University of Bristol library plans approved

  • Published
Exterior design for libraryImage source, University of Bristol
Image caption,
The design has been compared unfavourably to a spaceship

The University of Bristol has been granted permission to build an £80m seven-storey library in Clifton.

City councillors considering the plan in February said they were minded to reject the proposal on the grounds of its "ugly" design and traffic issues.

Nearby Bristol Grammar School said the library could "jeopardise the safety" of pupils by increasing traffic.

Council officers advised fears about a new road layout were unfounded and the application was passed on Wednesday.

Image source, University of Bristol
Image caption,
The new library will be on the corner of Woodland Road

Bristol City Council's Planning Committee voted 6-4 in favour after being advised by officers that a rejection may be overturned on appeal leaving the council to pay costs.

The design for the new building - which will replace The Hawthorns student flats on the corner of Woodland Road - has split opinion, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Likened to a "spaceship", it has been called "ugly, overbearing and intrusive" by the councillors who opposed the scheme.

The councillors in favour said the "enormous community benefits" outweighed any concerns.

The new complex will comprise a new civic square with a cycle track, two raised pedestrian crossings and a bus hub that together with the library would become a "landmark cultural destination" for the city, the university said.

About 420,000 books and 70,000 journals will be stored in the university library and the ground floor will be open to the public when it opens in 2026.

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