as part of a shared ownership deal with a housing association. The development would be at the bottom of the famous hills of Totterdown, with its steeply-rising streets up to the landmark Holy Nativity church on Wells Road at the top of the hill.
The plans were submitted in late July and have just been released on Bristol City Council’s planning portal, where there are already objections from local residents.
Many living in Hillside Street, the road directly behind the car wash site, are opposing the plans, saying the nine-storey buildings would completely overshadow their homes.
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“My house and the others on both sides of Hillside Street will be completely dwarfed and have their view blocked,” wrote one Hillside Street resident. “The scale/design of the proposed building is inconsiderate of the houses on Hillside street and upwards,” she added.
“This is completely inconsiderate of the surrounding residential properties – who have not been notified,” wrote another resident. “The houses on Hillside Street directly facing the site would be extremely diversely affected. It is of inappropriate size,” she said.
Plans for a nine-storey apartment block next to the Thunderbolt pub in Totterdown
(Image: Bristol live)
The former petrol station has never been developed into housing, despite several planning permissions being granted by city council planners. In 2007, planning permission was granted for three blocks of flats up to four-storeys high that would have housed 21 flats, but they were never built. Then in 2011, planning permission was granted again for a new plan that would have seen 11 flats built there, but those plans didn’t come to fruition either.
One resident of Hillside Street said he and his neighbours were happy with earlier plans, but the nine-storey buildings are too high. “I object to the height of the building as it will block the views from our home and of our neighbours,” he told planners.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tours construction works at The Boat Yard in Bristol
(Image: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
“We will also be overlooked by the people in the new flats into our garden. We will lose all privacy. I also feel the impact on the road with extra cars and parking. I feel the noise could affect our home. I am not opposed to the original plan of 30 flats which was the planning permission when we bought our home eight years ago,” he added.
A campaign against the plans is growing in Totterdown, with locals fearing the decision to give permission for a 17-storey tower block to be built on the former Esso Garage next to Totterdown Bridge, just a few yards from the car wash site, could be seen as setting a precedent for tall buildings along the river and the A4, ruining one of Bristol’s classic views of Totterdown above.
The plans for those who will eventually live in the Totterdown Bridge tower block, which is now under construction and has been renamed ‘The Boat Yard’, were recently changed, as the flats will be classed as 100 per cent affordable after the developers struck a deal with a London-based housing association.
When Labour leader Keir Starmer visited Bristol ahead of the local elections in May, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees took him to the construction site as part of a tour of the city.
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