Response to Planning Application for 15 Westfield Road

8 Southdown Road
Westbury on Trym
3 June 2022

Dear Mr Fisher

Planning Application 22/01935/F: 15 Westfield Road- amended scheme

The Society has considered the further application for redevelopment of the site.

Whilst the density does now allow most of the trees that contribute to the special character of this site to be retained, the Society is still of the opinion that the development will cause significant harm to the character of the area.

We note the design changes and the use of the scale and roof design of the adjoining Kingsley House to provide some context to the development. However, the Society does not consider that this is an appropriate benchmark as the building is dull, whereas the existing dwelling is a locally distinctive design, which if properly maintained would continue to be an asset to the street. In this context, policy DM26 requires a development that will contribute positively to the character of the area and we do not consider that the amended design does that in a satisfactory way.

Our concerns previously expressed over the replacement planting have not changed. The density of planting in the rear gardens of plots 1 and 3 is far too dense. The apple tree in plot 1 will be growing up within the canopy of the bird cherry. The trees in plot 3 seem to be planted at 3 metre centres, with 3 more bird cherry at only 2 metre centres. They are small sizes, but once established they will quickly grow into one another and into the fruit trees leading to losses in due course. The Society considers that some replacement planting will have to be off site and it would welcome the opportunity to advise where this could be to enhance the village environment.

The Society has noted the re-growth of Japanese Knotweed along the rear of plot 1 - this may extend elsewhere on the site, but it cannot be viewed from outside the site. This is not mentioned in the landscaping plan. This presents a serious issue which needs to be addressed in conjunction with the Environment Agency and in the landscaping plan.

A serious new issue has been raised by the proposals - the lack of off street car parking now provided. Westfield Road is already an area of parking stress, with rarely less than 100% occupancy at all times of the day. The houses are 5 bedrooms is size and more than 1 parking space will be required as these are the sorts of houses that are bound to result in multiple car ownership. The council’s maximum parking standards are inappropriate in this situation, as the parking stress in the street will be exacerbated. Regrettably this means that there will be a need to be provide larger hard surfaced spaces in the front of the houses to accommodate two car parking spaces. Plot 3 could have rear parking.

So to conclude, despite the reduction in numbers of houses to a more appropriate level to retain much of the verdant character of the site, the Society considers that the development is contrary to Policies BCS 21 and DM26, DM 21 (particularly with respect to landscape design), DM23 in respect of the inappropriate parking arrangements, DM27 and DM29 and should b e refused.

Yours sincerely
A C Renshaw MRTPI
For the Westbury on Trym Society