Bristol tower blocks plans approved despite concerns

Temple Back Image copyright Cubex
Image caption The 16-storey and 10-storey towers will be built on the site of the old fire service in Temple Back

Two tower blocks will be added to Bristol's skyline despite fears nearby residents could suffer "significant impact".

The 16-storey and 10-storey buildings will be constructed on the site of the old fire service in Temple Back.

The city council approved the plans despite objections from residents and two cabinet members, including housing chief Paul Smith.

Concerns included loss of sunlight and the mental health of residents.

Councillors were split 4-4, leading development committee chairman Richard Eddy to make the casting vote, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Image copyright David Betts Photography
Image caption The development will be created on the site of the former Avon Fire and Rescue HQ at Temple Back

"The proposed units would impose cramped housing on hundreds of people," Melissa Mean, of Redcliffe Residents Action Group and Neighbourhood Forum, said in a statement.

"Granting permission would mean the council is failing in its duty to provide good-quality accommodation."

Planning officer Peter Westbury recommended granting permission to developer Cubex but said the case was "finely balanced".

"In terms of overshadowing, I cannot deny there will be a significant impact on five properties in apartments that face the tower," he told councillors.

Councillor Mike Davies said: "The sunlight for the neighbouring block is the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

"I would be concerned about the mental health of occupants."

But committee chairman Cllr Eddy said: "Overall it will be a very key contribution to jobs and prosperity in Bristol."

Gavin Bridge, executive director at Cubex, said: "We recognise major change in an area which has only had sparse low-level buildings for many years has been challenging for some people but there is a widespread recognition that with growing city populations, we have to build more densely in the limited spaces available in central areas if we are to deliver the homes and workspace a place like Bristol needs."

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