Bedminster high-rise flats approved despite 200 objections

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Bedminster flats, BristolImage source, Bristol City Council Live/YouTube
Image caption,
Councillor Steve Smith said the wider benefits of the scheme were important considerations, as the plans were approved

A high-rise housing complex has been approved, despite more than 200 objections and the flats being likened to "very small prison cells".

The 316-home development will see five apartment blocks up to 16-storeys high, built between Malago Road and East Street in Bedminster, Bristol.

Dandara's plans faced opposition from residents who said it was too densely-packed and would overshadow the area.

Bristol City Council voted seven to four in favour of granting consent.

Supporters of the development said it would provide much-needed housing and boost the "struggling" high street.

Council officers said "on balance" the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harms and it would be part of a wider project to regenerate the area.

Image source, Bristol City Council Live/YouTube
Image caption,
The new housing will replace industrial buildings and a council car park in Bedminster

The Bedminster Green project could eventually see as many as 2,000 new flats built across five key sites between East Street and Bedminster railway station, either side of Malago Road in BS3.

Bristol City Council's development control committee heard 38% of the flats did not meet national space standards, but officers concluded it was acceptable due to communal spaces such as a gym, courtyards and rooftop gardens.

"The scheme isn't perfect," said the council's head of development Gary Collins.

"In our opinion though, on balance, it does deliver wider benefits to the Bedminster Green regeneration."

'Homes fall short'

Members heard from critics who said the scheme was too "oppressive" and "anti-social", according to the BBC's Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"We do need to build homes, but these homes fail to meet even the most basic of standards: space, daylight and density, all fall far short of recommendations," said resident Charlotte Cameron Beaumont.

Councillor Olly Mead said: "It feels like we're going to be building a high-rise block with very small prison cells that people will end up trapped in if there's another outbreak of Covid."

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