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RCAS Awards - 2011

Report compiled by Simon Birch and Roger Mortimer

This report may also be found in the RCAS December 2011 Newsletter - Number 154.

As noted in the last Newsletter the Gold Star scheme was started and is run ‘to recognise and publicise developments, of all sizes, that make a positive contribution to the appearance and amenity of our area’.

There are bound to be many opinions on what this means but developments will have to look good and function well. The Society’s planning and design ‘guidelines’ indicate our likes and dislikes. These can be seen on the Website. The Citations for the recent awards, which were displayed at the AGM, indicate how each had met our criteria.

In the context of all the planning work of the Society the awards are a small activity, but one that encourages members to express their views by nominating candidates. As agreed at the AGM next year the list of nominations will be published in the Newsletter and Website in time for members to express their views to the RCAS Committee before the candidates are visited and assessed.
Details of the revised system will be included in the next Newsletter.


Gold and Green Star Awards plus Commendation


Earthbound, Abbotsford Road

Opened 10 years ago this small independent food shop was the first in the Cotham area to focus on organic and/or locally sourced produce. It continues to offer a wide range of sustainable food, including bread baked in Hampton Lane and vegetables from Somerset. One of the few genuinely local shops in our community, with well informed local owners taking an interest in community matters and their customer’s welfare.


The Better Food Company

This prominent retail unit on Whiteladies Road has been attractively upgraded and it’s now difficult to recall the previous usage. The attractive shop front and window display are a reflection of the wide range of sustainable and natural produce on sale inside the store. In summary a very positive addition to the retail offer along Whiteladies Road.


22 Sydenham Road

This semi detached house has been comprehensively 'greened', resulting in its carbon emissions being reduced by approximately 50%. The alterations included adding external insulation to side and rear walls. The project demonstrates that even Listed buildings can be 'greened' without compromising appearance.


Forecourt, Friends Meeting House, Hampton Road

The small forecourt has been ingeniously redesigned to provide disabled access, bicycle parking and some secure play space for toddlers. Existing timber seating has been recycled to suit. A new hedge protects the small lawn. Solar panels have been installed on the south facing roof. This large array which will make a significant contribution to the energy needs of this well used meeting place. Visual impact has been minimised by painting supporting structure dark grey to match the PV panels.


Extension, 1 East Shrubbery

This two storey extension, facing Lower Redland Road, forms an attractive addition to this road. The natural stone used matches that of existing house, ensuring that the extension looks as if it has always been there. Only the slightly quirky carved stone details show that it is modern. We look forward to completion of work to the rear.


New house, Trelawney Road

Constructed on the site of the garage/coach house to 5 Cotham Lawn Road, this house retains part of the garage structure and uses reclaimed bricks for the ground floor elevations. The upper floor is finished with timber boarding. A low key and unconventional design approach which works well on this unusual site.


16 Cotham Lawn Road

The opportunity has been taken to design and implement a comprehensive modernisation and extension of this 1950s property. Originally constructed to an unusual design on former tennis courts the extended property has been upgraded to modern environmental standards with timber and render elevations. Overall a very attractive addition to the street scene in Cotham Lawn Road.


Landscaping, Cotham Lawn Road frontage, Cotham School,

The need to provide disabled access and parking led to the complete redesign of the setting of the original Cotham Grammar School building on Cotham Lawn Road. The architectural merit of this example of 1930's school architecture is noted in the Conservation Area Character Statement. The new landscape design recognises the formal character of the building, and uses hedges to divide up the length, with grass areas, bold ground cover and shrub planting, punctuated with nine trees along the road boundary. The setting of this important building will be improved as the landscape matures.