Set for approval New homes at harbour despite objections
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.