Agenda and minutes

Development Control A Committee - Wednesday, 30th November, 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Jeremy Livitt 

Link: Click here for video

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Councillor Lesley Alexander has given her apologies for this meeting.


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions were noted (see the list of attendees).


All Councillors on the Committee introduced themselves and confirmed that they had read all the paperwork to enable them to make decisions in respect of each application to be considered. In addition, they confirmed that none had been whipped.


Declarations of Interest

To note any interests relevant to the consideration of items on the agenda.


Please note that any declarations of interest made at the meeting which are not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.




The following Declarations of Interest were made:


Councillor Mark Wright indicated that he had previously objected to an earlier Planning Application for Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol BS1 5UY but, since the Applications being considered were different, he retained an open mind concerning this.


Councillor Stephen Clarke indicated that he had an interest in a property several streets away from Planning Application Number 15/06400/F – Former Chocolate Factory, Greenbank Road but retained an open mind concerning this application.


Councillor Mike Davies indicated that he worked for Thangam Debonnaire MP who had raised an objection to the Chocolate Factory application. However, he retained an open mind about it.


Councillor Clive Stevens had previously objected to an application on the Former Chocolate Factory site as the Chair of the Tree Forum. However, he retained an open mind concerning this application.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 19th October 2016 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To agree the minutes of the last meeting on Wednesday 19th October 2016 as a correct record.


The Chair referred to the decision concerning Planning Application Number 16/00828/F – O and M Sheds, Welsh Back. He stated that he had been advised that the owners of the houseboats had been contacted concerning their eviction from the site. He expressed great concern about this and reminded officers that they should not be acting against the Committee’s decision on this issue.


Resolved – that the Minutes of the above meeting be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to the following amendments concerning Planning Application 16/00828/F O + M Sheds:


The phrase “The house boats were not present” be altered to read “The house boats were present” in the first bullet point of the officers’ comments;


The word “windows” replaces the word “glazing” in the third bullet point of the officers’ comments;


The word Ebenezer be corrected to read “Ebenhaezer


Appeals pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To note appeals lodged, imminent public inquiries and appeals awaiting decision.


Officers reported on the following appeals:


Item 2 – 11 to 13 Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1QE – This appeal had been heard yesterday. Officers would circulate details of the outcome to the Committee.


Item 4 – 541 to 551 Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3AF – Since the appellant’s barrister had fallen ill, no Inquiry had taken place. A fresh date had been set for 5 to 6 days commencing 20th April 2016.


Item 11 – 1A Ambra Vale, Bristol – The Planning Inspector had agreed with the Committee’s decision to refuse this application on the grounds of poor quality accommodation.


Items 36 to 42 – Trinity House, Kensington Place, Bristol BS8 3AH – This appeal had been dismissed. Officers would bring a report and relevant photos of the site for information to the Committee in early 2017 as an example of a typical enforcement case.


Item 44 – 99 Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1LW –The Inspector had dismissed this appeal, on the grounds of the proposed extended hours of opening having a detrimental impact on the amenities of the flats directly above the commercial unit.

Item 46 – Rear of 98 Whiteladies Road – The Inspector had supported the Council’s decision to refuse this application on the grounds of an inadequate quality of accommodation.


Enforcement pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To note recent enforcement notices.


The Committee was advised that there had been no enforcement notices since the last meeting. However, a number were in the process of being issued through legal and were likely to be reported at the next meeting.


Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5pm on Thursday 24th November 2016.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Tuesday 29th November 2016.


Please note, your time allocated to speak may have to be strictly limited if there are a lot of submissions. This may be as short as one minute.





The Committee heard 29 Public Forum Statements (including 2 late statements accepted by the Chair) which were heard before the application they related to and were taken fully into consideration by the Committee prior to reaching a decision. (A copy of the Public Forum statements is held on public record in the Minute Book).


Planning and Development pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Please note the following Planning Applications to be determined by the Committee.


The Committee considered the following Planning Applications.


Planning Application Number 15/06400/F - Former Chocolate Factory, Greenbank Road pdf icon PDF 21 MB

Mixed use development comprising conversion of existing remaining buildings (labelled Blocks C, D and F) and erection of new buildings to provide: 135 dwellings (91 apartments; 44 houses) (Blocks A, B, D, E, F, G and terraces); 485 sq m Class B1 floorspace (Block D); 726 sq m of commercial floorspace (Use Class B1/A1/A2) (Blocks B and C); 332 sq m of flexible community/business/health/leisure floorspace (Class B1/D1/D2) (Block C); 412 sq m flexible Class A3 or A4 floorspace (Block D); and associated accesses including a new pedestrian/cycle link onto the Railway Path, parking and landscaping. (Major Application)


Officers outlined the key details of this Planning Application, including details of the Council’s Affordable Housing Policy:


(1)        The Council’s policy was to seek 30% (Outer area of the city) and 40% (Inner area of the city) of affordable housing for developments. However, if the developer was unable to provide this percentage due to the viability of the scheme, a lower percentage (including 0%) could still be acceptable in planning policy terms;

(2)        The Council’s affordable housing policy was adopted in June 2011;

(3)        The Council is also required to act in conformity with the National Planning Policy Framework , as well as the Financial Viability  in Planning document (RICS Guidance), both of which were published in 2012.  Surveyors and Valuers were expected to abide by the RICS Guidance. Officers’ view was that both of these policies had  an adverse effect on the Council’s ability to obtain affordable housing. The RICS guidance made clear that assessments had to be made on current cost value and could not be factored forward;

(4)        Councils were required to take into account the price paid for land;

(5)        There were other examples elsewhere in the country where Local Authorities had approved schemes that  provided no affordable housing – for example, a recent scheme for 1,300 dwellings in a more prosperous area of Manchester;

(6)        It was generally more expensive for a developer to convert an existing building into flats;

(7)        Most schemes that the Council received were generally  small in the context of large scale housing schemes elsewhere;

(8)        Assessments were not taken at face value but were rigorously challenged. The Council’s consultants carried out their own assessments and did not rely on developers, particularly in the event of fundamental differences. However, assessments had to be based on planning viability and could not take account of the developers’ attitude to risk;

(9)        There was a deficit in this scheme of £1 million;

(10)      In view of the current policies in operation, officers could not recommend refusal in this case. Officers recommended acceptance of the developer’s offer following discussions with Sovereign Housing Association of 6 affordable units for Block A, which had been made following the developer’s consideration of their commercial position and likely timescales for receiving planning permission;

(11)      Highways and Parking – the scheme proposed 117 car park visitor spaces and 20 communal car park spaces which was a shortfall of 2 from the agreed ratio;

(12)      Greenbank and Corporation Road will be a stop for emergency vehicles;

(13)      Design and Layout – this was considered an acceptable urban design;

(14)      Amenity – amendments had been proposed to the scheme where officers had concerns about the existing proposals;

(15)      A solar renewable system would operate on the roof;

(16)      Various other proposed amendments were set out on the amendment sheet;

(17)      If the scheme was approved, it would be subject to a legal agreement to cover it

In response to Councillors’ questions, officers made the following points:


(18)      Councillors were required, as usual,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


(1) Planning Application Number 16/02349/F - Redcliff Quarter - Land Bounded By Redcliff Street, St Thomas Street And Three Queens Lane and (2) Planning Application Number 16/02964/F - Land Bounded By Redcliff Street, St Thomas Street and Three Queens Lane,, Bristol BS1 6JJ pdf icon PDF 1 MB

(1)   Planning Application Number 16/02349/F – Land Bounded By Redcliff Street, St Thomas Street and Three Queens Lane, Bristol BS1 6LJ - Redevelopment of site to provide 274 Residential Dwellings (Class C3), 186-bed hotel (Class C1), 3,018 sq m of café/restaurants (Class A3) and a 2,199 sq m food hall (Classes A1 to A5), 1,547 sq m of office space Class B1), including associated infrastructure, plant, basement car parking, highway and pedestrian access and public realm works


(2)   Planning Application Number 16/02964/F – 16A St Thomas Street Bristol BS1 6JJ - Redevelopment of site to provide 274 residential dwellings (Class C3), 186-bed hotel (Class C1), 3018 sqm of café/restaurants (Class A3) and a 2199 sqm food hall (Classes A1 to A5), 1547 sqm of office space (Class B1), including associated infrastructure, plant, basement car parking, highway and pedestrian access and public realm works (Major application).


Officers made the following points during their presentation:


(1)        Detailed illustrations of the proposed developments were set out, including an aerial photo

(2)        The proposed tower would be 82.7 metres tall, whilst Castle Mead was 80m tall and the Spire at St Mary Redcliffe was 89 metres tall


Councillors made the following points:


(3)        The £5.2 million of CIL payable if this scheme was approved was likely to be the largest the Council had ever received since this form of funding was introduced;

(4)        It was not acceptable that the CIL from this scheme, due to the Council’s existing policy, would be given to only one NP. The CIL policy needed to change;

(5)        The proposed tower was contrary to the Council’s Tall Buildings Policy and the policy was likely to require amendment if this application was approved;

(6)        There will be licensed premises on the site. Therefore, adequate soundproofing would be required for residents;

(7)        It was important that the status of the new thoroughfare through the site was clarified to establish if it was pedestrianised, one way and whether or not it fell within the private or public realm;

(8)        Garden access seemed a good idea. There was a good use of trees on the site. It was not unusual for modern cities to have tall buildings as part of their skyline;

(9)        The design of the buildings was a big improvement on what had previously been suggested. Whilst the amount of affordable housing was acceptable, it was not ideal but it was acknowledged that it could increase subject to the archaeological requirements;

(10)      The site was good for storage of bicycles;

(11)      This scheme should be supported. It was a development in an area which badly needed it and which provided 12% affordable housing with £5 million CIL. It was not overshadowing or altering the character of the area and was supported by the local Ward members;

(12)      Whilst there was acknowledgement of the concerns previously expressed about the way in which CIL was allocated, it was noted that Councillor Holland (Cabinet Member for Place) was examining this;

(13)      This development would be very good for the city and should be supported. The concerns about the process for allocating CIL were noted and had recently been raised by a question to the Mayor;

(14)      This site could deliver much more than 12% affordable housing. In addition, the Tower was not very impressive. A better design would have been the Eclipse Tower at Castle Park. However, there were other good elements to it and it had local Ward Councillor support;

(15)      Officers should investigate whether an agreement could be made with the developer to provide apprenticeships. It is disappointing that 40% affordable housing could not be provided as per existing policy;

(16)      Bristol has a low sky line compared to other cities so a building on the scale that was being proposed should not be opposed on these grounds alone. It was a functional and utilitarian design. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Planning Applications 16/02994/F and 16/02998/LA - Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol BS1 5UY pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Planning Applications 16/02994/F and 16/02998/LA - Brunel House St Georges Road Bristol BS1 5UY


Change of use of Brunel House from office accommodation (Use Class B1) to student accommodation (Sui generis) comprising 233 student bed spaces (including 48 studios and 26 cluster flats), retention of Brunel House listed facade and Horses Bazaar; refurbishment and external alteration of Brunel House behind the listed facade with associated communal areas and student facility with landscaping, car parking and cycle parking (Major application).


Officers made the following points during their presentation:


(1)        Details of the development, including the roof extensions and amenities were set out;

(2)        The public consultation was summarised;

(3)        The make- up of the area was mixed, including office and commercial development. Officers believed that the development was acceptable in residential terms;

(4)        Some small trees would be removed;

(5)        Cycle parking would be provided in the area.


Councillors made the following comments:


(6)        There would be difficulties for Councillors, particularly in relation to attendance for major meetings, if access to the College Car Park was reduced by about 20 spaces. The horse bazaar was big enough for people to drop off and should work well enough;

(7)        The provision of 59 cycle parking spaces was queried as whether this was sufficient for the number of students;

(8)        It was queried whether affordable housing should be required for this scheme;

(9)        Officers should consider the possibility of limiting provision of accommodation for Year 1 students;

(10)      Officers needed to ensure that the correct trees were felled as indicated on the appropriate plan;

(11)      There was very little benefit for the Council with this development in terms of CIL;

(12)      There were concerns about parking and cyclists – measures need to be put in place to encourage cyclists;

(13)      Whilst the initial proposal had not been acceptable, this was a sensible application and should be supported. It preserved the historic aspects of the Horse Bazaar and the quarry;

(14)      The promotion of the central area for purpose built student accommodation  was a wrong policy;

(15)      The issue of the impact of marketing accommodation for Year 1 students on subsequent student years needed to be examined – further discussions with the University might be required;

(16)      Whilst the initial proposal was unacceptable, this was now a very sensible application which preserved the historic aspects of the Horse Bazaar and quarry.


Officers made the following comments in response to Councillors’ questions:


(17)      Student accommodation is Sui Generis (ie. not within a specific planning use class) and therefore not subject to the Council’s policy requirement for affordable housing, which applies to Use Class C3 residential uses only;


(18)      Refuse collection would be arranged on a commercial basis;

(19)      Condition 29 had been added to ensure there was a moving in/moving out strategy for this development;

(20)      There was a highways safety issue to be considered in relation to Horse Bazaar which was only 3 metres wide and therefore, if used for student moving in/out would generate serious highways safety concerns (i.e. vehicles reversing onto) on a 5-arm mini-roundabout which has numerous highway safety problems. Officers did not consider it detrimental to use the College Street Car Park;

(21)      The proposed Cycle Parking provision was set  in accordance with research indicating 1 to 4 ratio for cycling users;

(22)      A dialogue with the university concerning the marketing of the site was required. However, it was difficult to see that any different scheme would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17a


Planning Application Number 16/03446/F - Albemarle Chemicals Site, Smoke Lane pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Standby gas generator plant and battery storage compound and other associated infrastructure.


Officers made the following points during their presentation:


(1)        Site photos and an aerial photograph were provided;

(2)        Details of the battery storage units and gas fuelled stand by generators proposed for the site were given;

(3)        An air quality assessment had shown that the worst case scenario for this development was 2,000 hours usage per year which would not have a significant impact on the site;

(4)        There were no ecology concerns on the site;

(5)        The site was in a Flood Zone 3 but mitigation measures set out in the submitted Flood Risk Assessment were considered to be acceptable.


Councillors made the following comments:


(6)        There was no information in the application concerning particulates and in terms of arrangements for monitoring and filtering;

(7)        There was no information concerning the operating process;

(8)        If a quick response was needed, more battery storage may be required since this was the means to ensure that any temporary gaps in renewal technology (ie wind and solar power) were filled.


In response to Councillors’ questions, officers made the following points:


(9)        Condition 9 was proposed to provide mitigation measures in the event that the site was flooded;

(10)      The fossil fuel energy provision was through a gas powered diesel engine;

(11)      The information provided by the applicant on battery storage was indicative since this was a new technology. ;

(12)      It was technically possible to provide capacity to ensure simultaneous gas and battery provision;

(13)      Condition 14 addressed issues in the event that emissions were exceeded;

(14)      The natural gas outputs were very low and the pollutants were significantly less than diesel.


Councillor Breckels moved, seconded by Councillor Windows and upon being put to the vote it was


Resolved (9 for, 0 against, 1 abstention) that the application be approved as per the recommendations contained in the report and including changes set out in the Amendment Sheet, together with the following additional changes:


(1)        an amendment to condition 14 to include an additional sentence which will require scheme of mitigation to be submitted and implemented within a specific timescale if emissions exceed those predicted in the air quality assessment;

(2)        an additional condition requiring a phasing plan which will address members’ concern about the need to ensure the proper amount of battery storage is built out in conjunction with the gas generators.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 6pm on Wednesday 11th January 2017.


The Committee noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 6pm on Wednesday 11th January 2017.