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Council rejects Fatkin mega car park plan for Bristol hospitals

Fatkin's refused hospital car park for Bristol
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Councillors have rejected West London practice Fatkin’s proposals for a huge multistorey hospital car park in Bristol after receiving objections to the scheme

Bristol City Council’s Development Control Committee acted in line with planning officer advice in refusing outline planning permission for the Marlborough Hill transport hub, which would have provided space for 820 cars and 400 bicycles.

Fatkin’s proposals included demolition of three locally listed inter-war blocks of flats within the site as well as an existing four-storey car park. These would have been replaced with an eight-storey facility for staff, patients and visitors to the city’s adjacent hospital complex.

Opposition to the plans was fierce.

Kingsdown Conservation Group described the proposals as ‘repugnant’ and ‘offensive’, while Bristol Civic Society warned of ‘more traffic and pollution in the city centre’ as well as loss of green space.

Bristol Walking Alliance said patients would face a 200m walk from car park to hospital ‘without shelter, along a pavement, next to the noise and air pollution of constant high flows of motor traffic’.

Three councillors formally objected to the proposals, including Labour Councillor for Bristol Central Ward Paul Smith, who said: ‘It’s difficult to know where to start.’

The council’s conservation advisory panel said the site was a part of a landscape of garden houses from the 17th century and described the Fatkin scheme as ‘the final coup in destroying the Kingsdown hillside’.

‘This enormous building at the foot of the escarpment would be an offence to the topography,’ said the panel. ‘The proposals would have adverse affects on the setting of several listed buildings, including Montague Court and Charles Holden’s locally listed Edward VII Memorial Building and would be seen from at least three conservation areas.’

A number of individuals complained the scheme would cause pollution and congestion as well as loss of housing. In total, 239 objections were received, against 169 letters of support.

Refusing the scheme, the council cited ‘excessive and unjustified levels of parking’; failure to prove there would not be a severe impact on traffic; a worsening of air quality; unjustified loss of 36 family homes; harm to the Kingsdown conservation area; loss of locally listed buildings; removal of trees; and the lack of an adequate assessment of the scheme’s impact on daylight to nearby homes.

Fatkin's refused hospital car park for Bristol

Fatkin’s refused hospital car park for Bristol

Source: Fatkin

Fatkin’s refused hospital car park for Bristol

In planning documents, Fatkin said the scheme would ’provide a high-quality, secure and comfortable experience for all users’. 

The practice added: ’The proposed materials for the cladding system include pressed and polyester powder-coated metal panels, folded to create a gentle 3D effect. Green wall is also used on certain panels to highlight the position of circulation cores, to soften the visual impact on the building on the green backdrop of Kingsdown and Marlborough Hill and to offer environmental benefits.’

Paula Clarke, director of strategy and transformation at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said she was dismayed by the counci’s refusal of the scheme.

She said: ’We are very disappointed by this decision because it offers no solution for the frustration and distress caused to patients and families who need parking close by our hospitals as a medical necessity. We will review the reasons for the council’s decision before deciding upon our next steps.’

Fatkin declined to comment.

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