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Agenda item

22/03476/F - The Vassal Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds


Officers introduced this report and made the following points during their presentation:


·       The planning application was for a C2 residential development with 14 units for the elderly and some office facilities, together with uses for a nursery, creche or day centre, a café and landscaping

·       The Committee was provided with information about Phases 1 and 2 of the development with primarily social housing

·       A plan showing the development was shown

·       91 objections had been received to the application

·       There were concerns elated to overlooking at the site, the height of buildings, the fact that it was not in keeping with the street scene, parking and loss of community facilities, together with overlooking and overshadowing

·       A study commissioned by the agent showed that most shadowing was along the boundary

·       Concerns had been raised about the bus service and travel plans had been conditioned accordingly

·       The site was considered to be in a sustainable centre and was in keeping with what was required. The Committee was advised that it met sustainability targets

·       The benefits for the scheme were deemed to outweigh the negatives


The application was therefore deemed acceptable and recommended for approval.


              In response to members’ questions, officers made the following comments:


·       The Construction Management Plan was the key to ensuring that the effects of construction traffic and disturbance arising from it would be kept to a minimum

·       The travel plan would be conditioned to examine bus provision in liaison with South Gloucestershire and WECA as appropriate. There were Section 106 provisions available which could be used for this purpose

·       There was a positive net gain for biodiversity and carbon reduction included a 20% saving which met policy standards

·       The distance window to window from Willow Bed Close was around 30 metres which was deemed acceptable from a security point of view. In addition, the site would be floodlit. The main parts of the site will be public open space with passive surveillance from the staff office

·       The issue of disabled parking spaces would be controlled through condition 33 which required a Car Park Management Plan. The design was a scale flat roof

·       It would be possible within existing conditions to discuss usage with users and increase any blue badge facilities at that point. The Committee requested that officers ensure arrangements include sufficient provision for disabled parking on site ACTION: Pip Howson

·       The lighting plan will include a limit to the amount of luminescence and lux. There would be visual landscaping around the boundary

·       There would be a significant amount of tree planting and a landscape plan creating a green buffer with trees of differing heights


Councillors made the following comments:


·       It was important that this site should continue to have a key role for people in community uses in the area

·       Bristol charities should be congratulated for coming forward with an imaginative scheme which also provides social affordable housing.

·       It was important that disabled parking is adequately protected

·       The implementation of a travel plan by officers was important

·       Amy development in a residential area needs a Construction Management Plan to limit disturbance and noise.

·       Issues such as shadowing and impact on residential amenity were of concern but did not appear to breach our policies

·       The application should be supported subject to conditions being properly followed through to ensure adequate safeguarding of the community

·       The benefits of the scheme outweighed the negatives

·       Whilst there was sympathy for neighbours to the scheme, a three storey development is difficult in a neighbourhood. However, the benefits outweighed the concerns – it was a brown field site, it would improve community facilities, there was specialist elderly accommodation and there would be carbon reduction

·       Although the concern of neighbours was noted, the Site Visit was reassuring that any potential issues would be addressed

·       There needed to be an assessment of the required amount of parking and a transport plan together with the possibility of support through a Section 106 agreement for a bus service and adequate parking controls. On balance, the scheme should be supported

·       Most of shadowing would be limited due to the building. If a Section 106 Agreement can be made to improve it, this would be helpful. On balance, this is a good development and should be supported


Councillor Richard Eddy moved, seconded by Councillor Andrew Varney and upon being put to the vote, it was


RESOLVED: (unanimously) – that the application be approved subject to the conditions set out in the report.

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