Breadcrumb Content

Agenda item

22/03924/P - Broadwalk Shopping Centre




The Committee noted that it should only include issues that are germane to an outline planning application in its consideration of this item.


Officers introduced this report and made the following presentation:


            The scheme was for outline planning permission only with only access to the site being a key feature

            All matters related to scale, detail design and landscaping are reserved for subsequent approval

            The red line indicated those parts of the site not included in the proposed shopping centre

            The site would provide a mix of uses including up to a maximum of 800 homes with F2 community uses

            The indicative layout was set out. In principle the site could accommodate what was proposed

            The areas highlighted in green on the plan set out the areas given over to public space.

            The route through from Wells Road to Redcatch Park was set out, including details of height and planning permission

            Following a viability assessment, 80 affordable homes were proposed. Any buildings that were demolished would be subject to a Section 106 agreement, planning conditions and reserved matters and would not be cleared until some time in the future

            The site was within the Knowle/Broadwalk Town Centre and would result in a very small increase in shop frontage

            There would be an economic benefit of a £200 Million investment with up to 500 jobs, a new pedestrian route and new community facilities including a library. The development would be phased with an initial development of 30 commercial units

            The site was identified on the plan showing the area where height concentrated. The adopted policy says that new housing would be directed towards south Bristol with a staging post to establish if it could be accommodated in principle and how it would overlook the site


Officers recommended approval of the planning application subject to a legal agreement. In response to members’ questions, officers made the following comments:


            No detailed design was yet available. Whilst an initial assessment was that 420 dwellings could be achieved on site, this would be subject to a more detailed assessment including a financial feasibility study

            The application had been accompanied by a viability appraisal with information from Savills broadly in accordance with this. Bristol City Council will appoint its own consultant to assess if the scheme is viable or not – the main area of difference is in benchmark land value, with the amount expected to receive about £4 Million less than estimated by Savilles which amounted to approximately 50 to 80 affordable units.

            BCC’s affordable policy has a target percentage (30%) to be sought through negotiation subject to scheme viability. Although BCC might approve 10/20% housing, this does not confirm if it is housing compliant. This is the maximum it can afford but it will be reassessed to see if can get to 30% target

            Since there is currently no detailed design, it was not yet possible to assess the accuracy of the energy design with conditions to be secured at a later date

            Officers noted some members’ concern about the provision of information relating to this development on the site when the Committee was only being asked to confirm whether or not it agreed with outline planning permission

            If approved in principle it could deliver the amount of development set out. Whilst the application of numbers on the site for 850 units enabled an assessment of viability, it was not yet possible to assess further detail with the information available. Officers had assessed that it could be approved in principle

            The full application could not be considered until an outline application had been approved

            Viability had been assessed based on 817 units with floor space a key factor in this since this could affect the number of dwellings. Demolition costs were very high on the site with no tenders known for this work at the moment. There was not enough detail to assess whether or not this was based on the cost of each individual unit or a 12 storey building

            Officers noted that the possibility of using Section 106 funding had not been assessed. The Committee was advised that when Bristol City Council became a CIL charging authority in 2013, this reduced the scope of the use of S106 Agreements. Since then, a Section 106 agreement had not been sought for parks which was a policy decision at the time. Under the current circumstances, the CIL levy would be a minimum of £4 Million and could be more with 15% of CIL going to Area Committees to decide. Bristol City councils could always allocate strategic CIL for parks

            Whilst no assessments had yet been made on the impact of size and density of the development on health, this would be addressed as the development had to comply with national space standards. The Health Impact Assessment Development would be used as a means of assessing this.

            Since the density was the worst case scenario taking into account the size of the site and likely numbers of dwelling, it was reasonable to assess this with some indicative information. However, any proposal would need to comply with the required policies

            Whilst it was likely that any proposed scheme would be large given the scale of the outline application, any development would be assessed against policy in the same way. Officers had balanced the benefits of the outline application against the impact and had concluded that it was achievable.

            Members’ attention was drawn to Paragraph 9.58 of the report setting out details of the Vertical Sky Component assessment

            The Committee’s concerns were noted about the existing supermarket, cinema provision and the role of Redcatch Park. However, officers pointed out that these were not part of the current application process

            Whilst affordable housing was a key material consideration, all developers were required to comply with a development plan proposal. The Committee were able to assess the design as well as amenity

            The issue of commercial space was a commercial issue for the developer and not within the planning remit

            It was usual practice for a builders plan to be prepared for schemes using the Building Cost Association Service (BCIS) which assesses this on the basis of pound per square metre. Following a request from BCC’s affordable housing team, Housing Associations were approached to assess the base build costs. The estimated base build was greater than the BCIS medium but also greater than that estimated by the developer

            Any proposal for funding through a Section 106 scheme was not supported by planning policy and would be difficult to defend at appeal

            It was noted that there was reference in the report to developer’s comments to the urban living document which stated that offsite provision for children’s play can be provisioned if not provided on site. Officers pointed out that there was no mechanism to secure these funds

            The Committee was advised that Redcatch Park was not assessed as part of the development

            It was a planning obligation to provide a certain amount of affordable housing. However, the Planning Authority could not require a developer to pay funds before the scheme commenced and since it was

not known when the scheme would start, it was not possible to require this to be carried out within a certain date.


Committee members made the following comments:


            It was important that Broadwalk should not end up like the scheme in St Catherine’s Parade in Bedminster. Whilst there would be difficult decisions to be made in future, outline planning consent was required for the scheme to progress to the next stage and to signal a willingness to invest in Broadwalk and to provide certainty in allowing the required improvements to be made.

            Whilst there may be concerns about the level of affordable housing, schemes with zero affordable housing had been approved in the past

            Strategic CIL could be allocated to the park area and a marker for a residents parking scheme could be provided with approval of the scheme

            There were a number of elements of this scheme which had merit such as the regeneration of a very run down area, the arrangements for street scene, the proposals for recycled and embedded carbon and helping traders who were struggling in the area.

            Since the viability assessment could only contain what was included within the report, there was a lack of balance to aspects of the scheme. For example, it was argued that height, density and mass were well in excess of what had been recommended for national research. Further concerns related to the impact of such a potentially large development on health and the lack of sufficient affordable housing

            The application should be opposed. There were concerns relating to the lack of Section 106 agreement and the need for an assessment for a residents’ parking zone

            The area is failing and there are merits to the scheme such as pedestrianisation, biodiversity net gain and the building of energy efficient buildings. However, the proposal for 850 units would lead to the buildings being excessively high up to 12 storeys (in a Victorian/Edwardian suburb). In addition, the buildings were far too dense and there was a lack of affordable housing. Therefore, the application should not be supported

            Whilst the need for development on this site was recognised, an outline development for such a dense development should not be supported


In accordance with convention, Councillor Richard Eddy asked for any Councillor to propose the officers’ recommendation for approval but no Councillor moved it.


Councillor Fi Hance moved, seconded by Councillor Andrew Varney and it was


RESOLVED: (unanimously) – that the application be refused on the grounds of the proposed density of housing per hectare and that the application be returned to a future meeting to consider the officer’s suggested reasons for refusal.



Supporting documents: