Plans have been unveiled for a proposal to build a seven storey apartment block a stone’s throw from one of Bristol’s most famous landmarks.
Two blocks of flats are being planned on a rarely-used office car park in Gas Ferry Road on Spike Island, opposite the headquarters of Aardman Animations and not far from the SS Great Britain.
The flats would all have balconies looking south east or south west over the River Avon New Cut into Southville, and of the 28 apartments proposed, six would be classed as ‘affordable’ under planning terms.
Those six would only equate to 20 per cent of the total – which is half the 40 per cent policy requirement stipulated by Bristol City Council, although council chiefs did say they would be prepared to drop their own policy to 20 per cent to get housing built.
The development is being proposed by Bristol-based developers Acorn Property Group, who also restored and built the Brandon Yard development on the other side of the Floating Harbour.
Acorn Property Group said the new homes would be built on part of the car park at the back of the Georgian house at 129 Cumberland Road, which is currently office space. Those businesses would still have parking spaces, but the car park is big enough to have new apartments built there, they added.
The development would also include restoring the basement of that Georgian house – one of the earliest south of the old course of the River Avon – into new offices.
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The new flats would be built next to McArthur’s Yard – where 147 apartments are currently being built, at the back of the old Rolt’s Boatyard. It’s also a short distance from the Baltic Wharf caravan site where, in a separate application, Bristol City Council’s own housing company wants to build more blocks of flats, including affordable ones for social rent.
“O’LearyGoss has designed a scheme for Acorn Property Group that sits comfortably within the historic docklands,” said a spokesperson for the developers.
“The proposed building sits at two levels: nearest to the eight storey McArthur’s Warehouse it would be seven storeys, including ground floor. Closer towards The Georgian House, the level drops to four storeys, including ground floor.
“The O’LearyGoss team is proposing materials which are typical of Harbourside buildings – a combination of red brick, stone and zinc. The existing brick wall – probably built in the 1960s – would be replaced with a traditional ‘rubble stone’ wall, more typical of the old boat yards.
“The planning application also includes the conversion of the basement of the existing Georgian House for additional offices, suitable for a small local business. The new office space would help bring more jobs into this vibrant mixed neighbourhood,” he added.
A website has been set up to tell people more about the plans, and a consultation opened up to let people say what they think, ahead of an expected planning application to be submitted in the new year. The consultation closes on December 15, 2021. Anyone can comment on the proposal by visiting the website.