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'Nimbys' believe Bristol case is seriously flawed

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Letters

As a neighbour falsely accused of 'Nimbyism' (AJ 16/23.8.01) we demand a right of reply.

We own the Queen Anne and Regency property along one side of the area to be developed by Edward Ware Homes.

The problem we faced with Edward Ware and George Ferguson was not that we did not wish for any development. We initially welcomed Ware's purchase of the site, since he has done good work elsewhere in Bristol, and we hoped that Ferguson, who has a reputation for sensitivity, would design a project that fitted in with the site.

This was not the case. We have particular arguments with the way in which the planning application and the subsequent appeal were presented.

Ferguson managed to show our buildings incorrectly on all plans and models. They were either missing or shown further away from the site boundary than is the case. The site levels were incorrectly shown, ignoring the fact that our property is lower than the development site.

Hence his overbearing building was not shown to dominate our own house in the way that it will.

No account was taken of the loss of our sunlight, which solar path studies show will be significant in winter.

The adjacent play areas on the designated village green were also incorrectly shown.

The same arguments about over-dominance and loss of sunlight apply.

We had considerable difficulty with the initial plans, since Edward Ware Homes kept presenting different versions and leaving all previous versions in for consideration. New plans and details were presented each day in huge profusion, thus allowing little, if any, time for third parties to inspect them.

Ferguson has previously commented widely that the historic landscape of Bristol should be preserved. A major part of his project site, an area of car park and greenery, has never been developed previously and his new building, which will be visible from all around Bristol, can hardly be said to preserve anything. Hypocrisy or worse ?

Finally, being articulate is not a crime. Many wish that there had been articulate 'well-heeled' neighbours to prevent the excesses of architects and developers in the past (just look at the '60s).

If this results in an improved building, the efforts of neighbours who stand to gain nothing financially will have been worthwhile. If not, it will be another example of profit-seeking winning the day over taste and good sense.

Your article stated that the project is part of a £70 million regeneration of the area. We are not aware that our neighbourhood, a sought-after conservation area, needs any regeneration. Property prices are some of the highest in the country. That is why the developers are wishing to shoehorn unsuitably large boxes into our already crowded gardens.

Professor Paul Goddard and Mrs Lois Goddard, Bristol

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