Tetlow King Planning secures approval for major mixed -use retail, cafe/ restaurant and office development in Clifton Conservation Area, Bristol

January 31, 2020 1:29 pm Published by
Image courtesy of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Tetlow King Planning (TKP) is pleased to have secured a resolution on 22 January 2020 to grant planning permission for a major, mixed-use retail, café/restaurant and office development in Clifton, Bristol.

Bristol City Council’s resolution (application ref. 19/00682/F) to approve is for demolition of a two-storey 1960s retail/café building and erection of a three-storey plus basement mixed-use, commercial building that will provide 1,575sqm A1 retail and A3 café/restaurant and 842sqm B1 office, along with landscaping and public realm improvements. The approved scheme will deliver 2,418sqm commercial space compared to 1,210sqm in the existing building.

Jonathan Adams, Director and Oliver Marigold, Principal Planner at TKP are planning agents for the applicant THAT Clifton Company and have worked on the proposal from its inception through to pre-application discussions, public consultation and planning application.

A previous planning application for a taller mixed-use 1,282sqm scheme was refused in 2015 on grounds that the proposal would not enhance the Conservation Area or preserve the setting of adjacent listed buildings. The approved scheme was revised to address these heritage concerns, whilst also doubling the proposed floorspace from 1,210sqm to 2,418sqm.

The site is in a highly sensitive and prominent location in Clifton Conservation Area, which is one of the most important conservation areas in the country, encompassing Georgian Clifton Village, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Royal York Crescent. It is an ‘island site’ surrounded by listed buildings and heritage assets.

We engaged with the local community including residents and workers, heritage and civic groups and the local retailers’ association. We discussed preliminary sketches through to detailed designs with Bristol City Council’s officers including the city design team, highways, ecology, sustainability and planning officers. Not surprisingly, there was significant interest and over 380 people from the local community attended four public consultation events. The feedback was mixed with some wanting a replacement Georgian building that mimics nearby listed buildings and some supporting a modern design that reflects local character.

Feedback from the local community and officers was taken on board in designing the application scheme that is contemporary and reflects local character and Georgian heritage. The application was submitted in 2019 and following further feedback from officers, minor changes were made to the design and layout of the building and public realm improvements. Four more consultations took place, making eight in total.

This led to support from City Council officers including the city design team and highways officers, local retailers’ association, Councillors and more than 130 letters of support from local residents. The planning officer recommended that the planning committee resolve to grant the application.

Jonathan Adams presented to planning committee informing members that the application proposal is fully in accordance with the development plan; it will deliver a car-free scheme on a derelict site in a highly sustainable location; it will deliver significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and energy demand, achieving BREEAM ‘excellent’; all four side of the building will be active shopping frontage in the designated Primary Shopping Area whereas the existing building only had one shopping frontage, three blank sides and bin storage; there will be a range of small, medium and large retail units; and the proposal will enhance the Conservation Area and setting of listed buildings.

Despite objections by a heritage society at Planning Committee, Members voted almost unanimously to resolve to grant the application.

We are very pleased to be involved in this major landmark scheme and to have worked with the applicant THAT Clifton Company; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (Architect); Avril Baker Consulting (community involvement); Box Twenty BD Landscape Architects; Buro Happold (engineering); Cotswold Archaeology (heritage); Iesis (project management); and Transport Planning Associates.

Image courtesy of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios