Bristol tower blocks branded an 'eyesore' set to be refused following planning report

The plans include several high-rise buildings near Temple Meads in Bristol Credit: Donard Homes

Controversial plans for more than 200 homes in blocks up to 11 storeys high near Temple Meads are set to be refused.

Bristol city councillors are being advised to reject the proposals for 221 flats, along with shops, cafes and public space, at the former Bart Ingredients factory on the corner of York Road and St Luke’s Road in Bedminster.

The application by Donard Homes is the first to come forward in the Mead Street regeneration area, but a report by planning officers says the design and living environment would be “poor”.

If development control committee members agree with the recommendation on Wednesday (24 August), it would mark the first victory for campaigners trying to protect the views of Totterdown’s famous coloured houses.

More than 5,000 people have now signed a petition against “inappropriate” proposed tower blocks that would block the escarpment’s panorama at Pylle Hill.

The Bart Ingredients redevelopment comprises of two 11-storey buildings and a third that is seven floors high, as well as a separate scheme for 900 homes including a 22-storey high-rise next to the railway line near Bath Road.

The report to the planning committee says about 350 objections have been received to Donard’s plans, including concerns that they would look like a 'soulless, concrete canyon' and would be an 'eyesore'.

This is despite the developer amending the designs last month to reduce the number of homes from 244 to 221, of which 30 per cent would be affordable.

The committee report said: “It is not considered that a good quality scheme is proposed that would successfully deliver on the overall aspirations for the area.

“Officers acknowledge that the scheme will deliver identifiable benefits but have concluded that these will not outweigh the level of harm.

“The site would be the first in the Mead Street Development Brief area to come forward.

“As the area’s frontrunner, design excellence should be achieved that should set the standard for other sites in the area.

“Overall, it is considered that the quality of the living accommodation on this site would be compromised.

“The high proportion of single aspect flats would have limited outlook due to the height and proximity of the blocks within the scheme.

“Light levels within the properties would be limited, and they have increased energy demands placed on them due to the need to use electric lights and in some cases rely on mechanical ventilation.

“The height on the St Luke’s Road elevation is excessive, even in the revised form.”

It said occupiers would have a “poor living environment” and that the design quality was also poor.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/Adam Postans