Further comment by CHIS on the Zoo's Application to re-develop the West Car Park.

Jul 23, 2022

The Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society reiterates in the strongest possible terms its opposition to this inappropriate and damaging set of proposals. CHIS is also more than surprised that, in the light of the views of English Heritage and CAP, the Application has not been amended before being re-submitted.

The following points are of particular importance in assessing the proposals :

  1. The scheme constitutes over-intensive development. In the words of Historic England, 'the proposed layout, massing and design fails to respond to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area'.

  2. A high proportion of the homes have only a single aspect. There is no daylight in some corridors. Far too many have no access to private open space. There is nowhere for children to play.

  3. The buildings are too high, especially those proposed on College Road, and are out of keeping with surrounding buildings. As Historic England puts it, '(the) robust rhythm of weighty Victorian villas, constructed predominantly from dressed rubble and Bath stone detailing, is certainly the overriding built form and the concept of a terraced approach of this scale alongside the existing short terrace is of considerable concern'. The poor design and over-massing would damage the setting of surrounding buildings.

  4. A significant number of mature trees would be lost.

In sum, the proposals fail altogether to preserve or enhance the character of the Conservation Area. In fact, they would do the opposite and cause significant harm.

It is also relevant to point out that the housing is of such construction that the embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions will be far in excess of what is targeted by bodies such as the RIBA and the UK Green Building Council. Giving consent to housing of this nature is not consistent with the Council's own declaration of a climate emergency.

Chris Jefferies, on behalf of the Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society.

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