31 May 2012

posted Jun 8, 2012, 2:25 AM by juliet johns   [ updated Oct 1, 2012, 9:07 AM ]
Informing members about the current work of the RCAS Committee and alerts them to current and upcoming matters.

If you have any issues you wish to raise with RCAS, please email: info@rcas.org.uk
your email will be passed to the relevant Committee member

Meeting summary

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There are three big planning issues currently occupying the RCAS planning group (PG):

Former Maskrey’s site

The proposed redevelopment of the former Maskrey’s site on Whiteladies Road for mixed retail/residential use. RCAS planning group finds the principle of this usage pattern acceptable, but is continuing to press for changes to the detail of the scheme. The residential part of the scheme currently involves the creation of 66 extremely small cell-like units for student use, which the PG regards as an overdevelopment of the site.

Former Redland Police Station

The proposed conversion of the former Redland Police Station into an extension of St Johns Primary School

The BCC Conservation Advisory Panel has commented adversely on the design aspects of the planning application which has been submitted. RCAS PG is happy with the design, but has objected to the colour of the brickwork. The main issue for RCAS is the highways works necessary to make pedestrian routes to school safe. This matter has been taken up by local councillor, Neil Harrison. A drop-in session to show road plans which was held at the Rubicon Café on Chandos Road on 28 May had 16 attendees.

Former Territorial Army site

The proposed redevelopment of the former Territorial Army site on Whiteladies Road has recently been the subject of a consultation with community groups which was co-ordinated by an RCAS committee member (Simon Birch). In the report they submitted the community groups took the view that:

The TA site is ideally placed to be served by public transport, cycling and walking and is not a suitable location for any increased use by cars or by service vehicles. This section of Whiteladies Road is already heavily congested.

The site is approximately mid way between the retail centres at the Triangle and Clifton Down and is not within an existing retail frontage. Both these centres already have food stores and a range of other facilities and are well used by local residents. In the future it will be important to support both these centres and for this reason the TA site is not seen as a suitable location for retailing, being well outside both existing centres.

Key features on the TA site are the mature trees, the parade ground and the existing buildings, particularly those to the south and west. Together these form a most attractive grouping which should be retained if at all possible within any future use of the site.


The Report of the Community Groups concluded that:

The TA site is an excellent example of an urban site with scope for new uses not requiring the use of the car, given the proximity of Whiteladies Road, existing and nearby retail centres and easy access to employment opportunities. Existing buildings offer potential for re-use.

Future uses which the groups are prepared to support include a primary school, community uses and limited residential use(with reduced or ideally nil car parking). They are strongly opposed to any form of retailing on this site for reasons of traffic generation, adverse impact on the existing shopping centres and the fundamental fact that there are far too many supermarkets already in the area.

At a meeting on 15th May the team from the developers of the site confirmed that a major food retail component (Waitrose) was essential to their scheme. This is therefore a major area where agreement with community groups is highly unlikely. It was noted that further detailed studies currently being undertaken – on traffic, heritage and retail impact – would be placed in the public domain once completed. It is likely that a planning application may be made by the end of 2012. Community groups agreed to maintain a dialogue with the developer and to meet again once further feasibility work was complete and available.


RCAS has been involved in an attempt to establish a Friends of Cotham Gardens Group to liaise with BCC about the maintenance and improvement of this valued community space.

Two RCAS committee members (Sarah Cuthill and Alison Bromilow) have met with Richard Fletcher (BCC Area Environmental Team Manager) to discuss how to ensure that the Friends Group could properly take account of the views of local residents and users of the Gardens.

It is proposed to use a leaflet campaign to seek a range of views. Richard Fletcher is prioritising and costing the suggestions that have already been approved by the Neighbourhood Partnership.


We have been informed that the arrangements for end-of-term/year rubbish clearance would be the same as last year.

From 18 June students would be issued with Charity recycling bags. Last year’s recycling exercise had resulted in a 28% reduction in the amount of rubbish left in the street and generated £10k for charities.

Many RCAS members will be bracing themselves for the impact of end-of- term parties.

To report evening and night-time noise disturbance call the
BCC noise pollution team on 0117 922 2050 for immediate action.

You may also report your concerns to the community liaison team of the relevant university:
For Bristol University
contact the Accommodation Office on 0117 954 5740,
or email conduct-accom@bris.ac.uk;

for UWE
contact Accommodation Services on 0117 328 3601,
or email accommodation@uwe.ac.uk.


RCAS committee member Clive Stevens continues to work hard in collaboration with the BCC Trees officer to maintain and improve the leafiness of our neighbourhood.

There has been a pleasing increase in tree planting and the vigilance of local residents together with new legislation has enabled BCC to reduce some drastic pruning schedules.


In response to the item in the Summer Newsletter there had been one further nomination (a domestic car parking space on Redland Road) and one objection to a published nomination (the new stone gate pillars at 21 Cotham Grove). these would be taken into consideration by the visiting panel in due course.


At its most recent meeting the RCAS Committee recorded its thanks to Julie Hart and the May Fair Committee for the professional and sensitive way in which they handled the very difficult situation of cancelling the Fair due to adverse weather.

The committee also recorded its thanks to Redland Parish Church for offering teas to May Fair visitors who had not heard of the cancellation.


Some RCAS members are concerned about the state of the streets following refuse and recycling collections after the recent change of contractor.

The Committee’s Neighbourhood Partnership representatives have raised the matter in that forum. However, it is important that local residents keeping up the pressure on BCC and the contractor by making use of the BCC on-line complaints process.