Development plans for Church Road eyesore buildings rejected again
COUNCILLORS have criticised developers after rejecting plans to rejuvenate two neighbouring “eyesore” buildings in Redfield for the second time this year.
The proposals for 66 and 68 Church Road, which have been empty since 2000, by two separate owners were both refused by Bristol development control committee members in January.
But despite being told to make substantial changes to their projects, neither heeded the advice and submitted almost identical applications, with only minor tweaks, committee members heard.
Both revised proposals were refused on Wednesday, November 6, after the committee heard officers had “no confidence” they would be developed together because they were not combined as one scheme.
The owner of 66 Church Road wanted to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with three townhouses and another three-storey building containing four apartments and a ground-floor business.
But a report to members said: “The changes made are an inadequate response to the refusal reasons.
“The scheme has been found to result in harm to the amenity of the closest residents to the site and would fail to provide a high-quality living environment for future residents.
“The scheme is considered a form of over-development due to its height, scale and massing, plot coverage and overall design that would not contribute positively to the area’s character and identity.”
It said the revised plans included wider pavements and a report into noise and odour from the site, which were “positive changes”.
“But these revisions fail to satisfactorily address the amenity, living environment and design refusal reasons,” the report added.
The owner of 68 Church Road applied to bulldoze the existing buildings and replace them with a three-storey building containing a pair of three-bedroom apartments and a ground-floor retail unit.
It received a similar assessment from officers whose report echoed their criticism of the adjacent building that the changes were an “inadequate response to the refusal reasons” and resulted in harm to the area.
Cllr Harriet Bradley said: “It’s disappointing that so little has been done to address the original reasons for refusal because in each case only one has been addressed.
“That seems a bit disrespectful.
“More should have been done to respond to the criticism.
“On the other hand, this is a site where buildings have been empty for a long time, which is not a good thing, so I feel quite conflicted about whether I should support this application or go with the officer’s recommendation for refusal.”
Cllr Fi Hance said: “I’m quite frustrated because it’s an absolute eyesore and needs developing, but not enough has been addressed.”
Cllr Jo Sergeant said: “With a bit more work this could have made it over the bar but it hasn’t, so it’s a no from me.”
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service