Bristol RPZ: Signs could be better, says English Heritage

Signs on railings in Clifton Village
Image caption Bristol City Council said it used railings as much as possible to minimise pavement posts

Some of the street markings and signage for a new residents' parking zone could be improved, English Heritage has said.

The signs were put up in the Clifton area of Bristol ahead of the new scheme which starts in March.

Some residents complained to English Heritage the signs and road markings were spoiling the appearance of a conservation area.

Bristol City Council said railings were used as much as possible to minimise posts in the pavement.

'Physical damage'

The protesters argue much of the Clifton village zone is designated as a conservation area "which contains some of city's most significant historic buildings".

They believe the council should have obtained listed building consent before fitting signs to railings of houses with Grade II* listing.

Officers from English Heritage visited the area and said what it had seen "broadly followed the principles of Streets for All - a document which relates to reducing streetscape clutter and using paler [yellow line] markings where possible.

"However, there appear to be instances where improvements could be made, either through better on-site finishing or through further consideration of locations and fixings of signs," a spokeswoman said.

"English Heritage is still looking into whether or not, in our view, any of the works would require authorisation under the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

"Not all works necessarily fall into this category and none of the works observed on site have resulted in any physical damage to any listed structures," she added.

Image caption Campaigners argue the signs spoil the appearance of a conservation area

English Heritage confirmed it had been contacted by a number of residents expressing concern about the implementation of the zone in Clifton Village.

Bristol City Council said it "met regularly" with English Heritage to talk about listed building work and legislation.

"When we were putting RPZ signs up in Kingsdown it was advised that as long as we were not making significant or permanent changes to a building, which would alter its character, it was acceptable to put signs up," a spokeswoman said.

"It is the same situation for Clifton Village."

Businessman Mark Moran, who is campaigning against the zone, claimed the council was "out of control".

"How can putting a sign on railings not materially alter a listed building in the same way as a hole in a beautiful paved pavement?" he said.

One to 31 Caledonia Place, and attached basement area railings, are Grade II* listed by English Heritage for their "special architectural or historic interest".

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