Alterations to latest planning application 21-00577-F

On 11 May PG Group submitted amendments to their planning application to change the proposals for houses in Blocks E and F at the Carriageworks and instead replace them with 28 flats.

Full details can be found on the Council’s planning website. Comments are required by 2 July 2021.

The changes are not accompanied by any written explanation or justification, so the following is based on our own analysis.

Changes Proposed to February 2021 application

Lower Ground Floor:

42 space cycle store moved to upper ground floor. Reconfiguration of service core. Minor changes to the sizes of the seven flats. Changes to windows in flat EB-02.

Upper Ground Floor:

Instead of 5 x 1 bed and 1 x 2 bed flats, there are now 3 x 1 bed and 2 x 2 bed flats. Changes to size of flats. Bike storage is now inside the building – through two doors. Reconfiguration of service core. Minor changes to size of flats.

First, Second and Thrid Floors:

Minor changes to size of flats. Changes to configuration of windows including orial windows on northern facade replaced with standard window.

Roof:

New tiled mansard roof over service core. Cast stone copings to edges.

Elevations:

Grey brick replaced with red brick and buff brick. Aluminium coping replaced with cast stone. Changes to configuration and size of some windows. Slight reduction in roof height although this isn’t consistent between drawings. Juliet balconies removed on north elevation and orial windows replaced with standard.

Concerns not addressed:

While the grey bricks have now gone many of the other concerns about the proposals that we and others raised, including at last February’s community meeting, remain unaddressed. These include the low levels of natural light in lower ground and ground floor flats, the lack of natural surveillance in the sunken courtyard, impact on amenity on neighbours, and inconsistencies regarding green roof or PVs. Click here to see our full objection on the Council’s website.

CAG objection to latest planning application

The Carriageworks Action Group has today submitted an objection to the planning application to build 28 1 and 2 bedroom flats on the site currently proposed for eight 3 and 4 bedroom houses. This hasn’t been an easy objection to make as we support the broad priniciple of more social and affordable housing on the site. However, the quality of the proposals is so far below acceptable standards we feel we have to object. The content of the objection is below.

Objection to 21-00577-F

In December 2011 the Carriageworks Action Group produced its Community Vision for the future of the Carriageworks. This built on extensive public debate and consultation and was later adopted by Bristol City Council.  Excerpts from the Community Vision that are relevant to this application are as follows:

We want to see a true mix of housing types for sale and for rent including private and social housing, both low and high cost; a range of sizes should be provided to suit a mix of needs, from single people to families“.

We want the new development to be designed to a high quality with good environmental standards. We want to see full use being made of roofs to provide opportunities for biodiversity and the creation of gardens, perhaps for growing food“.

The statement of community involvement that has been submitted by PG Group as part of the application rightly notes that CAG and others in the community have always wanted more social and affordable housing on the site than provided for in the approved 2015 scheme. When PG Group suggested, confidentially, to members of the Liaison Group* that this could be achieved by changing blocks E and F, in principle support was voiced.

On 14th December 2020 Liaison Group members were sent some plans for changes to Blocks E and F. We had substantial concerns, not least unit sizes below the national standards, and sent these to PG Group on 22 December. There was no further contact until after the planning application was submitted at the end of January.  Neither did PG Group do anything to consult more widely with the local community about their proposed application.

CAG held a community meeting, via Zoom and attended by 18 people from CAG, on 25 February to discuss the application. PG’s architect presented the proposals and two other members of the PG team were able to provide answers to some of the questions posed.

Our objections to the proposals have, at their root, the divergence from the Community Vision in terms of unit size, occupation types and quality.  While we remain committed to seeing more social and affordable units on the site this planning application fails on so many levels that we cannot support it.  In particular:

  • The quality of residential space, in particular natural lighting of the interior and solar gain, is potentially below acceptable standards especially on the ground and lower ground floors. This is due to the lower ground levels, the presence of retaining walls and the height of the surrounding buildings. This will not only have an impact on the health of residents but will also put increased dependence upon artificial lighting and heating. A daylight assessment in accordance with BRE guidelines should be submitted
  • The proposals further consolidate a narrow mix of unit size on the site with the addition of more one bedroom units and the removal of larger units
  • The choice of external finish and material colours is depressing and more fitting to  brutalist housing development in the Eastern Bloc. A more appropriate solution should be found that fits better with the local context
  • The lack of natural surveillance in the sunken courtyard gives us concerns about community safety. The advice of secure by design specialists should be sought
  • The increased height, the removal of the gap between Blocks E and F, the changed roof configuration, the placement of windows (in habitable rooms and corridors) and the materials used lead us to believe that there will be an increased impact on the amenity of neighbouring residential properties especially through the loss of natural light and overlooking. A daylight assessment and shadow path should be submitted along with sections showing the proposed building in the context of properties on the neighbouring streets
  • The impact of the increased height and depth of the building, compared to the permissioned Blocks E and F, is not justified by any benefit to the quality of design and the mix of unit size as aspired to by the Community Vision
  • Conflicting descriptions of the tenure mix have been provided. Most recently, at the February community meeting, we have even been told that the mix is unknown. It is impossible to support this application without knowing whether the scheme is for social rent, affordable rent or shared ownership occupiers
  • During site construction there has been almost constant Sunday working and working outside of permitted hours Mon-Sat, to the great detriment of local residents. If, as and when planning permission is granted there should be an absolute condition to prevent out of hours and Sunday working
  • The loss of green space, replaced in part by a dark subterranean courtyard
  • The amended parking layout needs a swept path analysis to demonstrate it is workable
  • The Energy and Sustainability Study states that PV panels cannot be installed because “the roof space for Block E is proposed to accommodate a green roof in the interest of biodiversity” (page 21). However, no green roof appears in the planning application drawings. There should either be PVs or a green roof.

In conclusion, the proposed development is unacceptable and would provide housing units that are unliveable. To refer back to a quote from a member of the planning committee when the first 2015 application was submitted: “Only its mother could love this”. Since 2015 we have come a long way but we are in danger of the scheme sliding backwards little by little, justified by challenging circumstances and the smoke and mirrors of viability. A mixture of unit sizes and occupation along with high quality design and environments is essential for this development to be a success. As they stand the fundamentals of this proposal are sub-standard and no amount of change to the exterior design will compensate. This is an important gateway site with a facade of historical importance both locally and nationally. From a potential silk purse PG have made a sow’s ear. These proposals should be referred back for improvement.

* The CAG Liaison Group comprises six people involved in CAG who engage at a detailed level with the developer and the Council to champion the Community Vision.  They report back to the broader CAG community.

Notes of the February ’21 Community Meeting

24 people took part in the meeting including local residents, members of the CAG Liaison Group, representatives of PG Group, Bristol City Council and others.

It was noted that this year marks the 10th birthday of CAG and probably 30 years of campaigning by the local community to get the Carriageworks site redeveloped.

The Proposals

(Details are available on our website pages: proposals and axonometric illustration)

Andrew McCarthy from Stride Treglown (the project architects) summarised the new planning application and the reasoning behind them:

  • Site levels are 3m lower than those cited in the original planning application. So an extra storey of height
  • Review of best type of housing on site – preference for more social / affordable flats rather than private 4 bed houses
  • New block will have a footprint largely the same as the previous scheme although courtyard is slightly smaller due to extended frontage
  • Access is unchanged and parking is reconfigured
  • New lower level courtyard
  • Tried to keep same amount of green space and trees
  • Doors of flats open onto the courtyard to keep an active frontage
  • Orientation of rooms and windows to reduce overlooking of neighbours
  • Contrasting tone in the brickwork to keep sense of two parts to the block and to better address the change in window and door orientation between the different storeys.
  • Overall height of south wing is slightly lower than currently proposed houses
  • Units will be managed by Sovereign Housing Association.

Comments

  • Would like to see long sections to better understand how it relates to neighbouring properties outside the site
  • Concern about quality of living accommodation on ground and lower ground floors given the proximity of retaining walls and the lack of natural daylight. Do they meet minimum light standards? Hard to visualise what the lower ground floor flats will be like. They do not feel like attractive places to live. Just because they are affordable does not justify them being dark. Would not want to live there.
  • The overall density of development on the site will be too high with these additional units
  • What is the tenure mix?
  • Will there be a management fee on top of the rent?
  • Concern re security in the sunken courtyard due to lack natural surveillance. Need input from secure by design people
  • No playspace if there are children living on the site
  • If you start having children will you have to move out?
  • There is logic for contrasting brick colours, but a grey box is a cold brutalist style that does not fit well with Godwin. It will make neighbouring properties even darker than they currently are.  Is there potential for a green wall?  Different coloured brick? Tiles instead of brick?
  • Concerns about overlooking e.g. from corridor windows. Need obscured glazing
  • Bathrooms with external walls should have windows
  • Could lower and upper ground floors be combined to make duplex apartments – upper level would benefit from more light (although pointed out that even upper ground floor flats look directly at retaining walls at the rear)
  • There is demand for family housing in the area. Why can’t they be social/affordable family houses?
  • Does the parking layout work? There needs to be a swept path analysis
  • How bill bicycles be brought in?
  • Is the motivation the ground levels or making more profit?
  • What is the timeline

Response to comments from PG team

  • Some tones of grey can be quite warm, but nothing yet decided. Key thing is to have a contrasting colour.
  • Have to avoid cladding with fire risks
  • The flats will have a mix of affordable tenures but no decision as yet on the exact mix
  • Density is changing from 8 x 4 bed houses (up to 32 people) to 8 x 2 bed and 20 x 1 bed. This is not a significant increase
  • All meetings with CAG since 2017 have requested more social housing – PG will now deliver on that
  • Don’t know answer re management fees – that will be up to Sovereign
  • Bicycles will come in from the central courtyard down shallow steps with a bike ramp
  • Target will be to complete Block E at the same time as the rest of the scheme, so Q3 or Q4 in 2022

Other discussion regarding the proposals

  • Family housing was promoted by SPD10 (2006). Since then demand has changed, in part because of the bedroom tax (i.e. higher demand for smaller flats). BCC can help get more data on current housing need based on bidding patterns in the area
  • Concerns about the lack of parking. This is Bristol City Council policy for last eight years. Has always been contentious but is not something we (CAG) can resolve. Best for residents to lobby local councillors on this issue
  • How to apply for affordable housing? Have to apply via Bristol City Council
  • Is the Carriageworks frontage safe given the high winds of late? A: It is very secure – a lot of concrete holding it down and the steel frame now bolts onto the facade from the rear. Completion of the steel frame in 3-4 weeks time will enable the structural scaffolding to be removed and be replaced with access scaffolding to allow the large amount of cleaning and restoration to start.
  • If you want to be involved in the discussions about materials and finishes please email ideas@carriageworks.org.uk

Cultural Plan

PG told us that this is still to be picked up as the focus has been on getting the build programme back on track.  But nothing will happen without discussion with CAG.

 

The planning application is live on the Council’s planning portal.  CAG will compile a summary of this meeting and submit.  Everyone can make their own comments.

New planning application for extra affordable housing

PG Group have submitted a new planning application for Blocks E and F – the two blocks of houses at the rear of the site.  Full details of the planning application can be found on the Council’s website. There will be a community meeting to discuss the proposals – see end of this post for details.

CGI view of the proposed building

The proposal is to replace the 3 x 4 bed and 5 x 3 bed family sized houses (given planning permission in 2015), for which there is probably limited demand in this location, with a single block of 28 affordable flats.

Site layout

The proposed flats will comprise 20 x 1 bed two person flats and 8 x 2 bed three person flats.  

More affordable units will help meet local housing needs and is something that CAG and the community have been pushing for for a long time.  

The final development will now comprise: 

  • 95 x 1 bed flats
  • 35 x 2 bed flats
  • 8 x 3 bed flats
  • Total 138 flats
  • Of which 38 (28%) will be affordable.  There will be 25 x 1 bed affordable flats and 13 x 2 bed affordable flats.

The affordable flats will be managed by Sovereign Housing Association, along with the shared ownership units in Block D.  

The CAG Liaison Group was shown early plans just before Christmas for a scheme comprising 19 social rent and 14 shared ownership flats. We submitted comments on these proposals at the time since when the scheme has been amended.

Details of the proposals are as follows:

Housing tenure:  The existing 2015 planning permission was for 8 houses for market sale or rent. The proposed changes shown to us before Christmas comprised a mix of social rent and shared ownership flats.  It is now for affordable shared ownership flats only.  “Affordable” = 80% of market value.

Ground floor layout

Footprint:  The two blocks are now merged into one ‘L’ shaped block.  The footprint is slightly larger, mostly with the south west facade extending further towards the south west.

Height:  At its highest point the building is now one storey higher than the 2015 permissioned scheme.  There is also a new lower ground floor, although this does make use of the existing ground levels, which are 2.5m lower at this end of the site, whereas the permissioned scheme would require the ground level to be increased by the equivalent of one storey.  Most of the building is therefore five stories in height, with the lower part four stories. 

Birds eye view of the scheme

Massing:  The merging of the two blocks with the loss of the gap in between, the greater height and the additional lower ground floor creates a larger mass than the permissioned scheme.

Daylight:  No shadowing details have been provided, but the higher building will inevitably lead to increased shadowing, especially of the Brigstocke Road gardens.  The lower ground floor flats will have limited natural daylight.  The ground floor flats have rear windows looking directly at retaining walls.

Parking:  As in the 2015 scheme, there are six spaces reserved for disabled drivers. The configuration has been changed which could result in them being blocked by other vehicles e.g. delivery vans. However, this situation was only marginally better in the 2015 scheme.

Security:  While the pathway behind the building has restricted access there appears to be open access to the area around the lower ground floor which is largely hidden from observation. Also risk of tagging on the brick walls. Need comments from the Secure by Design team.

Materials and finishes:  Buff and grey brick.  This seems a rather austere choice.

Planting:  The permissioned scheme included a pocket park in front of the houses and gardens to the rear.  The pocket garden has been replaced by a sunken courtyard with planting and planting beds close to the parking. To the rear of some of the lower ground floor flats there are planted courtyards with crab apple and rowan trees.  The lack of direct sunlight to the courtyard areas will limit the choice of plants.  The sustainability statement states that the building will have a green roof, although this is not referred to elsewhere and is not shown in the roof plan.

Landscaping plan

Drainage:  The application states that all surface water will be discharged through the main sewers. There is no provision for soak-aways.  It is not immediately clear how surface run-off adjacent to Kuumba, which is the lowest point on the site, will be handled.

Community Meeting

We will be holding a community Zoom meeting on Thursday 25 February 7-8pm.  We’ve invited PG to present their proposals after which there will be a chance for questions. If you would like to take part in the meeting please contact us at ideas@carriageworks.org.uk to request the Zoom link.  If you have questions it will help us manage the meeting if you can submit them in advance using the same email address.

PG seeks approval of materials

When planning permission was granted in 2016 for the Carriageworks development it was agreed that approval of materials and finishes would have to be given by the Council before development began. PG have now submitted their application for approval of materials to be used at the Carriageworks. The application can be found on the Council’s website at this link.

The proposed materials are shown below. We have asked PG precisely where the materials will be used – the information provided refers to which block but not whereabouts on each block.

It is a condition of the 2016 planning permission that the developers “consult and work with local stakeholders, including Carriageworks Action Group” in discharging the condition relating to materials and finishes.

Notes of 16 May 2019 Community Meeting

Twenty people came to the Carriageworks community meeting at Hamilton House on 16 May.

It was the first meeting since November but Lori Streich, chair of CAG, said that things had been continuing behind the scenes. Key points are:

  • The site has been cleared. Took longer and more complicated than PG were expecting.
  • There has been a delay identifying the contractor but we understand that one is now being appointed. Once we find out who it is we will put on our website.
  • Construction is due to start in the autumn.
  • Archaeologists are currently on site digging trenches.

Planning Applications

PG have submitted three relatively non-controversial minor amendments to the planning permission and affecting blocks B, C and D (full details on our website).

Dominic Taylor (owner of neighbouring Tucketts Building and architect) said he felt that PG were pushing the non-material amendments to breaking point. Removing a roof terrace (from Block D) is not non-material and should be dealt with through the normal planning process. PG’s piecemeal approach meant that the overall picture is obscured and everything we have secured could be slowly chipped away. CAG should keep a watchful eye on all changes. Cllr Mike Davies said if the planning officer decides that a proposal is not a non-material amendment they will advise the applicant to put in a different type of amendment.

Block A (the largest block) has been the subject of discussions and will likely see changes to the current planning permission. The proposals were first revealed in November 2018 but but not met with great love. PG had provided 3D renderings of the proposals for the meeting and these were circulated. Lori clarified that, while the email from Jenny Gee said that ‘the preferred option was Option B’, this was only on the basis of a choice between the two disappointing options. CAG is eager to hear what everyone else thinks. Discussion followed about the designs. Points included:

  • The existing planning permission has two buildings named A1 and A2. Block A1 (which fronts Ashley Rd) is four stories high while Block A2 (which is in the middle of the site) is six stories high. Each block has its own stair and lift shaft although the main spinal corridor links the two together. The proposed changes create a single block (Block A) with a shared stair and lift shaft and increase the height of Block A1 to six stories.
  • No way that adding two storeys on a block is a non-material amendment.
  • We have been provided with 3D renderings of the scheme but the absence of proper floor plans and elevations make it impossible to fully understand what is proposed.
  • In particular it is very unclear how the corner to the lane accessing the market square will work. The existing planning permission had a lot of attention put into this. Now it is very vague. It does not look like a commercial entrance, instead it looks like a back alley to more flats.
  • The shop fronts do not look like shop fronts. A risk that the plan is to convert them to residential after being unlet for a year.
  • The façade needs more depth so that the existing shops roll round onto Ashley Road.
  • The white lines are meant to be bathstone. This is not a design reference – it’s just chucking in some different materials. This is inappropriate.
  • The current facade is quite articulated and honest. The proposed change is not.
  • The proposed building is higher than Tucketts. This goes against the Planning Inspector’s report.
  • There should be a step down from Tucketts to the new building to the Salvation Army. The amendments lose this.
  • The proposed changes increase shadowing in the area and reduce natural light to neighbouring buildings. The existing planning permission had a setback of the top floors to reduce the impact on light – that setback is now being removed.
  • What evidence is there that the additional space actually help viability?
  • Feels like they’re trying to strip out the character, driven by finances and nothing else.
  • The pavement levels appear to be inaccurate.
  • Colouring of the sky and materials in the graphics is adjusted to try to make the upper floors less intrusive.
  • Very bland for a gateway site.
  • Too modern in an old space.
  • A pastiche of modern architecture.
  • The archway has been removed. (Comment that this was at the request of the emergency services who might need to access the site, but apparently in the permissioned scheme the arch was designed to swing out of the way).

Lori sought an overall opinion of people in the room. The consensus was that that changes should not go ahead as proposed.

It was agreed that there should be another meeting once the application has been submitted to the planners. This will need full drawings on display. It was suggested that we should have neutral architects on hand who can help articulate and explain people’s instinctive objections.  UPDATE: The application has now been registered – see https://planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=PRLISBDNHHU00

Finding the right time to meet will be difficult but CAG will start arranging as soon as the application has been registered by the planners.

Lori made the point that when considering these changes we need to remember the bigger picture. Our aim, from the vision, is to get the site redeveloped and to work with any developer that shares our vision.

Stokes Croft Community Association

Leighton de Burca from the new Stokes Croft Neighbourhood Association introduced emerging ideas.

Businesses and non-residents with a stake on an area etc are excluded from having a say in how a neighbourhood is planned. Other areas of the city have Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP). This is a binding document on planners that can include shopfront design as, for example, at Old Market.

At the Stokes Croft Community Assoc meeting it was agreed there should be a Neighbourhood Plan for the area. The Draft Local Plan identifies sites for housing in the area. There will be a lot of change.

Leighton is employed with funding from Portman Brown and others who have an interest in the area e.g. nightclubs. Concern is residential uses arriving next to nightlife users. His job is to bring people together. Needs 21 people who live, work and socialise in the area and represent a diverse mix to work on a board together – has 10 so far.

Cultural Plan

Lori explained that a Cultural Plan for the Carriageworks site is a planning condition along with public art and management plan. The intention is to address any concerns that commercial units will not be let or that the ground floor will just not work for any number of reasons.

In early 2018 PG appointed Willis Newson, art consultants, who have been working on the cultural plan and public art plan. From what we have seen however, they are producing an arts plan and not a cultural plan.

Cultural plans, in the context of developments like Carriageworks, are not defined. But we know that the site has a natural connection from Picton St, an exit onto Stokes Croft, double frontage shop units, a market, a load of small secondary frontage units at the back that lends themselves to other sorts of stuff. The Willis Newson proposals make no mention of the type of function that will go into the units, or of how people will walk through, of the entrance, of how the market might work etc. We believe that the cultural plan needs to take a wider view than just the arts and that ultimately it will add value to the development. PG however have not been willing to enter into discussions about this wider view.

CAG has drafted an outline of what it believes the cultural plan should be – this was circulated. Discussion points included:

  • Units need to contribute to daytime and twilight business community rather than night-time community
  • We need services that enable residents of all ages and types to live in the area without having to resort to cars (although without ending up with another Tesco)
  • Workshop units that keep the rents down so you get interesting uses
  • Need to consider business rates (which are high in Stokes Croft) – make sure units are below the threshold to get rates relief
  • There is a conflict between turning the market area into a destination for people from all over the city and making it something of use to local residents. Being a destination has consequences for residents. The cultural plan should recognise two strands that need to be reconciled
  • The site should be something that people from St Pauls community will go into. The scheme cannot turn its back on St Pauls. Can’t ignore poverty. If you are building in an area with a rich cultural history you don’t just throw in expensive juice bars – it just services division. You have to make it as inclusive as possible
  • If it works properly it becomes a very cool place to live
  • There needs to be a sound assessment by the Council – the entrance way could turn the market place into a bass amplifier!
  • Will the Council charge for the market – and how much?
  • Management and design issues need to be part of the design and the cultural plan
  • When people hear cultural plan they think art. They don’t think placemaking
  • Need to consider CCTV – there are only two working cameras on Stokes Croft
  • Gates are not an option, but security does need to be considered and is a critical management issues that has to be part of the plan. In Old Market there are gates that are not locked but are so heavy the dealers etc don’t bother to open them
  • Need to look after the residents
  • Need good lighting
  • Design in the solutions to anticipated problems and design out the little anti-social behaviour corners.

CAG needs a mandate to go to the planners and say that the emerging cultural plan falls short. To comply with the planning conditions PG should properly engage about longer term issues.

Etceteras

Blue Mountain planning application has been submitted – large 250 bed student scheme. Please promote the consultation link https://planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PPUSGUDNH3S00

Request: If you are commenting on planning applications or other issues please copy them to the carriageworks.org.uk website as well so that we can see the whole picture.

Drawings and Plans of Proposed Changes

Set out below are the changes that PG Group, the developer, propose to make to the redevelopment of the Carriageworks and Westmorland House site.

We have endeavoured to make these as accessible as possible by showing both the existing permission along with the proposed change.  Click the images to open a larger version in a new window. Click this link for a plan showing the block names / numbers.

At the bottom of the page are links to PDFs of the proposed changes only.

Note that the proposed changes shown in the graphics below are dated from late November and that proposals may change in the coming weeks and months.

Ground Floor

ground floor comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Reconfiguration of service areas in Block A
  • Ground floor residential units changed to commercial use
  • Market square enlarged by removing small green space in south east corner

First Floor

first floor comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • One stair and lift core in Blocks A and D (previously there were two)
  • Lift added to Block D
  • Reconfigured residential space in Carriageworks (Block C)

Fourth Floor

fourth floor comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Additional storey on Block A1 facing Ashley Road
  • Changes to roofs of houses (Blocks E and F)
  • Changes to windows facing South East on Blocks A and E

Fifth Floor

fifth floor comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Additional storey, set back from frontage, on Block A1 facing Ashley Road

Roof

roof comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Carriageworks (Block C) roof reconfigured to accommodate stairs and lift
  • Loss of roof gardens

Stokes Croft Elevation

AA stokes croft comparison.jpg

stokescroft-frontage-proposed

Key changes:

  • Changes to inset balconies on left hand side of Block B (Westmorland House)

Ashley Road Elevation

BB ashley rd comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Additional fourth storey on Ashley Road frontage
  • Additional fifth storey set back from Ashley Road frontage
  • Changes to design of frontage to remove balconies

Hepburn Road Elevations

MM Blocks CD south elevation comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • New fourth storey to Block D

LL Block AEF south elevation comparison.jpg

Key changes

  • Triangular windows replaced with louvre screens
  • Flat garden roofs on Block E replaced with pitched roofs

Brigstock Road Elevation

KK Block F east elevation comparison.jpg

Key changes

  • Roofs of houses in Block F reorientated

Market Square – Rear of Carriageworks

GG east internal comparison.jpg

Key changes:

  • Additional storey in Block D on left

Market Square – Looking East

II:JJ Block A west internal elevation.jpg

Block D – East Elevation

HH Block D east elevation.jpg

Key changes:

  • Additional storey in Block D

PDFs of Proposed Changes

CAR_STL_11_00_DR_A_XX_01001_PL01_Proposed Ground Floor Plan

CAR_STL_11_01_DR_A_XX_01002_PL01_Proposed First Floor Plan

CAR_STL_11_04_DR_A_XX_01005_PL02_Proposed Fourth Floor Plan

CAR_STL_11_05_DR_A_XX_01006_PL01_Proposed Fifth Floor Plan

CAR_STL_11_06_DR_A_XX_01007_PL01_Proposed Roof Plan

CAR_STL_11_ZZ_DR_A_XX_02001_PL01_Proposed Sectional Elevations AA and BB

CAR_STL_11_ZZ_DR_A_XX_02002_PL01_Proposed Sectional Elevations CC and DD

CAR_STL_11_ZZ_DR_A_XX_02004_PL01_Proposed Sectional Elevations GG and HH

CAR_STL_11_ZZ_DR_A_XX_02005_PL01_Proposed Sectional Elevations II_JJ and KK

CAR_STL_11_ZZ_DR_A_XX_02006_PL01_Proposed Sectional Elevations LL and MM

 

Report from Nov ’18 Community Meeting

Meeting on 28 November 2018 attended by c.35 people including 7 from PG Group.

Note: We will publish copies of the floorplans, elevations and CGIs as soon as they are received – hopefully by 3rd or 4th December.

Site Update

  • Asbestos has all been cleared and Wrings now have heavy equipment on site to demolish Westmorland House. This will be the most visible part of site preparation. Anticipate completion by Christmas.
  • Trenches will be dug for the archaeological investigation after Christmas.
  • Target is to start building in the Spring 2019. It will be a two year build programme.

Scheme Changes

PG have been working on the designs since the site was purchased. Clear that the scheme that was given planning permission was not worked up with construction in mind; more an exercise in securing planning permission. So changes are needed. There are three broad categories of changes:
1. Changes made arising from feedback received over the last year

  1. Changes to make more efficient and better use of the space
  2. Changes which push the envelope in order to get more floor space and help the scheme’s viability.

Sequence of Changes to Planning Permission

PG want to avoid submitting a new planning application in which everything would have to be reconsidered. Instead they want to seek permission for smaller changes, one at a time. They will tackle the smallest changes first and then those that will require a new planning permission.

1. Westmorland House

Changes to window details and to bring forward recessed balconies on the left hand (north) side.

2. Carriageworks

Changes to the roof to allow stair and lift core to reach the top floor. Previously the top floor comprised duplex units with internal stairs. These have now been replaced with regular flats. This will need new listed building consent (s19 Notice) which will be dealt with at officer level so a shorter process than applying for listed building consent from scratch.

3. Block D

This is the affordable housing block. All the affordable units have to be under one roof; RPs (aka Housing Associations) will not accept otherwise.

  • The two ground floor residential units will be changed to commercial use.
  • There will be an additional storey with four residential units, so a net gain of two units (i.e. a total of 12 affordable units).
  • A lift will be added so that all flats are accessible.
  • Overall height of the building will be no different to the height of the stair housing previously leading to the roof garden. Shadowing of neighbouring properties will need to be carefully examined via a BRE209 report. (The Council’s new Urban Living planning policy seeks to protect the daylighting and sunlighting of existing buildings). It was pointed out that existing shadow diagrams do not show garden walls on Hepburn Road which gives the impression that there is more existing direct sunlight than there actually is.

These changes will need a full planning application. Don’t yet know if this will be dealt with at officer level or if will have to go to committee (a committee decision will usually be required if: councillors so require, or officers think the matter is significant, or there are more than 20 public objections). A committee decision will add about one month to the decision process. Adding the additional storey is essential for overall viability of the development.

4. Block A

Proposed changes:

  • The building will have one stair and lift core instead of the previous two. Previous design anticipated a taller building so two cores were required. This is not necessary for a six storey building. A sprinkler system and mechanical ventilation will ensure fire safety.
  • Rationalisation of service rooms including bin and bike stores to improve layout and make better use of space, but with no overall loss of facilities.
  • Plans show two empty residential units coloured blue – should be shown as yellow (commercial).
  • The Ashley Road frontage will be increased by a single storey and a fifth floor will be setback. From eye level it will look like a taller building. CGI (which will be prepared) will help show the change. Comments were made that this will introduce much more commercial type building to Ashley Road which has previously been residential in scale. Previous scheme had Block A stepping down from Tuckets building but elevations now show it stepping up.
  • Windows facing south towards Hepburn Road previously protected privacy of neighbours by their triangular form. This has now been replaced by bolt-on louvre screens. There was concern that this is an inferior solution and it was suggested that there should be a specific meeting with Hepburn Road residents to address this issue in more detail. PG agreed to the meeting.

Block A will need a full planning permission for a) change of use of all of ground floor b) additional storey.

Timescale

PG hope to have planning issues for Westmorland House (Block B) and Carriageworks (Block C) sorted out by mid February 2019.

Block D will be dealt with after mid February. Will need 13 weeks minimum but with S.106 could need 4 months to complete.

Overall process could be concertinaed by submitting all at the same time, but that potentially creates problems with overlapping applications.

Other Changes and Issues

Market Square

Whole of ground floor surrounding the square will be made commercial. Small planted area and wall in southern corner also removed. Helps give the square a better feel and will allow for more market stalls. Converting four residential units to commercial has no overall impact on viability.

Rooftop Gardens / Amenity Spaces

Feedback from Registered Providers (aka Housing Associations) is that roof gardens and amenity spaces are too expensive to maintain. They are therefore being taken out.

Commercial / Retail Units

Q re frontage of the commercial units in Block A which do not have large retail type windows. PG said their intention is to keep unit design as flexible as possible. They can then be adapted to occupiers / purchasers needs so if different frontages are required PG can do that. At this stage however PG do not intend to change the proposals any more than is absolutely necessary (to avoid having to make a new full planning application).

Total Number of Residential Units

2 additional affordable units. 12 additional private sale.

Some of three bed flats are being changed into one bed flats as no market for the larger ones. There is more market for one bed flats.

Four bed houses are unchanged.

Social Housing

PG have been in touch with Registered Providers (Housing Associations) who are interested in buying units. Also held discussions with Bristol City Council. However, PG have to make sure that the scheme is viable before they can discuss terms for residential units.

Block D will be affordable housing. Ten will be on shared ownership basis, the additional two may also be shared ownership. RPs might buy additional units but they will want complete flexibility on how they use those i.e. private rented, affordable or social.

Cultural Plan

Continuing in the background.

Timescale for Feedback

Comments from CAG to PG by Christmas. PG will then make applications after Christmas.  If you have any comments please send them to ideas@carriageworks.org.uk and we will forward them to PG.

Community Meeting: Wed 28 November

There will be a Carriageworks community meeting with PG Group on Wednesday 28 November from 6pm to 8pm at the Salvation Army on Ashley Road.

PG Group bought the Carriageworks site in 2017 with planning permission in place. It was inevitable that as they got to understand the site better and worked up the detailed plans that they would want to adjust the scheme.  The meeting will hear what changes are being proposed and will be your chance to give your initial response.

When we get the details we’ll also put them on this website.

At this point in time we understand that the changes will be not be so significant that they will require a new planning permission; PG will hopefully clarify the situation at the meeting.

Cultural Plan meeting – Wed 18 July

Dear Friends of the Carriageworks

As you know, there is a CAG meeting on Wednesday July 18th at 6pm (latecomers welcome!) at St Paul’s Learning Centre to talk about what we want to see included in the cultural plan for the development.

Jane Willis from Willis Newson and Kim Wide from Take A Part, who have been commissioned by the PG Group to write the plan, will be there to hear what you have to say. They have already spoken to a range of people individually and in small groups, so if you have already seen them, please bear in mind that this evening is a chance for others to be heard.

These are the questions we will be considering

  • Heritage: What aspects of the area’s heritage do we want to see celebrated within the site?
  • Community and Partnerships: How can we create a place that is inclusive and welcoming to all?
  • Enterprise and Market: What will attract businesses to the space and make the market an ongoing success
  • Public Realm: How else would we like to see the space used, in ways that respect the needs of residents and neighbours?

These are big questions and there is never enough time. As usual Lori will try to pick up on everyone there, but all of us cannot realistically expect to talk about every point, so everyone will have a chance to add their thoughts on post-it notes.

If you are unable to come in person please feel free to send your suggestions, ideas and dreams to CAG:  ideas@carriageworks.org.uk and to Jane and Kim at Jane@willisnewson.co.uk or drop in a note to Willis Newson at Utility House, 3 York Court, Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8QF. Please try to keep within the framework of the questions. We will also send round a summary of everything we have received on email and at the meeting after the event.

Following this event, there will be an open day running from 2pm-8pm on Wednesday 12th September, venue tbc, when Jane and Kim will share the draft ideas being developed from the consultation process in order to seek further feedback and input before the Cultural Plan is drafted in October.

After the Cultural Plan is agreed, we will be looking at management of the site, but that is for another time and outside the scope of this meeting.

Onwards and upwards!

Best wishes Lori and the liaison group.