Response to 334 Canford Lane Planning Proposal

8 Southdown Road
Westbury on Trym
21 July 2023

Dear Planning Oficer

Planning Application 23/01883/F: 334 Canford Lane

The Society notes that this is a further application to develop two large houses on this plot, following the dismissal of the appeal in respect of the most recent planning application.

The design of this proposal has been simplified but the devil is in the detail. The elevational drawings are not convincing and are surprisingly unclear. The mansard roof arrangement with the large two storey extension to the rear creates a very bulky building, as before, and the excessive amount of glazing is concerning. We, therefore, consider that the design fails to comply with policy DM26.

The plans raise many questions as to the intended use of the properties. The house is currently in use as an Airbnb. The website indicates that prospective users are able to book a single room and share a bathroom. The Society understands that this has caused significant issues for neighbours when clients have used the house as a party house. We consider that the way the house is currently being advertised indicates that the use is no longer covered by use class C3, but amounts to a change of use into a large HMO and this needs to be investigated. The link to the site is below:

Double room shared bathroom Big - Bed and breakfasts for Rent in Bristol City, England, United Kingdom - Airbnb

The proposed development itself raises many questions. The planning history is that a different applicant secured planning permission under 17/01132/F for an additional 4 bed dwelling on the site. Subsequently, under 18/01154/F consent was secured to convert the existing property to two 4 bed dwellings.

Now the proposal is for 2 houses with 7 huge double bedrooms all with en-suite facilities. The Design & Access Statement says that ‘the dwellings are designed to provide accommodation for two Bristol based brothers and their extended families to provide the usual accommodation expected in each house including, living and dining rooms, study, seven bedrooms ……TV room and semi subterranean leisure facilities including home office, card and snooker rooms and gym/fitness studio with external exercise courtyard.' Most of these facilities can hardly be considered ‘usual accommodation’. The previous proposals just had 4 bedrooms.

The location of the swimming pool will also be likely to give rise to noise problems with neighbours, as it is sited in the area to the rear of the adjoining 338 Canford Lane. It should not be sited there for amenity reasons.

The clear impression is that the houses are not being designed for a family, even an extended one – why are there 7 massive double bedrooms all with en-suites, a cinema and sundry other leisure facilities, but no garages? We do not consider that planning permission should be granted due to the impact on the character of the area, but should you be minded to grant planning permission, the use needs to be made clear – that this is for use as a family dwelling only. Any other use, including airBnB will require express consent and the council must include a suitably worded condition to protect the amenities of the neighbours from quasi-residential uses. Furthermore, airBnB would involve more traffic manoeuvres into and out of the site by people unfamiliar with the location in a part of Canford Lane which in recent years has seen 2 fatal accidents.

Yours sincerely
A C Renshaw MRTPI
On behalf of the Westbury on Trym Society