Set for ap­proval New homes at har­bour de­spite ob­jec­tions

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Kate WIL­SON Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter kate.wil­son@reach­

PLANS to build 13 “Airbnb” style apart­ments at the Har­bour­side look set to be ap­proved next week to pro­vide a ‘home-away-from-home’ for vis­i­tors to Bris­tol city cen­tre, de­spite more than 150 ob­jec­tions to the scheme.

It would see a six-storey build­ing built in the cur­rently va­cant space be­tween the An­chor­age sec­tion of Wap­ping Wharf and The Quays apart­ments.

The build­ing would be made up of 13 ser­viced apart­ments and would be let on a short-term ba­sis.

There would also be a car park on the base­ment level of the build­ing for eight ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing one dis­abled space.

All ac­cess to the build­ing – for ve­hi­cles, cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans – would be from Cumberland Road.

A state­ment from Paint­works Apart­ments Ltd, which runs five loft apart­ments in Paint­works, Bath Road, said the pro­posed scheme would meet the de­mand of vis­i­tors to the city.

The firm added that in­creas­ing num­bers of vis­i­tors to Bris­tol are con­sid­er­ing “al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion styles” and are seek­ing “greater choice, flex­i­bil­ity, space and pri­vacy”. They also claim the Har­bour­side ser­viced apart­ments, which “could be mar­keted on Airbnb”, would help meet that de­mand.

It added: “Paint­works Apart­ments has been in­volved in dis­cus­sions about this pro­posed scheme since Jan­uary 2016, pro­vid­ing ex­pert ad­vice on the man­age­ment of ser­viced apart­ments.

“Us­ing our ex­pe­ri­ence from our own sim­i­lar and suc­cess­ful busi­ness, we will en­sure the suc­cess­ful man­age­ment of the Har­bour­side ser­viced apart­ments.”

But there have been “ex­ten­sive ob­jec­tions” to the scheme, in­clud­ing from Bris­tol City Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for hous­ing Paul Smith.

Cllr Smith has re­ferred the ap­pli­ca­tion to the author­ity’s de­vel­op­ment con­trol com­mit­tee next week where it will now be de­cided by coun­cil­lors, but the scheme has been rec­om­mended for ap­proval by plan­ning of­fi­cers.

In a state­ment on the coun­cil’s plan­ning portal Cllr Smith said: “I am sup­port­ive of de­vel­op­ing this site but not for a leisure use.

“The site is be­tween the Quays and An­chor­age, both of which are res­i­den­tial lo­ca­tions. I be­lieve that the best use for this site is also res­i­den­tial.

“Hous­ing need has wors­ened dra­mat­i­cally since the plan was last up­dated and I would be push­ing for this site to be al­lo­cated for hous­ing in the new plan due to be pre­pared next year.”

More than 150 ob­jec­tions from neigh­bours have been sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil. The main con­cerns re­late to the de­sign of the de­vel­op­ment, im­pact on the Con­ser­va­tion Area, im­pact on res­i­den­tial ameni­ties and high­way safety.

But the ap­pli­cants say the pro­posed scheme “will not only trans­form a va­cant, spoil heap site but com­plete the Wap­ping Wharf quay de­vel­op­ment”.

The coun­cil’s De­vel­op­ment Con­trol Com­mit­tee A are due to dis­cuss the plans at its meet­ing on Wed­nes­day next week.

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