Application Details

Reference 21/00824/FB
Address Open Space Kingswear Road Bristol BS3 5JF  
Street View
Proposal Redevelopment of site to provide 34no residential dwellings (Use Class C3) with associated landscaping, parking, and refuse and recycling storage.
Validated 16-02-21
Type Full Planning (Regulation 3)
Status Decided
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 26-03-21
Standard Consultation Expiry 23-03-21
Determination Deadline 18-05-21
Decision GRANTED subject to condition(s)
Decision Issued 11-03-22
BCC Planning Portal BCC Planning Portal
Public Comments Supporters: 0 Objectors: 14  Unstated: 1  Total: 15
No. of Page Views 0
Comment analysis   Date of Submission
Nearby Trees Within 200m

BTF response: OBJECT

See also the reponse to our FoI - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/request_for_biodiversity_net_gai?nocache=incoming-2034040#incoming-2034040

We have written to the Mayor and Councillor Dudd:

"Dear Mayor Rees and Councillor Dudd,

 
Please see the formal response to our FoI request for a copy of the Biodiversity Net Gain evidence which was not produced in support of this application though it should have been. Here is our response:
 

"Dear Bristol City Council,

You state ' The biodiversity Metric Calculation (D492) was provided by the applicant
as part of the submission to their planning application'.

This is simply not the case as our original response makes clear. The applicant provided a document called a 'Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment' (Assessment) This is not the same as the biodiversity Metric Calculation which the applicant made clear at page 4 of the Assessment:
"Purpose and scope of report
1.8 This report utilises Natural England’s Biodiversity Metric 2.0 Calculation Tool to
calculate the differential in biodiversity value before and after development."

This document contains information which is not available in the Assessment.

Having referred to this calculation, it is not unreasonable to expect a copy of the calculation to be published on the planning portal as well as the Assessment. This has not happened.

As it it is neither appropriate nor possible for us to ask the applicant directly for this document, we are left with no choice but to ask through the Bristol City Council LPA who can require the applicant to produce it as part of their evidence. Furthermore it is surprising that the Council has not asked for a copy as officers are expected to review it as pat of Natural England's biodiversity net gain verification process.

Please ask the applicant to provide this document and publish it on the planning portal (or send it to us) so that we can access it."

It is hard to believe that such an obstructive response would have been considered appropriate. I wonder if you agree, especially given the city's commitment to deal with the declared ecological emergency?
 
I have written to the applicant's agent requesting the evidence, but they are under no obligation to respond. Only the LPA has the power to oblige them to produce this evidence which they have clearly prepared.
 
I urge you to use your influence to ensure that your officers provide the information requested without us having, once again, to ask the ICO to intervene. After all, what is there to hide?"

See site plan - https://bristoltrees.space/Tree/sitecode/BTF-063

Email sent 14 March 2022

Dear Sirs,
 
We are very surprised to see that you have allowed this application even though it will result in a loss of 19% biodiversity to be dealt with as a pre-development condition - which will not then be subject to any public scrutiny. This is the pre-condition:
Screenshot 2022-03-14 at 08.12.30.png
We appreciate that these provisions of the Environment Act have not yet taken effect, but we would like to remind you that, as we have been advised, the planning authority does not give permission to planning applications that show any biodiversity loss, let alone 19%. We also remind you that the Council has declared climate and ecological emergencies. At the very least, this decision goes against the spirit of this.
 
When the Environment Act 2021 does take effect (we understand this will probably be next year - so before this development is complete), it will be subject to Part 6 and Schedule 14 of the Act. This amends Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to create a new section 90A:

Screenshot 2022-03-14 at 08.21.04.png

We are therefore very surprised to read this in the officer's report:
Screenshot 2022-03-14 at 08.46.13.png
Can you please explain how it is that permission was granted given all of the above.
 
Furthermore, what steps will be taken to ensure that Section7 of the Act - Conservation Covenants - will be enforced? You will note that covenants need to be in place before permission is granted.
 
Notwithstanding the above, we still require to see the Biodiversity Metric calculation (in an .xlsm format) upon which the Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment of April 2021 is based. If you require it, we will issue an FoI for this information.
 
Dear Nicola and Richard - in light of this decision, please advise us what steps are being taken to ensure that decisions such as this will not be made in other planning matters likely to be decided before the above provisions of the Environment Act 2021 take effect. It was just this sort of issue that we planned to discuss with you before the meeting about the Act which was planned for last week was abandoned by you at the last moment.

Public Comments

on 2021-04-01   OBJECT

Just to say we need more green spaces not less. Especially with more housing in flats.This lockdown has proved their value.

Think of the human element, not just bodies.We need more than a roof.

on 2021-04-01   OBJECT

This proposal goes against the council's own biodiversity plans. By it's own admission,biodiversity in Bristol is in crisis.

In 2018 The Bristol Voice carried a front page story in line with that policy staring that South Bristolis one of the least biodiverse areas in Bristol and that those areas that it did have need not onlyour protection but also our ideas on increasing that biodiversity.

Stop building things in every inch of Bristol space. The Northern Slopes needs to be a protectedhabitat not a building development. Preserve the green spaces here, leave the Northern Slopesundeveloped, increase biodiversity in South Bristol.

on 2021-04-01  

Dear Planning Department Officers and Planning Committee

21/000824/FB - HOUSING UPHILL OF KINGSWEAR ROAD - OBJECTION TO PLANNING APPLICATION

The NSI is the voluntary group involved in the maintenance and enhancement of the Northern Slopes.

Our vision is for all of the Slopes to be a nature reserve for the health and well-being of people and wildlife.

Having reviewed documentation provided by the City Council we wish to object to the planning application above.

Our objection is based on the following:

o There is no consideration within the Planning Application of the impact that construction works will have on The Northern Slopes both during the construction phase of this project and in the long term once work is completed and contractors have left the site.

This point was made clearly in our response to the 2nd Consultation submitted on 31 January 2021. It has not been referred to within the Community Involvement Statement submitted with this Application.

To reiterate, given the size and location of the development it is in our view inevitable that construction work adversely affect the Northern Slopes and also cause significant disruption to the local community. We would refer you to our letter of 31 January which sets out our concerns in more detail.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy WyattChairThe Northern Slopes Initiative

on 2021-03-31   OBJECT

I wish to object to this development for the following reasons:

1. The scheme is proposed to be sat upon green space that has been unused for building for atleast 10 years.in doing so:

1a: It goes against the councils self declared biodiversity crisis to remove green space that is usedas habitat for animals.1b: This is green space which is used by the community for a variety of uses which will no longerbe a available to the wider community.1c: Seen in the wider context this represents yet more green space lost in South Bristol topiecemeal development resulting in further fragmentation of green space across the area andharming inter-connectivity of habitats.

2. The layout of the scheme forms a barrier around the side of the hill which from some angles willform A continuous wall removing the existing views across Bristol

3. The proposed development has unsupervised rear walls which due to the slope of the hillsidethey are built on could prove easy to scale and lead to poor security

4. The fact that the proposed homes are built on a hillside will limit the privacy these housesreceive from the park.

I think the scheme and layout needs revising to maximise the amount of retained green space andavoid the potentially dangerous security issues the current layout presents. A more preferable

solution would be to retain all of the green space, leave the northern slopes undeveloped and findalternative brownfield sites.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

I object to any more building on green spaces in Bristol. The council declared anecological emergency last year and this flies in the face of it.Brownfield sites shouild be the first consideration.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

I object to any more building on green spaces in Bristol. Green spaces are the lungs weneed. There is a climate emergency. We don't have many years left to try and chage this. Bristolcity council declared an ecological emergency last year. This would negate everything. There arebrownfield sites that should be the first to be considered.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

It's sad to see so many homes being built on places like the Northern Slopes, especiallywhen the value of local wildlife has been so appreciated in lockdown. Brownfield sites should be apriority, and this should not be considered one. Please continue to support the Northern Slopes asthe essential green space that it is.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

Green spaces are a vital resource of health and well-being. The northern slopesprovides a rare uncultivated area in an inner city environment. It would be a horrendous irony for aformer Green Capital to turn its back on its ideals and pave paradise.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

More building on a green space, really?

This should not be allowed, there are numerous brown field projects planned and underway. Thisis just more erosion of public green spaces.

Stop, now.

on 2021-03-30   OBJECT

I live close to this area and because it's so heavily built up already around here, theselittle pockets of green space are incredibly important. Not just to us, the local residents, but to thewildlife and nature itself. This whole area should be left alone in my opinion. Surely there are othermore built up areas where flats could be built? And Bristol is meant to be committed to protectingthese green spaces.

on 2021-03-29   OBJECT

Whilst I recognise that the proposed development is doing well in providing affordablehousing I have a number of issues with the suggestion. I'm not sure how many of these are 'valid'under planning law, but I'll describe them:

1) The site is probably considered brownfield in that it did have housing on it. However it has beenempty, as parkland / green space for 10 years now. It has rewilded itself and nature and wildlifehas taken over the site.

2) The buildings seem too high and block the view from the park behind it and probably from thenearby houses.

3) The design all faces outward, looking out across the city. This doesn't seem a good way todesign for neighbourliness or community feeling. And will create a blindpost at the back of theproperties that could be prone to break ins, or a design that is overly fortressed and off putting inthe park space behind.

4) There is a loss of some of the green space. This seems unnecessary at a time when morepeople locally are valuing their green spaces, and some of us are walking slightly further distancesto find nearby green spaces. I value this green space and have greatly enjoyed walking on thissite. This should be seen in the wider context of the cumulative loss of green spaces, particularlyin south Bristol.

5) The site seems to be prone to flytipping, with these new buildings suggested as a solution, butthat seems a very drastic solution to the problem. one that destroys a lot of what it might clcam to

make better.

6) There doesn't seem to be much, if any, improvement to the green space. Views will be lost andan open space made possibly to feel hemmed in and potentially more dangerous to pass through,as it will not be overlooked or have people coming in and out of their homes - as these all face theother way.

on 2021-03-28   OBJECT

2

The Council has provided a number of ecological reports about the habitats and botanical interest including a Botanical Report and a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report. I do not know when these documents were produced, but I am amazed to find that the Botanical Report refers to a habitat which is not covered in the Preliminary Ecological Report. This to me means that there is a high risk that the mitigation proposed creates significant harm which has not been mitigated for. The Botanical Report rightly in my view reports that there is in Area 3 – “an area of dry, semi-improved calcareous grassland on a moderate north-facing slope.” Even the SNCI citation mentioned in that same report states the same. The report continues to point out that this type of grassland is Section 41 Priority Habitat and a Bristol LBAP habitat. However, the PEA calls what I assume is the same area – Neutral Grassland. There is no mention of the Calcareous grassland. Neutral Grassland is of “lower value” than the Calcareous Grassland. The plug planting mentioned in the Design and Access statement seems to be of a more “neutral” type, rather than trying to improve the calcareous element of the grassland. Therefore, I can only conclude that the Council as it has not mentioned any measures to mitigate for the calcareous grassland, is not mitigating for that grassland. There is no explanation as to why this is happening. It is a real shame that the Council did not take notice of concerns about the value of part of area 3 I sent in July 2020 during the geotech works. “Avril cc as above.

Am probably far too late to mention this – but if there was a chance of avoiding – or saving the soils from part of the slope just above Kingswear Road – it would be useful.

Location and photo attached. On the photo the area – is going back towards the trees/bushes.

Went out on Sunday looking around Kingswear generally and found a small strip of

grassland on the slope just above the roadside which has a couple of flowers (species) in

it, which I haven’t found on other parts of Kingswear Open Space. Namely, Common Centaury – and Perforated St John’s Wort. Alongside the more frequent Wild Carrots, Clovers, Cats ear, agrimony and birds foot trefoil.

3

It could be that the Geotechnical works – have already got in there and disturbed the area anyway.

But if it was possible to keep the soil separated out and replaced that would be great. In

the long term of course the area would have to be moved, if it was thought to be valuable.

The slope just above the roadside was maintained by Highways – not Parks – so landed up being cut differently than the rest of the site, which may have helped.” Can the design be changed to ensure that some mitigation is provided, even if it is to place carefully removed turfs and soil from that area to be spread on somewhere appropriate before preparatory surveys/work and construction starts, or even on the north facing boulders below Kingswear Road once prepared? I note that the discussion on Badgers suggests that there is no risk of a sett being found on site. What are the implications of the development on the movement of badgers from other parts of the Northern Slopes and further afield? The proposals are at risk of causing significant harm (contrary to planning policy NPPF Para 175) to the adjacent designated site on the Kingswear Open Space. The design as it is presented to you, will mean that there is no access to the Kingswear Open Space just below Kingswear Road. The current access for Parks Department maintenance vehicles is from Kingswear Road. In none of the documentation I have seen is there a reference to that access still being available; or an alternative being provided. If there is no access for the City Council to maintain that area – how can it even retain the value for people and wildlife. Will there be a repeat of the problems which occurred following the outline planning application below? I also note that there is no definitive information about where the construction works – whether related to offices, welfare, storage areas, haul routes and working space, will be. There is a suggestion that the PROW from Cavan Walk is likely to be affected during construction. While I appreciate that it is believed that there is no need to provide such information at this time, how can any judgement be made on whether significant harm will or will not occur?

4

I ask officers and the Committee to ensure that the construction site will not be placed on the Kingswear Open Space or another part of the Northern Slopes. The proposals cannot be delivered and maintained; and therefore, harm even with mitigation will still occur. I have sat in planning committees about housing and other developments on the Northern Slopes where organisations such as the Police and the City Council have made written statements about their ability to finance, deliver, patrol and maintain the measures they have committed to. Even in this single location after the planning permission for the original outline design was agreed in 2014, the Council has failed to keep up with basic maintenance post construction, leading to a catalogue of failures and no replacements/repairs:

 Failed tree planting (see picture below)

 No maintenance of wildflower grasslands for 3 years (see picture below)

 No repairs to fencing and gates (see picture below) Only in the last two years has there been work to reclaim the wildflower grassland, with the support of the community. I note that the proposal is to reuse and replace the existing fencing. My view is that this is a false economy. A new more robust style of fencing is required. Even in the areas outside of this application where this fencing has been used (eg: the entrance from Oakhill Drive and the Steps down to Sidford Road) there is damage and the fencing is not robust enough for the purpose it is intended to carry out. It is about time that the Council, as landowner, developer and planning authority, actually carries out and maintains what they have committed to do so that the people and wildlife benefit. Please note these are my personal views, and do not represent the views of any of the organisations I am or have been involved in. I have copied this to the relevant local Councillor Chris Jackson (Filwood) for information. If this application goes to planning committee I would wish to attend if there was an opportunity to do so. Yours sincerely Mr L Wyatt.

5

Annex – Photographic Evidence.

August 2019 – Kingswear Road looking towards Glyn Vale

6

January 2019 – missing gate on Kingswear Road over looking slope down to Sidford Road. This gate has never been replaced even though it was reported in. Note pegs and bracket for the gate are still in place.

on 2021-03-21   OBJECT

Design aspects

The presented masterplan shows a central green space surrounded by the rear boundaries ofexisting and proposed housing areas. Backing onto green space in this manner presents anumber of issues related to security and safety. Secured by Design principles emphasise naturalsurveillance as a key component of community safety. This proposal goes against these principlesby creating a completely encircled open space with limited visibility to deter criminal activity.It should be noted that the majority of the green spaces within the local area are presently locatedbehind the backs of houses, and like this proposal feature little visibility from adjacent dwellings.The result of this, at least in part, is that these spaces suffer from frequent fly-tipping, drug relatedwaste, arson and general litter. If the objective of this development, along with the wider KnowleWest Regeneration Framework is to improve the local area then it seems counterproductive torepeat poor design choices of the past.

Green aspects

Bristol has recently declared an ecological emergency and yet this development is removing moregreen space from the south of the city. The scar of Kingswear Road should be healed, and thearea returned to a greener, wilder state (like it should have been done back in 2011). This wouldalso allow for the potential offsetting of biodiversity net gains from other local developmentprojects, such as at Knowle West Health Park or Hengrove Park.The development will permanently cut the Northern Slopes off from Novers Common, which with asmall amount of work and some longer-term vision from Bristol City Council, could provide anuninterrupted green corridor from the North Slopes, through Novers Common, all the way to Crox

Bottom. Not only would this provide much needed green space for exercising, dog walking andcombating mental health issues, it could provide a safe road free cycle route from Hartcliffe intoBedminster.Bristol has huge areas of light industrial and brown fields sites in the St Philip's Marsh area thatcan provide large amounts of housing without the need to build on green space within the city.Housing in that area would be more centrally located and would reduce car dependency, furtherpromoting Bristol's green credentials.

on 2021-03-20   OBJECT

Object unless the mitigations are put in place for described issues:

1) I am expecting there to be private / shared ownership properties to be made available in thenew development. This was the initial message to the local residents when we were first informedof the development plans.

2) in my experience of living in a new build development, around 30-50% of local social rentalproperties (incl. Oakhill Drive development) are showing issues with the drugs dealing / using,abandoned kids on street, fraud (people receiving social help are driving brand new cars BMW,Mercedes...), antisocial behaviour (to point when a lovely family expecting baby had move outbeing scared of the next door neighbours)...how are the council ensuring that the properties areallocated to the people who really need them and will respect that help? How you audit that thepeople who get the properties are not committing fraud and respect the neighbourhood?3) how you are planning to prevent further antisocial behaviour in the area? Alcohol, drugs, gangsof kids? There are already a number of local youths from Timsbury Road who are alreadyterrifying the area, and we worry the new development will be subjected to similar behaviour.

4) the houses are too tall, they will take the view of the green space. I have the serious concernsto building the new developments in the South Bristol green areas

5) traffic and road issues - people are speeding around the medical centre and school onMarksbury road, there is no light and speed control. I have seen myself when an older women wasnearly smashed by car, another was pushing a pram and had to run away from a car driving onthe pavement. How you are planning to prevent any further accidents from happening? More

people, more traffic!!

on 2021-03-14   OBJECT

I visited this area as part of my regular walks to the outer areas of Bristol andparticularly enjoy managing to find a green wild open space such as this. I am now horrified -angry and upset that politicians in Bristol and officers are permitting construction on our last openspaces.This is vital AMENITY, adds CHARACTER and FEATURE to an already densely populated lowerincome area, protects the HEALTH of our City residents, supports our MENTAL HEALTH,combats climate change and provides clean air, biodiversity and noise -free space. This is GREENpublic space which has been valued and protected by local residents for years - see the NorthernSlopes action group! This is home to numerous small wild animals and birds, offers fantastic viewsacross Bristol and must not be built upon. It contradicts your supposed STRATEGICCOMMITMENT to protecting our green heritage and Bristol's title as a green city - you should beASHAMED.

You will be GENERATING TRAFFIC, POLLUTION & NOISE. You will turn Kingswear Road into aparking area. You will generate litter and flytipping (similar to Lurgan Walk nearby). There will beloss of natural plants, trees, bushes and greenery and damage nature conservation in the area.

Turn your attention instead to the redundant mass of commercial properties standing empty byTemple Meads. You can convert them to active lived spaces and save our green spaces!Following the damage done in Avonmouth and along the Bristol-Bath cycle path, this sickens me.