Agenda item

17/06665/F - Stoke Lodge Playing Fields Shirehampton Road Bristol BS9 1BN


The representative of the Head of Development Management made the following points by way of introduction:-


1. The application was for the demolition of an existing changing room building and brick tower and construction of a larger replacement changing room building and associated works. The hours of operation would be Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm, Saturday to Sunday 9am to 8pm;

2. Due to the level of public interest and the nature of the development it was considered appropriate for the application to come before the Committee. The Planning Authority received 311 letters of objection from surrounding residential properties and 211 letters of support;

3. The established playing field open space was owned by Bristol City Council and used by Cotham School for playing facilities on a leasehold basis;

4. Stoke Lodge is a listed building. The existing pavilion, which is some distance from Stoke Lodge, gained planning permission in 1966 and was in a poor state of repair and no longer fit for purpose;

5. The height and the footprint of the proposal would be increased from the existing building. Although this was an increased scale of building, officers did not consider it harmful in terms of impacts on historic assets;

5. Officers considered that noise disturbance could be an outcome from this proposal but would not refuse it on that basis as this could be conditioned;

6. Four trees will be removed in order to facilitate the development and replacement trees would be conditioned;

7. The basis for the Planning Authority’s objection was that the proposed enhanced and enlarged facilities would result in an increased intensity of use and thus number of users of the site. This would lead to a significant increase in coach and vehicle traffic which is unsuited to the local highway network. There were no turning facilities for coaches which would exacerbate the harm caused. The applicant was asked to provide data with respect to car parking but had not done so on the basis they believed there would be no material increase. Officers had suggested a possible solution of using the Stoke Lodge Car Park but the applicants did not wish to enter into discussions and wished the application as it stood to be considered;

8. In summary, officers recommended refusal as traffic impact was unacceptable and contrary to Policy DM23.


The following points arose from debate;


1. Councillor Breckels asked whether the Planning Authority could condition the use of the car park to mitigate the unacceptable traffic impact and was informed that this would be changing the nature of the application. The applicant had not wished to discuss this possible solution so such a condition would amount to a leap of faith and raise a question over whether it would be delivered;

2. It was noted that trip information on vehicle usage had been requested three times;

3. Councillor Mead referred to the historic asset of the site and questioned the officer’s view that the proposal would not cause harm and was informed that the proposal was not of high quality but still presented an improvement to the current building;

4. Councillor Stevens questioned whether heavy vehicles would be allowed on fields as they would cause harm to trees and was informed that the Tree Officer was content that the Construction Management Plan would address that. The Officer recommendation to refuse also covered the reason of emergency vehicles not being able to access the site;

5. Officers could not definitely conclude that there would be more activity and more traffic but their reasoning was based on an assessment of the layout and increase in size;

6. Councillor Mead expressed his frustration that the school had chosen not to engage with officers as it was important that young people had good sports facilities but he supported the view of officers with respect to the unacceptable traffic impact;

7. Councillor Brook supported the principle of the development in improving facilities and did not believe this was commercialisation. He did not believe there would be an intensity of use but as the applicants had not made that clear, he assumed the worst and supported the officer recommendation. He was disappointed no mitigation had been considered;

8. Councillor Clarke felt this was a balanced decision. The current building was very run down so he questioned whether this factor outweighed the traffic impact. He was undecided at this stage;

9. Councillor Breckels noted the poor state of the current building but the traffic issues had to be addressed. He was frustrated that the applicant had not given reassurances or acted on the potential solutions. He would support the officer recommendation;

10. Councillor Windows felt it was a shame that the applicants had not received the best advice on how to proceed and wished to support sport but could not accept the traffic impact and would vote for the officer recommendation;

11. Councillor Mead moved the officer recommendation and this was seconded by Councillor Windows and on being put to the vote it was:-



RESOLVED (7 for, 3 against, 1 abstention) - That the application be refused as the proposedenlargedandenhanced changingfacilitieswouldincreasetheintensityof usageofthe facilitiesby CothamSchoolas wellas communitysportsteamsandthatwould in turnbe associatedwitha significantincrease in vehicleandcoachtrafficandparking demand unsuitedtothelocal highwaynetworksurroundingthesite. Therefore,based onthe informationprovided,itisconsideredthattheproposalwouldgiverisetounacceptable traffic

andhighway safetyconditions.TheproposalisthereforeinconflictwithPolicyBCS10 of the  Bristol  Core  Strategy  (2011)  and  Policy  DM23  of  the  Site  Allocations  andDevelopmentManagementPolicies (2014)as well asguidance within the NPPF.



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