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Supplementary Planning Document 1

TALL BUILDINGS
Adopted January 2005

Supplementary Planning Document No1

TALL BUILDINGS

Clear and consistent guidance on the design and location of tall buildings in our city is to be welcomed. This has been a very successful project in terms of generating public debate about tall buildings and I am pleased that officers have listened to and heeded the views of residents. In particular, I am pleased to see how the use of an interactive website has shown how more people can become involved in important debates as to the future of our city. Consultation revealed support for the new tall buildings in Bristol so long as they are well designed, sustainable, distinctive and located to 'fit' into the existing urban landscape. The tall buildings policy now maps out clearly those areas in the city centre where they may be acceptable. This supplementary planning document on tall buildings is a welcome response to the citys urban regeneration programme and positive investment in commercial property areas such as Broadmead, Temple Quay and Harbourside. Tall buildings are increasingly featuring in development proposals so it is essential that there is clear policy guidance. The new planning guidance will shape Bristol's future skyline by setting criteria by which future proposals for tall buildings are to be considered. Bristol's tall building guide is one of the first new style planning policy documents in the country and has already been recognised by national bodies as an example of best practice. I hope you take the time to read, what is, a very useful document.

Cllr Richard Pyle Bristol's Executive Member for the Environment, Transport and Leisure

Cllr Richard Pyle, Bristol's Executive Member for the Environment, Transport and Leisure January 2005

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Supplementary Planning Document No1

CONTENTS

page no.

page no.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Purpose/status of guidance Need for guidance in Bristol City Centre Definition of tall buildings Experience of other UK cities National policy context Local policy context Height Matters consultation initiative

1
1 2 3 4 4 5 7

4.0 DESIGN GUIDANCE


4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 The design process Density and urban form Size, shape and silhouette Relationship to the street Energy efficiency Water consumption Microclimate Materials Telecommunications

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27 28 29 29 31 31 31 31 32 32 32

2.0 CITY CENTRE URBAN DESIGN APPRAISAL: TALL BUILDINGS


2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Topography Open spaces and water courses The urban structure Movement corridors and gateways Historical assets Post war tall buildings Conclusion

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9 10 10 10 11 13 16

4.9

4.10 Internal design 4.11 Remodelling existing tall buildings

5.0 ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 6.0 GLOSSARY 7.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY

33 38 40

8.0 ADVICE & FURTHER INFORMATION 41


APPENDICES
A B C D E F G Experience of other UK cities Details of the Height matters consultation initiative The Consultation Statement View Protection Framework Neighbourhood Appraisal Visual Impact Assessment guidance on methodology Sustainability Appraisal Policy B7A

3.0 SITING A TALL BUILDING LOCATIONAL GUIDANCE


3.1 3.2 3.3 Guiding principles View Protection Framework Indication of areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings

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17 17 18

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The Ordnance Survey mapping included within this publication is provided by Bristol City Council under licence from the Ordnance Survey in order to fulfil its public function to act as the local planning authority. Persons viewing this mapping should contact Ordnance Survey copyright for advice where they wish to licence Ordnance Survey mapping for their own use.

If you would like this information in a different format, for example Braille, audio tape, large print or computer disc, or community languages, please contact the Strategic & Citywide Policy Team on: 0117 903 6720

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TALL BUILDINGS

1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose/status of guidance


This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD1) provides a set of assessment criteria that the Council will require applicants of all tall building proposals to address in their detailed planning submissions. It also identifies areas within the city centre where tall building schemes may be acceptable subject to them making a positive contribution to their surroundings. Applicants should note that it will not generally be appropriate to use outline applications. The Planning Authority will strongly recommend the submission of a detailed application in accordance with the advice of English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

At the time of consulting, this document was referred to as Policy Advice Note 22 (PAN 22). However, under new arrangements associated with the recent enactment of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004), the term Policy Advice Note has been replaced with Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). SPD1 has been prepared in accordance with regulatory requirements and is the first component/document of Bristols Local Development Framework. This SPD has been prepared specifically to advise on tall building schemes being promoted in the city centre, as this is currently the focus for tall building applications. Any application that is received from outside the central area will be required to go through the same assessment procedure with supporting contextual analysis. Status of SPD1 the relationship to existing planning policy and its use in the decision making process Proposals for tall buildings should be made in accordance with the relevant policies of the adopted Bristol Local Plan and SPD1, an important material consideration with significant weight in the decision making process. SPD1 has been prepared as a SDP in accordance with PPS12 Local Development Frameworks (2004) and the associated Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004. Bristol City Council is currently preparing its Local Development Framework and consequently the adopted Bristol Local Plan (1997) and its policies will be saved until replaced by suitable Local Development Documents. As any proposed new tall building will require the consideration of a number of planning issues a variety of these saved policies in the adopted Bristol Local Plan will apply to which SPD1 supplements (see 1.6), in particular policy B1 Design Criteria and Assessment, B2 Local Context and B5 Layout and Form. It is considered SPD1 is in conformity with these saved policies and consistent with national and regional policy. Policy B7A Tall Buildings, of the Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan (2003) demonstrates the City Councils commitment to providing an explicit tall buildings policy and is likely to be included within a future Development Plan Document. On adoption this policy would replace the adopted Bristol Local Plan policies as above as the primary Development Plan reference.

These assessment criteria are as follows: (i) RELATIONSHIP TO CONTEXT, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHY, BUILT FORM, AND SKYLINE; (ii) EFFECT ON THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT AT A CITY-WIDE AND LOCAL LEVEL; (iii) RELATIONSHIP TO TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PARTICULARLY PUBLIC TRANSPORT PROVISION; (iv) ARCHITECTURAL EXCELLENCE OF THE BUILDING; (v) CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLIC SPACES AND FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE MIX OF USES; (vi) EFFECT ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING MICROCLIMATE AND GENERAL AMENITY CONSIDERATIONS; (vii) CONTRIBUTION TO PERMEABILITY AND LEGIBILITY OF THE SITE AND WIDER AREA; AND (viii) SUFFICIENT ACCOMPANYING MATERIAL TO ENABLE A PROPER ASSESSMENT INCLUDING URBAN DESIGN STUDY/MASTERPLAN, A 360 DEGREE VIEW ANALYSIS AND RELATIVE HEIGHT STUDIES. (IX) ADOPTION OF BEST PRACTICE GUIDANCE RELATED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF TALL BUILDINGS (X) EVALUATION OF PROVIDING A SIMILAR LEVEL OF DENSITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE URBAN FORM

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Consequently, whilst objections were received, it is considered reasonable and appropriate to include reference to Policy B7A within SPD1 for information and contextual purposes. See Appendix G. It should be noted that policy B7A is broadly consistent with policies of the adopted Bristol Local Plan. Summarys of the formal submissions, with an Officer response, made in respect of Policy B7A Tall Buildings, of the Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan (2003) may be viewed via www.bristol-city.gov.uk/planningpolicy or the City Councils Planning Reception. It is suggested that prospective developers consider the SPD within the context of the portfolio of planning policies and in particular the City Centre Strategy and emerging City Centre Area Action Plan (see website for details) and SPD4 - Achieving Positive Planning through Planning Obligations which sets out the City Councils approach to such matters. Proposals for tall buildings will need to satisfactorily respond to SPD4.

Broadmead, Harbourside and Temple. Thus, there is a need for clearer policy guidance on this sensitive and emotive issue. The last significant era of tall buildings built predominantly in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, has generally left a legacy of poor quality examples in Bristol, often unloved by their occupants and overly dominant in the urban landscape. However, a new generation of innovative tall buildings is attracting both admirers and detractors. One thing is very clear - schemes for tall buildings prove to be controversial, polarising views on their relative merits.

1.2 Need for guidance in Bristol City Centre


Proposals for tall buildings are coming forward in greater numbers than for some time. High density residential schemes are being promoted to meet acute housing shortages caused primarily through a demographic trend which is seeing household formation increase at a rate faster than population growth. At the same time, landmark office schemes are being promoted to meet the needs of global businesses, seeking prestigious, high quality office floor space in attractive city centre locations. These two factors, coupled with the Governments desire to achieve a greater proportion of new development on brownfield sites, is placing pressure on the system to achieve higher density schemes in urban areas than ever before. The pressure to build up is likely to increase. Bristol is currently experiencing an urban regeneration programme unparalleled for 40 years, bringing positive investment in buildings in the city through private and public initiatives. Such is the scale of the current activity, the word renaissance springs readily to use. Tall buildings are increasingly featuring in development applications, particularly in the city centres main regeneration areas:
Fo r m e r B r i s t o l a n d We s t B u i l d i n g
- T h e C i t y Co u n c i l s r e c e nt H e i g ht M at t e r s s u r v e y s u g g e s t s t h at t h i s p o s t w a r t o w e r i s o n e o f B r i s t o l s l e a s t p o p u l a r t a l l b u i l d i n g s . H o w ev e r, v i e w s a r e m i xe d ov e r w h e t h e r t h i s i s a n a p p ro p r i at e s i t e fo r a tall building.

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It is therefore important that the impact of tall buildings is critically assessed through the planning process and that only proposals which pass a rigorous examination are put forward for approval. There is a particular need to strengthen the protection afforded to Bristols 33 Conservation Areas in terms of siting of tall buildings and their detailed design. Differing views exist to the adequacy of existing policies to inform and guide decisions in relation to tall buildings. Whilst locally there is a school of thought that tall buildings should be treated like any other building types through the development control process, Government is increasingly encouraging local planning authorities to develop specific policies around tall buildings. It recommends that local authorities identify areas which are and are not appropriate for tall buildings in their development plans. This is further endorsed in the recent guidance provided by the CABE and English Heritage which seeks to advise local authorities on a more rigorous assessment procedure.

T h e c u r r e nt H Q o f B r i s t o l a n d We s t - T h e H e i g ht M at t e r s s u r v e y s u g g e s t s t h at t h i s i s o n e o f B r i s t o l s m o s t p o p u l a r t a l l b u i l d i n g s b u i l t i n r e c e nt d e c a d e s

1.3

Definition of tall buildings

Policy B7A of the Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, 2003 defines tall buildings, as those that are substantially taller than their neighbours and/or which significantly change the skyline. In Bristol City Centre, background buildings tend to be 4-6 storeys high. This has been an essential element in the citys distinctive identity. A tall building would therefore be in the region of 9+ storeys. Between 6-9 storey proposals will be assessed on a site by site basis as to whether SPD1 will apply, taking into account the prominence of the site within the townscape. In the suburbs, buildings tend to be 2-3 storeys. In this context a tall building would be in the region of 6+ storeys or above. Notwithstanding, any building of 27m or taller (approximately 9 storeys) will automatically trigger the need for applicants to address the assessment criteria as set out in this SPD, regardless of whether the proposed building is significantly taller than those around or not. This height threshold will

C u s t o m H o u s e i s v i e w e d a s a s u c c e s s f u l r e c e nt a d d i t i o n t o Re d c l i ffe B a c ks - a g o o d m o d e l o f h o w t o a c h i ev e a n at t ra c t i v e , high density townscape

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include extensions to existing buildings including significant plant. It should be noted however, that defining a tall building in terms of the number of storeys could sometimes be misleading because floor to ceiling heights differ according to use. For example office and retail storey heights are often higher than those of residential. Therefore prospective developers are required to quote building heights, number of storeys and Ordnance Datum Level when presenting proposals. Heights should also include visible roof-top equipment.

1.4 Experience of other UK cities


London has obviously been the focus of the majority of tall building schemes. Indeed, a recent article in The Guardian suggests that at present there are 32 high rise buildings under construction in London with a further 70 approved and 96 proposed. However, interest in building tall is not confined to London, with many of the English Core Cities, being targeted by developers. Permissions for very tall buildings (+25 storeys) have been granted in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool, as well as smaller cities such as Brighton and Portsmouth. Most of the core cities are responding positively to the guidance from CABE/English Heritage on preparing specific policies on tall buildings.

K i n g A l f r e d s i t e , B r i g ht o n ( b y Fra n k G e h r y ) - t h i s u n u s u a l co n c e p t s c h e m e w o n a d e s i g n co m p e t i t i o n fo r t h e H ov e s e a f ro nt

Some cities have opted for a detailed, area specific approach to preparing guidance; others have taken a more criteria based approached to assessment. Cities like Birmingham have proactively encouraged the building of tall landmark buildings at key nodes and gateways in the city through their policy guidance. The London Plan identifies a view protection framework to guide development there. Brightons guidance promotes a number of nodes and transport corridors as appropriate locations for tall buildings. Further details can be found in Appendix A.

1.5 National policy context


House of Commons Tall Buildings, Sixteenth Report of Session 2001-2, Volume 1 (DTLR, 2002) The Urban Affairs Sub-committee of the House of Commons Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions undertook an inquiry into Tall Buildings in 2001-2. Witnesses representing a wide spectrum of interests (including amenity societies, developers, architects and local authorities) submitted memoranda to this committee. This SPD supports the recommendations of the Government Select Committee, which broadly speaking are:

B e e t h a m To w e r, Manchester - this 47 storey building w i l l b e co m e M a n c h e s t e r s tallest building

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Tall buildings are not essential to the urban renaissance. They are only one of several ways of increasing building densities. They can be energy efficient and can be part of mixed use schemes; however, other high density building types have similar advantages. In several respects high rise buildings are less sustainable than high or low rise buildings: the inflexibility of space and difficulties of change of use have been a problem. Transport capacity must be a major consideration in deciding whether a proposal for a tall building, or for any high density development, is given planning permission.. Developer contributions should be used much more than at present to enhance the transport system, particularly where large buildings have a significant impact on the transport system; High quality design is essential if tall buildings are to play a role in enhancing the beauty of our cities and continued vigilance is needed to ensure that buildings do not deviate from approved designs during the construction process The location of tall buildings is of paramount importance and special attention should be paid to historic context; Tall buildings should be clustered together rather than pepper-potted across a city; Tall buildings are not inherently unsafe as places to live or work but there are areas in which further regulation could further promote safety in tall buildings.

Reduce the scope for unnecessary, speculative applications in the wrong places; Protect the historic environment and the qualities which make a city or area special; Highlight opportunities for the removal of past mistakes and their replacement by development of an appropriate quality; Set out an overall vision for the future of a place.

1.6 Local policy context


Bristols Community Strategy, Bristol Partnership, 2003 This strategy has been prepared to guide all other major public strategies and plans in Bristol and influence a longer-term strategic view of the citys future ambitions, needs and priorities. Its has a vision of Bristol as a vibrant city, where everyone can thrive economically, culturally and socially; a safe city that promotes health, learning and sustainable development, and a diverse city that values all of its people and communities. It identifies a number of important environmental goals that promoters of tall buildings should be aware. These include the aim of creating and developing: A carbon-neutral city; Zero-waste policy and practices; A sustainable transport system; Attractive, well-designed safe streets, buildings and neighbourhoods; Newly built environments that provide accessible modern space to support Bristols historic buildings, and that contribute to the sustainable development of the city; Better accessibility to local community facilities; and Sustainable communities across the city.

Guidance on Tall Buildings, English Heritage and CABE, 2003 This English Heritage/CABE guidance seeks to: Enable areas appropriate for tall buildings to be identified in advance within the local development plan or framework; Enable proper consultation at the planmaking stage on the fundamental questions of principle and design;

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Bristol Local Plan, 1997 SPD1 has been drafted to meet the following objectives of the Built Environment chapter of the Local Plan: To reinforce the attractive and varied qualities of Bristols built environment in order to create a positive image and identity for the city, and enhance the quality of life for its inhabitants, workers, visitors and businesses. To secure a high standard of design for all development, ensuring that it is sympathetically integrated within the local and city context, and respects principal views across the city. To promote a quality of new development that achieves sustainable development and which enhances the environment generally. To preserve or enhance the character and appearance of Conservation Areas, and other areas of special interest and character.

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Design Criteria and Development Local Context Accessibility Safety and Security Layout, Form and Identity

B5A Public art New policy in Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, 2003 B5B Density New policy in Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, 2003 B6 B7 Building Exteriors and Elevations Landscape Treatments and Environmental Works

B7A Tall Buildings New policy in Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, 2003 B8 Development: Criteria for New Housing

SPD1 supplements a number of policies in the adopted local plan including: B1 B2 B5 Design Criteria and Assessment Local Context Layout and Form

B13 Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings: General Principles B15 Streets and Open Space B16 New Buildings B22 Sites of Archaeological Significance The weight and status of Proposed Alterations is clarified at point 1.1 Bristol Sustainable Development Guide for Construction This is a guide produced by the City Council to assist developers to adopt more sustainable approaches to how they plan and build and is consistent with many Local Plan Policies. It is associated with the completion of a Sustainable Development Profile to be submitted with major planning applications. This would be a desirable to accompany any tall buildings application. Reference to the Planning Policy website will confirm the formal status of the emerging update of this guidance.

Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, 2003: New Tall Buildings Policy In a period where proposals for new tall buildings were coming forward in greater numbers, raising particular issues for consideration, it was apparent a new specific policy and supplementary guidance were required. Subsequently alterations to the adopted Plan proposed a new tall buildings policy (B7A) to clarify Bristols position. (See Appendix G) Adopted Local Plan built environment policies and Proposed Alterations likely to be relevant to the assessment of tall building schemes include:

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1.7 Height Matters a public consultation initiative on tall buildings


The consultation process has been branded under the heading of Height Matters? and was devised with the following aims and objectives: To raise awareness that BCC is in the process of producing a Supplementary Planning Document on Tall Buildings, and get some direct feedback on the content of the SPD as it has developed To find out what the general public feel about tall buildings, thus ensuring that the tone of the SPD is correct To encourage creative thought and debate on this emotive and often controversial issue

Stage 1 (April-June 2004 for six weeks) The following consultation activities took place: A comprehensive and dedicated website has been created to support the consultation initiative under the umbrella of the Councils own website (www.bristolcity.gov.uk/heightmatters). Members of the public have been invited to download copies of the SPD1, join in on-line discussion groups, complete on-line surveys, and consider the arguments for and against tall buildings through the E-Decide facility A series of events have been staged at the Architecture Centre, particularly targeted at local built environment professions (12 May and 9 June 2004) Members of Bristols Citizens Panel were recruited for two facilitated discussions (27 May 2004) 3000 surveys were distributed across the city in public buildings, foyers of tall buildings, universities and Bristol College. Members and amenity societies were also sent copies of the survey. Over 650 people completed the survey Statutory consultees were sent copies of the SPD1 by post A copy of SPD1 was made available to view in the Planning Reception of Bristol City Council (Brunel House) The initiative has been widely publicised in the local media, on the homepage of the Councils website and through features in the Councils Weekly News

Following an initial consultation period (Stage 1), SPD1 was substantially redrafted to take on board comments received. A further period of consultation (Stage 2) was then embarked upon to allow for further comment on the amended document.

H e i g ht M at t e r s ? - co m p l e t e d b y ov e r 6 5 0 p e o p l e

Stage 1 consultation has revealed support for new tall buildings in Bristol with the important proviso that they are well designed, sustainable, distinctive and located to fit into the existing urban landscape. Consultation has also shown the unpopularity of existing tall buildings, most notably from the 60s and 70s and the desire to rid these from Bristols skyline. Despite this dislike of many

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post-war tall buildings, people remain receptive to new tall buildings in suitable areas of Bristol. The consultation provided some useful feedback. Consultees generally welcomed the preparation of guidance that expands Local Plan policy, and expressed support for the assessment criteria identified. However, a significant number of consultees (including English Heritage and CABE) requested that the Council be clearer about those areas in the City which are inappropriate for tall buildings and those areas of the City where they may be acceptable. Stage 2 (September-October 2004 for four weeks) The following consultation activities took place: A notice was placed in the Bristol Evening Post on the 21 September advertising a further one month period of consultation on the Tall Buildings SPD1. This conforms with the latest regulations All respondees to the Stage 1 consultation exercise who had provided email contacts (over 500) were contacted by email to inform them that the revised policy was available to view online or at the Councils planning reception All respondees who had provided written responses to the Stage 1 consultation were informed by letter to them that the revised policy was available to view online or at the council planning reception Statutory consultees were sent copies of the revised SPD1 by post Presentations were made to the Central Area Planning Committee, Conservation Area Panel and Women in Property Group A copy of SPD1 was made available to view in the Planning Reception of Bristol City Council (Brunel House)

A summary of the consultation can be found in Appendix B. Furthermore a detailed Statement of Community Involvement can be downloaded at www.bristol-city.gov.uk/heightmatters. This demonstrates the rigorous procedures of public participation undertaken beyond the minimum requirements of PPS12 Local Development Frameworks and associated regulations.

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2.0 CITY CENTRE URBAN DESIGN APPRAISAL: TALL BUILDINGS


This section provides an urban design appraisal of the city centre, making particular reference to the role that tall buildings play in the urban context.

2.1 Topography
Based in a valley at the lowest crossing point of the Rivers Frome & Avon, Bristol grew enormously in the eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries; to the north up the steep slopes of the escarpments of Kingsdown, Clifton and Brandon, in the south across

Figure A Bristols Topography


Figure A: Bristol's Topography City Centre Contours (5 metres) Bristol City Council's Boundary Main Roads 50m Contour 160m Contour
1000 meters

Dundry Hill
Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. Bristol City Council. Licence No. 100023406. 2005.

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the valley basin to the slopes of Bedminster, Easton and Windmill Hill. In the twentieth century, the city expanded four times its original size encompassing to the north the Clifton Downs, Trym Valley, King Weston Slopes, Cotham and Redland Hills, and in the south, all the lower escarpment up to the 160m contour of the Dundry slopes. The steeply sloping escarpment that runs from Clifton Wood to Kingsdown is one of the city centres defining features. This has been picked out as the 50m contour on the supporting maps. Whilst along much of this escarpment development has respected the topography, tall buildings along the Kingsdown section of escarpment have detrimentally masked the topography. Along the top of this escarpment, the Bristol University buildings on St. Michaels Hill command the high ground. This cluster of buildings, whilst not particularly tall, dominate the skyline when viewed from the south, and are important features of the Bristol townscape. The neighbourhoods of Broadmead, Old Market, Temple, Redcliffe , Old City and Harbourside effectively sit in the low-lying river basin of the Frome and the Avon. Tall buildings tend to be less dominant in these low lying areas.

green spaces within the city centre (College Green, Queen Square and Castle Park), are far busier and more contained spaces, providing important lunch time spaces for city workers, and increasingly used to host events, particularly in the summer. Views into and out of these spaces are of particular importance, as is the potential of a tall building to reduce the openness of their character. In addition, there are a number of open spaces on the outskirts of the city centre which provide a good vantage point from which to view the centre. These include Windmill Hill, Perrets Park, Bedminster Downs and Ashton Court.

2.3 The urban structure


Bristol is historically a city that comprises a network of streets with domestic scale, arranged within perimeter blocks that front onto these streets. For centuries Bristols built character evolved as successive generations developed and redeveloped on the street patterns and blocks of the past. Post-war reconstruction of the city centre has, in general, not respected the traditional, tight grain block structure to the city centre. In its place, blocks have been replaced with stand-alone buildings (with much larger footprints than before), sitting in large plots of poorly defined open space. Punter (1990), documents a period between1940-1990 during which 250 large office buildings were built, transforming the scale of post-war Bristol. Many of these buildings were tall point or slab blocks and tended to be clustered around the city centre loop road to the North and East of the city, in the lower lying neighbourhoods of Stokes Croft, Broadmead, Old Market, Temple, Redcliffe and Old City. 15 of these buildings have gross floor areas of over 10,000sqm, a substantial increase over anything that had existed before.

2.2 Open spaces and water courses


The city centres principal defining watercourses are the Floating Harbour and to a lesser extent The New Cut. Whilst the former is a well used, recreational resource for the city, the latter is predominantly a vehicular corridor. The Floating Harbour cuts through most of the city centre neighbourhoods, and connects a series of important new and historic urban spaces. These include The Centre Promenade, Millennium Square, Castle Park, and the Lloyds Amphitheatre. Indeed over 80% of the harbours edge is now accessible by the public. As a result, its importance as a pedestrian route is increasing, as is its role as a vantage point from which to enjoy the topography of the city. Bridges over the harbour provide particularly good vantage-points. Brandon Hill is an important green space occupying the high ground of the West End. Its south-westerly aspect makes it a pleasant and tranquil space to take in the views across the south of the city. Other

2.4 Movement corridors and gateways


During the post-war period in some parts of the city, the underlying fine-grain structure of streets and blocks has been significantly eroded. The permeable network of streets being replaced with large engineered highways.

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The city centres main vehicular corridor is now the city centre loop, a dual carriageway extending from Bath Bridge, past Temple Meads Station, the Broadmead shopping area, and then diverted via Perry Road, Park Row, and Jacobs Wells Road through to Hotwell Road. The dual carriageway section of this route was built in the post-war era in conjunction with a number of tall buildings. Arterial roads into the city centre (M32, Cheltenham Road, Old Market Street, Temple Gate) all form important gateways where they meet the city centre loop. The city centre is focus of the citys bus network, and as such, all of the city centre could be considered well-served by public transport. The principal public transport interchanges are at the Centre, Temple Meads Train Station and the Marlborough Street Bus and Coach Station. The City Centre Strategy identifies a main pedestrian route through the city centre which links Temple, Harbourside and Broadmead. 90% of Bristols major destinations and points of arrival are within 100 metres of this route.

These conservation areas cover approximately 2/3 of the city centre (see. Fig F). Bristol has a fine heritage of prominent landmark buildings, each bearing public, state or religious significance. Figure B categorises them as monuments. These buildings have tended to be built by the nations leading architects, and define the citys status, quality and aspirations, projecting it nationally and even internationally. Often these buildings are physically detached from surrounding buildings, occupy prominent positions and are designed to a high quality, utilising quality materials and a richness of design. Many landmarks (although not all) tend to use height to express their significance, utilising spires, towers and cupolas to achieve this. This is certainly the case for some of Bristols most significant landmarks including St. Mary Redcliffe Church, The Cathedral, Cabot Tower, The Wills Memorial Building/University Tower, The ss Great Britain and to a less extent Temple Meads Station. The Height Matters consultation initiative suggests there is a general acceptance that it is entirely appropriate and desirable for these types of building to dominate the skyline of the city, an acceptance which is not often conveyed to tall residential or commercial buildings.

2.5 Historical assets


To date, the City Council has designated 33 Conservation Areas, where the architectural quality, history of the townscape, distinctive character and appearance merit preservation and enhancement. A description of these areas can be found in the Conservation Area Enhancement Statements Policy Advice Note 2 (Bristol City Council, 1993). The following Conservation Areas lie within the City Centre Strategy area: City and Queen Square Portland Square St. Michaels Hill and Christmas Steps Park Street and Brandon Hill College Green Redcliffe Old Market City Docks Stokes Croft

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Some of Bristols primary landmark buildings

T h e Wi l l s M e m o r i a l B u i l d i n g / U n i v e r s i t y To w e r

Te m p l e M e a d s S t at i o n

Ca b o t To w e r

S t . M a r y Re d c l i ffe

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T h e Cat h e d ra l

Bristol also has a wealth of industrial heritage buildings that assert themselves on the skyline. Key surviving landmarks include the Bonded Warehouses and the cranes outside the Industrial Museum (both in Harbourside), and Gardiners and the Lead Shot Tower in Temple.

Post-war tower blocks have not been clustered within a single confined section of the city centre. Rather they are dispersed throughout the city centre, often in small clusters adjacent to the city centre loop (St. James Barton, Old Market and Lewins Mead); Post-war tower blocks tend to be uniform in design and appearance block form, square profile, and grid fenestration; On the whole, post-war tower blocks tend to be bulky and squat rather than tall and slender.

2.6 Post war tall buildings


Figure B shows the locations of Bristol city centres prominent tall buildings, clearly illustrating the post-war tall buildings relationship to the historical monuments and industrial landmarks. Figure C provides a height comparison of a selection of these buildings. Plotting the location and height of the taller post-war buildings in Bristol has shown that: The extent of the footprint of buildings in the 9+ storey range is often substantial, in some cases encompassing most of a city block; The building footprints of post-war tower blocks often do not respect the underlying street pattern;

Residential tower blocks are widely scattered across Bristol and particularly throughout south Bristol. The most prominent blocks in the city centre are in South Redcliffe, where there are several multi-storey flats dating from the 1950s designed by the then City Architect. Distinction needs to be made between these buildings and a later inferior generation of design/build tower blocks (e.g. in Barton Hill) that resulted from the pressure by

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Figure B
Bonded Warehouses 9 Storeys Clifton Heights, West Triangle 16 Storeys

Figure B: Bristols Prominent Tall Buildings

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Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill (32.5m) Wills Memorial / University Tower, Park St, (58.5m)

Bristol's Prominent Tall Buildings

Bristol Cathedral, (44m) Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel 7 Storeys Colston Tower, Colston Ave 18 Storeys Broad Quay House, Broad Quay 9 Storeys Former Bristol & West Building, Broad Quay, 18 Storeys St. Clements House, Marsh St 8 Storeys St. Lawrence House, Broad St 12 Storeys Waverly House, Welsh Back 14 Storeys All Saints Church, Corn St (59.5m) St. Nicholas Church, Balwin St (59.5m) Vintry House, Wine St 6 Storeys Under Down House/Waring House Redcliffe Hill 5 Storeys One Victoria St (formerly DRG building) Redcliffe St. 15 Storeys Custom House, Redcliffe Bridge 8 Storeys Canynge House, Prewett St. 6 Storeys St Mary Redcliffe Church, (86.5m) Redcliffe Way Spencer House, Prewett St 9 Storeys Patterson House, Prewett St 9 Storeys Ramada Plaza Hotel, Redcliffe Way 7 Storeys Proctor House, Prewett St 9 Storeys

Broughton House, Somerset St 14 Storeys Yeaman's House, Somerset St 14 Storeys Das Templeway House 6 Storeys Holiday Inn (formally known as Temple Gate House), Temple Gate, 7 Storeys Bristol & West HQ, Temple Quay 7 Storeys Temple Meads Station (27m) The Post Office Sorting Office, Cattle Market Rd, 7 Storeys

Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. Bristol City Council. Licence No. 100023406. 2005. Bristol City Centre Model Produced by Visual Technolgy.

Monuments Industrial Landmarks Post-war Residential Tower Blocks Post-war Commercial Tower Blocks Hotels Others Recent Tall Buildings

Bristol Royal Infirmary Chimney Trenchard Street Car Park 12 Storeys St Micheal's Church, (30.5m) Bristol Royal Infirmary 7 Storeys St Steven's Church, (29m) Grey Friars, Lewins Mead 14 Storeys Fromesgate House, Rupert St. 17 Storeys Nelson House, Nelson St. 12 Storeys White Friars, Lewins Mead 13 Storeys Police HQ & Magistrates Court 8 Storeys
St James Church, (36m) Sun Plazza (formally Sun Life building), North St., 8 Storeys Pithay House, The Pithay 9 Storeys Travel Inn (Formerly Avon House) 18 Storeys Tower House, Fairfax St 15 Storeys House of Fraser 5 Storeys 51 02 St. James Barton 8 Storeys Barton House, Bond St. 8 Storeys St. Peters Church, Castle Park (23.6m) St Thomas the Martyr Church, Temple St, (30.5m) Spectrum, Bond St. 6 Storeys Temple Church, Temple St, (40m) Shot Tower (43.5 m) St Pauls Church, Portland Sq (58m) Castle Mead House, Penn St. 20 Storeys The Marriott Hotel, Penn St. 13 Storeys St Phillips & Jacob Church, (30.5m) Market Gate (formerly Mercury House) Bond St. 15 Storeys Tollgate Car Park, Market Gate 7 Storeys Tollgate House, Houlton St. 18 Storeys St. Judes Church, (25.5m)

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1. St. Mary Redciffe 2. Bristol Cathedral 3. Wills Tower Height 44 m Height 87 m Park Street Base Height 12 m Base Height 16 m Height 58 m Base Height 45 m

4. One Redcliffe St (former Robinson building) Height 60 m Base Height 9 m

5.Travel Inn (former Avon House) Height 60 m Base Height 15 m

6. Former Bristol & West Tower Height 56 m Base Height 8 m

8. Castlemeads 7. Colston Height 60 m Centre Base Height 14 m Height 50 m Base Height 13 m

9. Bristol & West HQ Height 35 m Base Height 9 m

10. BRI Hospital Chimney Kingsdown Height 60 m Base Height 70 m

Prominent Landmarks/Monuments

Post-war Commercial Towers

Recent Commercial Building

Figure C: Height comparison of some of Bristols tall buildings

Other Prominent Building

Government to increase Local Authority housing across Britain during the 1960s. These blocks tend to be 9-14 storeys high, designed as point blocks or slab blocks and utilise systems building techniques. They tend to sit in large plots of land that integrate poorly into the wider neighbourhood structure of streets and spaces. Furthermore, these spaces as designed, tended to lack any sense of ownership, progressive neglect leading to a spiral of decline. In the last decade significant regeneration work has been undertaken in many of these areas, demolishing some tower blocks and upgrading others. Refurbishment generally involves overcladding to improve visual appearance and improve energy efficiency and comfort. In recent years, there has been a growing realisation that tall buildings are more appropriate living space for certain groups of the population than others i.e. single people and couples without children. Many of the Citys commercial tower blocks are located in parts of the city centre that were comprehensively redeveloped in the post-war period. Typically tower blocks are 8-15 storeys high, although there are a couple that exceed this (Fromesgate House 17 storeys, Tollgate House and Colston Tower 18 storeys and Castle Mead House 20 storeys). More often than not they were designed in conjunction with new city centre roads, pedestrians being segregated from cars via

walkways strung between blocks over the roads. Their response to context was negligible or nonexistent. Many of the buildings from this period are unloved, of low commercial value, and are mediocre in quality. In recent years, a number of prominent city centre towers have been converted from commercial uses to residential or hotel uses, e.g. Avon House, Avon House North, Market Gate and Nelson Street. There are also a number of health, education, car parking and leisure buildings which could be viewed as tall buildings. Some of these assert themselves on the skyline by virtue of their elevated positions e.g. the Bristol Royal Infirmary Chimney, The University of Bristols Physics Building. Others are less prominent, tending to be built into the underlying topography e.g. Trenchard Street Car Park and the Ice Rink. Others occupy prominent gateway locations e.g. Tollgate Car Park.

2.7 Conclusion
The relationship of the city with the surrounding topography, harbourside and green spaces has greatly influenced the development of the citys urban pattern and built form. However, post-war reconstruction and particularly post-war tall buildings, largely failed to respect and understand this relationship. Hence the need for clear policy guidance to steer future development.

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3.0 SITING A TALL BUILDING LOCATIONAL GUIDANCE


The following guidance has been put together following feedback from the Height Matters consultation initiative, to give an indication to the promoters of tall building schemes where a tall building may be appropriate (section 3.3).

3.1 Guiding Principles


Informed by the tall buildings urban design appraisal (Section 2) and the Height Matters public consultation, the following guiding principles have been established: Tall buildings should not be positioned where they: Hide or mask the topography of the city e.g. they should not be positioned either on the side or the base of the Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment Obstruct views from key vantage-points (see the View Protection Framework) Have a detrimental impact on the citys historic environment* Have a significant adverse impact on the amenity of nearby occupiers

*The Planning Authority supports the view of bodies such as English Heritage that the location selected for a tall building should be suitable in terms of its effect on the historic environment at a city-wide as well as a local level. If the location is not suitable, then no tall building will be acceptable, however good the design. Only if it can be demonstrated that the location and context are appropriate will other factors including design quality be addressed. This guidance specifically relates to locations where the special historic character makes it sensitive to change of any kind, particularly any change to the existing balance of dominance between structures and open spaces. In line with good conservation practice such an assessment should be based on a comprehensive assessment of historic character and not simply assumptions about how well a place could or could not accommodate a tall building.

3.2 Bristol View Protection Framework


Bristols steeply sloping escarpments, open spaces and watercourses provide numerous vantage points from which to view the city and beyond. The SPD identifies a sample of indicative longrange panoramic views and short-range contained views. It recognises that it is not possible to protect every aspect of every long-range view point, and instead seeks to protect and enhance the quality of the most important views. To do this, the SPD identifies a number of different types of view which will need to be considered as part of any visual impact study undertaken in connection to a tall building scheme: A Panoramic views into the city centre (Figure D) A number of important long-range panoramic views have been identified that provide good views to the city centres primary landmarks (Cabot Tower, the Wills Memorial Building, Bristol University buildings along Tankards Close, St. Mary Redcliffe Church and Temple Meads station) as they break the skyline. Primary landmarks have been selected which are prominent on the skyline, symbolic of Bristol and are of a national/international importance. Vantage-points are publicly accessible and well used for either

Tall buildings may be appropriate: Close to good public transport infrastructure At major highway gateways into the city centre from the East Close to other tall residential or commercial clusters of tall buildings where it can be demonstrated that a new tall building serves to raise the quality and coherence of the cluster At locations where the provision of a landmark building would clearly improve the legibility of the city

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recreational or movement purposes. The majority of vantage-points fulfiling these criteria tend to be on elevated positions within public parks to the south of the city centre. In most cases, the viewing cones available from these vantage-points are fairly wide. However, Figure D just illustrates the most critical portion of the viewing cone centred on the landmark and extended to take in lateral and background areas which will also need to be considered as part of any future visual impact assessment. B Panoramic views out of the city centre (Figure E) A number of important long-range panoramic views have been identified that provide good views from the city centre out to the surrounding escarpments. Vantage points have been selected that provide long-range views westwards (to Ashton Court) and southwards (to Dundry Hill). Vantage points have also been selected that provide closer range panoramic views to escarpments on the edge of the centre (Totterdown, Clifton Wood). Vantage points tend to be bridges across the Floating Harbour, as these provide well used focal points along open vistas. The width of viewing cones is dictated by the extent of the view For each panoramic viewpoint identified in Figures D and E, a description is provided of both the vantage point and the key features of the view in Appendix C. A description is provided of the foreground, middle-ground and back-ground to the visible landmark as well as its lateral areas. Key management issues are identified for each view. C Views within the city centre (Figure F) These are a mixture of panoramic views and contained views. Viewpoints have been selected to both the city centres primary and secondary landmarks. Secondary landmarks have been selected that are historic monuments which assert themselves on the skyline and are of a local/national importance. These views are also identified in the City Centre Strategy. The Planning Authority will scope out further localised viewpoints for assessment on an individual application basis. These viewpoints will need to show how a tall building proposal fits into its immediate surroundings.

3.3 Indication of areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings


Figure G provides locational guidance on where it may be appropriate to locate a tall building drawing on the Guiding Principles (3.1), and the Bristol View Protection Framework (3.2). It has not been within the scope of this study to identify exact boundaries of sites that are appropriate for tall buildings, nor establish appropriate heights. The onus is therefore placed on the applicant to provide a justification for the siting and design of their tall building scheme, drawing on guidance within SPD1 and other guides such as By Design (DETR/CABE, 2000) and The Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/Housing Corporation). There are clearly some neighbourhoods within the city centre which are considered to be more appropriate for tall buildings than others. Appendix D provides an appraisal of each of the city centres nine neighbourhoods and should be read in conjunction with Figure G. Green indicates those parts of the city centre which may be most appropriate for tall buildings. These tend to be the low-lying neighbourhoods (Broadmead, Old Market and Temple) to the eastern edge of the city centre, in areas that neither mask the topography of the city centre, nor obstruct views from key vantage points. These parts of the city centre also tend to be well served by good public transport infrastructure (Temple Meads Station, and bus routes along the city centre loop). Broadmead and Temple are two of the city centres main regeneration areas. Both areas offer scope for a comprehensive plan-led redevelopment guided through an Urban Design Framework. In particular, the Planning Authority will be keen to see that the applicant has reviewed alternative development options through the Urban Design Framework, as it is often possible to achieve similar levels of density through alternative urban forms to a tall building (see Figure H). In respect to Temple neighbourhood, it will be particularly important that the Urban Design Framework demonstrates that any proposed tall building neither impacts negatively on Temple Meads Station nor St. Mary Redcliffe Church. Sites immediately adjacent to the railway station (including the island site) are not considered appropriate for tall buildings for this reason. The

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former diesel depot site may be appropriate for tall buildings. However, tall buildings on this site will need to be positioned in such a way that they frame key views to the Totterdown escarpment rather than obscure these views. Old Market has also been identified as an area that may be appropriate for tall buildings. However, an area along Old Market Street (which corresponds to the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme) has been omitted as the objective here is to strengthen and restore the historic grain of this street. The Old Market neighbourhood features a number of listed buildings that are the focal buildings in the local townscape. Proposals for new tall buildings would need to demonstrate an acceptable relationship. Existing tall buildings tend to be clustered close to the city centre loop road, at the vehicular gateways into the city centre. Whilst consultation suggests that these existing buildings are viewed as having little architectural merit, there is still support for these gateways to be marked by tall landmark buildings. However, future schemes will need to be of a higher design quality than existing tall buildings. In gateway locations, this may be achieved through replacement towers or refurbishing existing towers. It may also be achieved by adding a new tall building to the cluster where it was felt that this adds to the liveliness and visual interest of the cluster. For example, the quality of an existing cluster of fairly squat, poor quality and uniform tall buildings, may be raised through the introduction of a single, taller, more slender high quality building, with a more dynamic silhouette. Purple indicates an area where it may be appropriate to locate a single iconic building. This area occupies the top of the Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment in the St. Michaels Hill neighbourhood. This is a sensitive location, where design considerations will be paramount. A number of iconic monuments already occupy elevated positions along this escarpment (The Wills Memorial Building, Cabot Tower, Bristol University buildings along Tankards Close). Unfortunately, there are also a number of buildings along the escarpment which are not considered iconic (BRI

Chimney, Clifton Heights) and these compete with the monuments on the skyline. Any new addition to the skyline will need to work sensitively within this context, whilst at the same time being a contemporary and memorable landmark building in its own right. It will be particularly important for the building to respond positively to the guidance set out in Section 4. A cluster of tall buildings is not considered appropriate in this location, as it could undermine existing landmarks, reducing their climactic impact. In other parts of the City Centre it is not considered appropriate to encourage tall buildings. Any tall building proposals coming forward in these areas would have to demonstrate exceptional qualities and would be very rigorously assessed against the criteria identified in Section 5.

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(Figure D) Panoramic views into the city centre

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Blackboy Hill

TALL BUILDINGS

Figure D

Important Panoramic Views into the City Centre.


Panoramic View Prominent City Centre Landmarks City Centre 50 m Contour

Ashton Court

Windmill Hill

Totterdown

Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. Bristol City Council Licence No. 100023406. 2005

Bedminster Downs

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(Figure E) Panoramic views out of the city centre

TALL BUILDINGS

Figure E

Christmas Steps Perry Road

Important Panoramic Views out of the City Centre.


Panoramic View 360 Degree View

Brandon Hill

Prominent City Centre Landmarks

City Centre
Pero's Bridge Prince Street Bridge Industrial Museum Temple Meads

50 m Contour 1000 m

reserved. Allrights rights Crown Crown copyright. Copyright. All reserved. Bristol City Council Bristol City Council. Licence No. 100023406. 2005. Licence No. 100023406. 2005

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TALL BUILDINGS

Supplementary Planning Document No1

Castle Park

Centre Promenade

Queen's Square

500 Metres

Important Views to Primary City Centre Landmarks

Important Views to Secondary City Centre Landmarks

(Figure F) Views within the city centre

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Br

ist ol

'B CR Bo EA nd TE ' B M Bris C uil ar to S rio l C S G ent din re g t R at r oy he eat Br al dr ita Ho al, in te Co l, D lle Ex g W p ea e ild lor ne Sq sc e @ r y R re en B r d ist In @ du B r ol st ist ria Ar L l M no loy ol d l us fin s H eu i St m Gal Q St an ler y ev d en Cr an 's Ch es ur ch

e us Ho ket ar nd m la or Hay St , tm ad ch Bro h es W hur , c g ur ch C ur Ch ildin g es m t Ch el's in Bu Ja d l l i r is ha St ic a Bu Ch Mic ed g cs i t St M in a ol ild m ist the er Bu w Br g a o of r in lM yT s ee it y to en ill sit es r e rs in ris om org n H Gr ive ng ive fB Ro o o d lE ge Ge Un , ia Un n o r t t a g, it y lle nity S o s r i o rs in ct i ,B Br ,C ld Vi Tr er ive se ui of ly w ol Un o o lB st ty ou T i i H t rs ria Br il H of o bo d g of ive nc ch R in Ca em Un ity ou ur l l ld e M i rs lC Ch otw ' Bu ills ive to s W H d i ) Un Br on ge B a 'A tor (S

St e on i pl at ne er em St La et ,T ds er Ex rch w ea d M To an Chu e , ot ol pl st sh ch , i m ur ery ge Br ad Te Le Ch ew ssa e a h, r P B pl rc m ge lip rtyr hu Te ra rs a C e u t M fe Co un as clif l, Co om ed ta Th s R ay pi ' St ary fe W Hos l M lif St dc era d Re Gen ial R ol rc ist me B r om C

Important Views within the City Centre

Figure F

Public Open Space

Conservation Area

Gardiner Haskins

Brandon Hill

Cathedral Green

Millennium Square

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Ro St ad Pa Ba ul Al pt lS sC ist hu ai St Ch n rc St . Ma ts ur h C , ch r P hu Po yl St et St St e r e J r la ch ud r's Ph Ni P T o rin , C nd e ilip ch or ity s C Chu rt Sq s a ola n h r C St nd s C hu urc ch, h B h r Ja u co rch ch, T , Bra roa bs ,B rin gg d S ,J ac aldw ity s La t Rd ob ne i St n St Ci ty

Figure G: Indication of areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings

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Figure G
Indication of areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings
Areas that may be appropriate for tall buildings subject to meeting assessment criteria Top of Clifton - Kingdown escarpment - area that may be appropriate for an iconic tall building Neighbourhood boundaries (as defined in the City Centre Srategy) City Centre Loop 5 Metre Topographical Contours 50 Metres contour above sea level Prominent City Centre landmarks Secondary City Centre landmarks

STOKES CROFT

ST. MICHAEL'S HILL

BROADMEAD OLD MARKET

Scale 500 Metres

N
WEST END TEMPLE MEADS

OLD CITY

HARBOURSIDE

REDCLIFFE

Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Bristol City Council Licence No. 100023406. 2005

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4.0 DESIGN GUIDANCE


The Planning Authority shares the aspiration of CABE that any new tall building should be of first class design quality in its own right and should enhance the quality of its immediate location and wider setting; it should produce more benefits than costs to the lives who are affected by it. The following design guidance has been identified to supplement existing guidance contained within the Local Plan, and best practice guides such as By Design (CABE/DETR, 2000) and The Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation). The guidance has been prepared to inform the development of a high quality and sustainable design scheme.

Location of major buildings (including tall buildings) Frontage development Patterns of streets and block, building heights etc.

The submission of the planning application for a tall building will need to be accompanied by a Design Statement as commended in PPG1. This is essentially a written statement setting out design principles and context, appropriately illustrated with plans and photographs. The Statement should: Explain design concepts and principles Explain the purpose of the proposed development and its relationship to the wider area Explain how it meets the local authoritys urban design objectives/agreed objectives within the Urban Design Framework Provide a popular summary

4.1 The design process


It is expected that the majority of proposals for tall buildings will come forward in areas undergoing or requiring major change. In such areas, an approved Urban Design Framework will first need to be in place which shows how policies in the development plan may be applied to that specific area, identifying the design principles, and providing the basis for development control. In instances where schemes are being promoted in areas without an approved Urban Design Framework in place, the onus will be on the scheme promoter to prepare an Urban Design Framework and then agree this with the relevant stakeholders. This may then either need to be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) or if developed to sufficient detail approved as an outline planning application. By Design (DETR, 2000) sets out guidance on preparing an Urban Design Framework. Diagrams, drawings and models are to be used to express the framework. Content might include: Assessment of the existing area Public transport and possible improvements Potential to co-ordinate new patterns of land use and transport Routes and spaces linking into the existing transport system

Due to the significant environmental impact of tall buildings, many schemes will need to be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Council will determine the need for an EIA through the necessary process and encourage developers to discuss this request with the Council during the pre-application phase. The Height Matters consultation process has demonstrated a degree of support for future tall buildings subject to achieving excellent sustainable design. The Planning Authority will therefore seek proposals to achieve a Very good or Excellent BREEAM rating (or equivalent) through the EIA process, and may seek to use s106 agreements to ensure a high rating. Proposals for tall buildings will not be supported unless it is demonstrated through the submission that proposals are of the highest architectural quality. For this reason, the Planning Authority supports the CABE and English Heritage recommendation that outline planning applications

| Tall Buildings | 27 |

would not be appropriate. The process of commissioning a trophy architect merely to take the building to outline planning stage will be discouraged, with applicants being encouraged to retain the same architect throughout. Furthermore, the Planning Authority supports the CABE and English Heritage recommendation that where planning permission is to be granted, the detailed design, materials and finishes, and treatment of the public realm should be secured through the appropriate use of planning conditions and obligations, including Section 106 Agreements, where appropriate. Adequate guarantees are essential to maintain the original architectural quality and ensure that inferior details and materials are not substituted at a later date. When producing high quality visualisations, the applicant will be expected to be guided by the Planning Authority in accordance with the methodology set out in Appendix E. Applicants will be expected to contact the Planning Authority at the earliest opportunity to discuss the scheme, and then to maintain regular contact with the Planning Authority as the scheme develops. National organisations such as CABE and English Heritage should also be actively consulted, as should local stakeholders. It should be noted that CABE in conjunction with Bristols Architecture Centre intends to establish a South West Regional Design Panel in the near future. Applicants will be strongly advised to consult this panel from the early stages of project development. Public Art should be incorporated as an integral part of tall building developments and should be considered from the outset as part of the design process. In October 2000, the City Council approved a Public Art Policy, which builds upon the current Local Plan Policy L10 (Policy B5A in 'Proposed Alterations'). The strengthened policy statement stress that major new development proposals should consider the following: The inclusion of public art elements in the external treatment of buildings. The provision of public art commissions which enhance existing and new open spaces.

The commissioning of artworks which aid legibility and movement.

In accordance with its Public Art Policy and Strategy, the City Council requests that developers appoint independent public art consultants and artists to work with other design professionals to prepare Public Art Plans for Tall Building developments. These are to ensure that artistic interventions are integrated within the architecture of tall buildings and engage the public during the development's construction. Public Art Plans are to be agreed with the City Council's Art Project Manager prior to being submitted as part of planning applications. They are to include the conceptual and material details of permanent and temporary artworks, a description of the commissioning process, budget allocations, maintenance plans, timescales and related community engagement and education initiatives.

4.2 Density and urban form: Alternative development approaches


One of the main justifications given for developing tall buildings is that they deliver a higher density of development, However, as the Government Subcommittee states (DTLR, 2002); while there is little doubt that tall buildings can be a method of achieving high densities, it is equally clear that tall buildings are not necessary to provide high density accommodation. In fact, there is a broad degree of consensus amongst witnesses that high rise is not the only or most efficient way to provide high densities. As Figure H demonstrates (adapted from the Urban Task Force Report, Towards an Urban Renaissance), there are significant advantages in adopting a low or medium rise approach to achieving the same level of density, where the developable area is large enough to allow the development of a perimeter block (e.g. the larger regeneration areas such as Harbourside, Temple and Broadmead). A medium rise perimeter block has several distinct advantages over a point block standing in the middle of an open space: It helps make a clear distinction between public fronts and private backs. A continuous building line provides good

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enclosure to streets and public spaces. Frequent doors and windows onto the street provide animation and security to the public realm. Diversity within the block may be provided through differing plot widths. It allows for the provision of private open space within the block.

A tall building standing in the middle of an open space is unlikely to either represent good design or fulfil design policies. A tall building on a more constrained site, perhaps incorporated into an existing perimeter block might more readily be an acceptable design solution. However, it would first need to demonstrate that it relates well to the street and adjacent buildings.

A key justification given for providing a tall building is to create a landmark. If the landmark is to register in the publics mental map of the city, it needs to be memorable. This can be achieved by utilising a unique shape or silhouette (as typified by Fosters 30 St. Mary Axe aka the gherkin in the City of London which has proved to be a popular and distinctive addition to the London skyline). It can also be achieved by locating the most visible compositional elements at the top of the building. It should be recognised that this is a highly emotive and subjective issue, and that considerable public debate should be both expected and encouraged. In particular, there is a need to consider the visual impact of telecommunications apparatus and plant rooms at a high level. These can be extremely damaging to the appearance of a building but also, if integral to the original design, something of a feature. In general tops of buildings work best if they are lightweight and transparent in appearance. The introduction of alternative accommodation on upper floors, such as a duplex apartment or rooftop restaurant, can provide a successful design solution.

4.3 Size, shape and silhouette

4.4 Relationship to the street


A key failing of tall buildings in the past has been the way they meet the ground and therefore how they are perceived/experienced at the shortdistance. Ultimately the aim should be to create a public realm with a human scale. Human scale need not necessarily be prejudiced by high buildings, provided that these are carefully located, designed with a top and a bottom and have regard to the effects on the microclimate. This often involves the following:
Lo n d o n B r i d g e To w e r, Lo n d o n ( b y Re n zo Pi a n o) s e t t o b e E u ro p e s tallest building, this s h a rd o f g l a s s w i l l p rov i d e a u n i q u e s h a p e and silhouette 3 0 S t . M a r y Axe , Lo n d o n ( b y N o r m a n Fo s t e r ) - t h i s u n i q u e g h e r k i n s h a p e h a s p rov e d t o b e a popular addition to t h e Lo n d o n s ky l i n e

stepping down a large mass to its neighbours; ensuring that the ground level most relevant to the pedestrian experience is as active and interesting as possible; ensuring that the public realm is naturally surveilled; providing legible and accessible entrances;

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Figure H - Relationship between density and urban form


Source: Illustrations by Andrew Wright Associates for the Urban Task Force, 1999

High rise low coverage


75 units/ha Single Point Block    No private gardens or amenities directly available to the inhabitants No direct relationship between the building and the surrounding streets Large open space demands significant levels of investment to manage and maintain it at acceptable standards

Low rise high coverage


75 units/ha 2-3 storey traditional back to back terraces   Public space is well defined by continuous street frontages Clear definition of public and private realms, with all dwellings having access to private back gardens High site coverage minimises the potential for communal spaces and a more varied urban landscape

Medium rise medium coverage


75 units/ha Urban block enclosing open space  Commercial and public activities located at ground floor level, provide an active street frontage More space is available for rear private gardens, communal areas or a park Buildings of differing heights and plot widths allow for the creation of a mixed community Possible problems with security when placing public spaces to the rear of buildings

  

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providing a richness to the detailing and high quality materials; mitigating against the adverse impacts a tall building can often make on the microclimate; providing a continuity of frontage, thus providing definition and enclosure to the public realm.

Use of borehole water; Sub-metering of end-uses; Reduction of run-off through e.g. living roofs; Sustainable drainage.

4.7 Microclimate
Applicants should seek to create a pleasant microclimate at the base of the building. In terms of wind turbulence, this depends on the local grouping of buildings and their orientation to the prevailing wind. Isolated buildings (of whatever height) and the creation of inappropriate open spaces between buildings generally promote windiness. It can also be exacerbated by raising the building on stilts or pilotis. Conversely, a highly integrated street pattern encourages wind to move over the tops of densely built up areas, hence resulting in a more pleasant microclimate. As a general rule of thumb, a tall building might have an impact on wind patterns in an area with a radius of five times the height of the building. The Planning Authority will be particularly keen that wind speeds are assessed around the entrances into proposed and adjacent buildings, along key pedestrian routes and in spaces designed for passive recreation, and will scope out key locations in the early stages of project development. Where the assessment indicates high wind speeds are likely at any given location for prolonged periods such as to restrict the space, the applicant will be expected to demonstrate how modifications to the siting of the building or modifications to the design (e.g. canopies and windbreaks) would reduce the impact. Tall buildings should not adversely overshadow key public spaces, routes or other buildings. The applicant will be required to demonstrate the impact of the building in terms of shadow patterns at different times of the year.

4.5 Energy Efficiency


Applicants should seek to maximise energy efficiency through: Adoption of appropriate building form & fabric e.g. through passive means such as increasing the availability of thermal mass (which acts as a heat sink or source of coolth); Specification of an energy efficient services solution e.g. through double facades which allow natural ventilation of spaces and access to openable windows; Sub-metering of major plant and equipment; Use of clever vertical transportation solutions e.g. energy recovery from lifts; Use of renewable energy e.g. daylightintegrated lighting systems, BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics), wind power and CHP.

In terms of solar gain, it is beneficial to utilise a shallow plan, atria or shafts to allow the introduction of natural daylight and fresh air. Contrary to some attitudes and guidelines, it is possible to achieve high levels of natural light penetration with a tight urban form.

4.6

Water Consumption

Applicants should seek to minimise water consumption through: Specification of low-flow appliances; On-site rainwater harvesting;

4.8 Materials
Applicants should seek to reduce the environmental impact of building materials through the use of an environmental preference or profiling system e.g. the BREs Green Guide to Construction. The

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selection of materials will need to take into account the unique structural engineering requirements of tall buildings. For example, it may be possible to use cement-alternatives in concrete such as Pulverised Fuel Ash. Furthermore, the future proofing of the design will need to be considered in order to maximise the reuse and recycling of materials during refurbishment or eventual decommissioning of the building. If more building components are to be reused, the process of demolition needs to be replaced by the more sensitive process of deconstruction. Likewise, more recycling can be achieved if materials are more easily separated after deconstruction. The Construction Industry Research and Information Association has recently provided guidance on this (CIRIA, 2004). The reflectivity and transparency of the building is an important consideration. A highly reflective and transparent building material such as glass can sometimes cause obtrusive daytime glare (as has been the case with Fosters scheme for 30 St. Mary Axe). However, transparent materials have often been used to great effect to create significant landmark features at night. In future, applicants for tall buildings should consider how to exploit exciting advances in lighting projection technology, using it to bring attention to some elements of the built form, whilst disguising others.

4.10 Internal Design


Applicants should seek to create internal spaces, which are easy to adapt to ensure spaces do not become redundant over time, and can more easily adapt to changing social, technological and economic conditions. Structural efficiency can be maximised through careful consideration of floor plate solutions, and the positioning of service cores. This will be a matter that the EIA process will be asked to examine.

4.11 Remodelling existing tall buildings


In general, if a building or buildings in an area have planning approval or have been constructed, subsequent proposals of the same scale will be relevant factor in assessing other planning applications. In the case of tall buildings, this is not considered an acceptable premise and both CABE and English Heritage have emphasised that each case must be judged on its merits. The fact that a building exists already is material but CABE/English Heritage guidance is suggesting that the weight given to this may be lesser due to past failings as to consideration of issues such as context. The assessment therefore needs to be done using the same assessment criteria as for new schemes. This is confirmed at para 4.4.22c of the Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan (2003). Should it be determined that it is acceptable to retain a tall building on a particular site, it is possible to provide a new lease of life through relatively simple measures including: Recladding with more contemporary materials; Addition of upper floors to change the profile of the building; Removal of obscuring or unsightly services; Introducing active ground floor uses.

4.9 Telecommunications
Applicants should consider orientation and profile of the building taking into account the potential negative impact on television and radio reception within the surrounding area. OFCOM can provide guidance on this. Furthermore guidance is contained in PPG8 Telecommunications. Antennae and aerial arrays are commonly placed on top of tall buildings. If this is proposed, consideration should be given to integrating the antennae into the design of the building (rather than left as an afterthought). For example, it might be possible to create a formal sculptural element to hold the antennae.

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5.0

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Proposals for tall buildings will only be considered where a satisfactory response has been made to each of the following criteria:ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
(i) RELATIONSHIP TO CONTEXT, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHY, BUILT FORM, AND SKYLINE;

CONSIDERATIONS
How well the development responds to and reinforces locally distinctive patterns of development, landscape and culture typical of its neighbourhood The impact the building has on those views identified in the View Protection Framework, and other short range views identified by the Planning Authority in connection with a specific application. This will involve assessing the direct impact of the building upon views through intrusion or obstruction and may involve consulting viewers who may be affected. The impact the building has on its immediate environment, at street level. Of particular importance will be how well the building promotes the continuity of street frontages and the enclosure of space by built form that clearly defines private and public areas

BEST PRACTICE/ POLICY GUIDANCE


Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000) City Centre Strategy (Bristol City Council, 2004) Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (Landscape Institute/Institute of Environmental Assessment, 2002) Creating Successful Masterplans A guide for clients (CABE 2004) Building in context New development in historic areas (CABE/English Heritage, 2002)

ASSESSMENT METHOD
Urban Design Appraisal Urban Design Framework Views Assessment (see Appendix D on the preparation of Accurate Visual Representations) Physical Model (1:500 and extending one block in each direction minimum)

(ii) EFFECT ON THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT AT A CITY-WIDE AND LOCAL LEVEL;

The historical development of the area; the underlying morphology of the area (block patterns, plot sizes, historic routes); and the local vernacular architecture. It will need to be demonstrated how an understanding of the historical context has informed the design of the building The impact the building makes towards the distinctive neighbourhood in which it is located The impact the building has on the following: World Heritage sites and their settings, including buffer zones (being mindful to the likely future designation of the Temple Meads Station)

Conservation Area Enhancement Statements, PAN2 (Bristol City Council, 1993) Bristols Archaeology PAN (Bristol City Council, 2005) Using Historic Landscape Characterisation (English Heritage, 2004) City Centre Strategy (Bristol City Council, 2004)

Characterisation Study of Historic Environment Archaeological Appraisal

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Any of Bristols Scheduled Ancient Monuments and their settings Any of Bristols 4500 Listed Buildings and their settings, including the foregrounds and backdrops to landmark buildings Any of Bristols 33 designated Conservation Areas and their settings Archaeology (see Bristols Draft Archaeological Statement) Historic parks and gardens, landscape and their settings Local Transport Plan 2001-6 (Bristol City Council, 2000) Transport Assessment

(iii) RELATIONSHIP TO TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PARTICULARLY PUBLIC TRANSPORT PROVISION;

The contribution the building makes to peak travel flows; Additional demands placed on the local parking in the area; Proximity and accessibility to public transport, and the capacity of public transport to cope with this additional demand; Funded measures to encourage more sustainable travel behaviour in the form of a Travel Plan (e.g. car club) Access arrangements by all the non-car travel modes and the access needs of disabled people. The Emergency Plan for the building, detailing access arrangements in the event of an emergency or major incident. This will require involving Building Control and the Fire Service at the earliest stage

(iv) ARCHITECTURAL EXCELLENCE OF THE BUILDING;

The scale, form, massing, proportion and silhouette of the building. The design of the top of a tall building. This will be of particular importance when considering the effect on the skyline. The relationship of the building to other structures. The materials used to face the building. Material samples will need to be submitted. The assessment will be looking for buildings that are far better designed than previously and be icons of architectural quality in themselves.

Creating Excellent Buildings A guide for clients (CABE, 2003) Design Review Guidance on how CABE evaluates quality in architecture and urban design (CABE, 2002)

Views Assessment (see Appendix E on the preparation of Accurate Visual Representations) Design Statement Physical Model Material samples Design Review Panel

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(v) CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLIC SPACES AND FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE MIX OF USES

How well the development promotes diversity and choice through a mix of compatible uses that work together to create viable places that respond to local need The types of uses being proposed at the ground level, and whether they contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the surrounding streets and spaces; The types of uses being proposed for the top floors of the building, and whether or not it is the intention to provide the public with access to these spaces in order that they may enjoy the benefit of panoramic views across the city, or skygardens. The mix of uses proposed within the building, with a particular focus on how the building helps meet the need for affordable housing (see PAN 12 Affordable Housing); How the proposal meets or exceeds the Local Plan requirement for the provision of public and private open space; How well the development promotes attractive and safe public spaces and routes, which meet the needs of all sections of society across the wider neighbourhood/City. The management arrangements for these spaces need to be made explicit. The ways in which the building can deliver public benefits beyond its own site boundary by means of a Section 106 agreement.

Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000) Green Spaces Strategy (CABE, 2004) Parks and Green Spaces Strategy (Bristol City Council work in progress expected adoption 2005) Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention (ODPM/Home Office, 2004)

Design Statement Design Review Panel Market Appraisal

(vi) EFFECT ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING MICROCLIMATE AND GENERAL AMENITY CONSIDERATIONS;

The impact of the building on the wind regime at the base of the building. The impact of the shading paths created by the building. The night-time appearance of the building. The reflectivity of the building, identifying the possibility of any obtrusive day-time glare The impact on the amenity of nearby occupiers.

Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000) BRE Guidance

Urban Design Framework Wind Tunnel Tests/Computer Modelling Shadow Modelling Design Statement

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(vii) CONTRIBUTION TO PERMEABILITY AND LEGIBILITY OF THE SITE AND WIDER AREA; AND

How well the development promotes accessibility and local permeability by making places that connect with each other and are easy to move through, putting people before traffic and integrating land uses and transport How well the development provides recognisable routes, intersections and landmarks to help people find their way around, with a particular emphasis on assisting people find their way around using key routes identified in Bristols Legible City Strategy

Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000)

Urban Design Appraisal Urban Design Framework

(viii) SUFFICIENT ACCOMPANYING MATERIAL TO ENABLE A PROPER ASSESSMENT INCLUDING URBAN DESIGN STUDY/MASTERPLAN, A 360 DEGREE VIEW ANALYSIS AND RELATIVE HEIGHT STUDIES

Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships / The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000) GLA guidance (see Appendix E) Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (Landscape Institute/Institute of Environmental Assessment, 2002) Creating Successful Masterplans A guide for clients (CABE)

Urban Design Framework Accurate Visual Representations/ View Analysis Physical Model

(IX) ADOPTION OF BEST PRACTICE GUIDANCE RELATED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF TALL BUILDINGS

Energy usage operational energy and CO2 Health and Well Being Indoor and external issues affecting health and well being Pollution Air and water pollution Transport transport related CO2 and location related factors Land use-Greenfield and brownfield sites Ecology- Ecological value of the site

Bristol Sustainable Development Guide for Construction (Bristol City Council, 2002) A sustainability checklist for developments: a common framework for developers and local authorities (BRE, 2002)

BREEAM or equivalent environmental profiling system (with a view to achieving a Very Good rating) Sustainable Development Profile (as set out in Bristol Sustainable Construction Guide)

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Materials-Environmental implication of building materials Water-Consumption and water efficiciency

TALL BUILDINGS
Assessing environmental impacts of construction Industry consensus, BREEAM and UK Ecopoints (BRE, 2000) Tall buildings & Sustainability - by Faber Maunsell (City of London, 2002) Design for deconstruction. Principles of design to facilitate reuse and recycling(CIRIA, 2004)

(X) EVALUATION OF PROVIDING A SIMILAR LEVEL OF DENSITY IN AN ALTERNATIVE URBAN FORM

The preparation of the indicative low, medium and high rise schemes for the site, producing comparative information on density, amount of private open space, number of car parking spaces, vehicular/public access to site The production of cost-benefit analysis of the low, medium and high rise approach to development, covering such issues as: management of public realm; community safety creation of balanced communities with a variety of housing choice/neighbourhood services connectivity with the surrounding street network (i.e. pedestrian and vehicular routes)

Towards an Urban Renaissance (Urban Task Force, 1999) Urban Design Compendium (English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation) By Design Urban design in the planning system (CABE/DETR, 2000)

Urban Design Framework

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6. 0 GLOSSARY
Area Appraisal An assessment of an areas land uses, built and natural environment, social and physical characteristics Background Buildings A building that forms part of the general townscape and which lacks the attributes of a landmark building BCC Bristol City Council BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). A system for assessing the environmental performance of buildings Building Line The line formed by the frontages of buildings along a street CABE Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment Funded by central government departments (Department of Culture Media and Sports and Department of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Local Government and the Regions) to promote quality in the built environment in England. Conservation Areas Conservation Areas are "areas of special architectural or historic interest." Bristol has designated 33 Conservation Areas with the aim of preserving or enhancing their character or appearance. Descriptions and policies for the first 29 Conservation Areas are available in the Conservation Area Enhancement Statements published in 1993. Context The setting of a site or area, including factors such as traffic, activities and land uses as well as landscape and built form Core Cities The eight major English cities outside London - Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol Design Statement Produced by a scheme promoter to accompany a planning application. Explains how they have considered the context in preparing a scheme, demonstrating how the particular design approach has been arrived at and why it is the most appropriate. Advocated in PPG1

Environmental Impact Assessment The process of identifying, measuring and evaluating the impacts (beneficial and detrimental) that a proposed development could have on the surrounding environment. The findings of the EIA may be presented in an Environmental Statement that may accompany the outline planning application Focal Building A land mark building of local rather than strategic importance Floor Plate The gross floor area of a single storey of a building, normally a commercial office building Historic Parks and Gardens Historic parks and gardens are designed landscapes, which, because of their layout, features and architectural ornament, are of special historic interest. They are protected under Policy NEB9 of the Bristol Local Plan. Landmark A building or structure that stands out from its background by virtue of height, size or some other aspect of design. Landmark buildings, in townscape terms effectively act as pointers to guide people around a city and make a significant contribution to local distinctiveness. Listed Buildings There are nearly 4500 listed buildings in Bristol, of which 100 are listed Grade I, 500 Grade II*. The remainder are Grade II. Listed Building Consent is required for alterations and extensions to listed buildings. This applies to both the exterior and the interior of the building. Legibility The degree to which a place can be easily understood Massing The combined effect of the height, size and outline of a building or group of buildings. Mixed Use A mix of different uses within a building, on a site or area. This can be horizontal- where the uses are side-by-side or vertical- where the uses are on different floors within the same building. Morphology The study of the built form (of buildings) that make up an areas context and identity. PAN Policy Advice Note

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Perimeter Block Development blocks defined by a grid of streets, with a clear distinction between public fronts and private backs. Blocks can vary in size. They can accommodate a range of building types and densities. In city centre locations or Victorian suburbs, buildings tend to form a continuous edge to the block and are generally of a higher density than blocks found in the outer suburbs where blocks often comprise of detached or semi-detached. Buildings Pilotis The cylindrical concrete stilts or pillars used to carry a building, raising it to first floor level and leaving the ground floor free and open Scoring The process of determining the content and extent of matters, which should be covered in the environmental information to be submitted to a competent authority for projects which are subject to EIA Sites and Monuments Record (SR) or Historic Environment Record, contains information about historic Bristol. At present there are over 7000 entries and it is constantly being added to, and interpretations refined. Information can be found on Historic Buildings and Monuments, Archaeological Excavations and Finds and Historic Landscapes Section 106 Agreements An agreement made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, between a local planning authority and developers specifying, for instance, that a proportion of a development site be reserved for affordable housing SPD Supplementary Planning Document SPG Supplementary Planning Guidance Strategic View The line of sight from a particular point to an important landmark or skyline Sustainability The principle that the environment should be protected in such a condition and to such a degree that ensures new development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Tall Building Those that are substantially taller than their neighbours and/or which significantly change

the skyline (see Section 1 for more information). Travel Plan This is a plan developed within an organisation to reduce dependence on private cars for travelling at, to or from work Typography A description or representation of artificial or natural features of an area or site on or of the ground Urban Design Framework Used to show policies in the development plan may be applied to a specific area, identifying the design principles, and providing a basis for development control Urban Grain The pattern of the arrangement and site of buildings and their plots in a settlement; and the degree to which an areas pattern of street blocks and street junctions is re respectively small and frequent, or large and infrequent Vantage Point A deliberate point of standing or movement from where a view is perceived Vernacular The way in which ordinary buildings were built in a particular place, making use of local styles, techniques and materials and responding to local economic and social conditions Visual Amenity The value of a particular area or view in terms of what is seen Visualisation Computer simulation, photomontage or other technique to illustrate the appearance of a development Zone of Visual Influence Area within which a proposed development may have an influence or effect on visual amenity

Source: CCPUD have prepared these definitions from a number of technical and professional sources for assistance in this document

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7. 0 BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bristol City Council (expected 2005) Archaeology SPD Bristol City Council, 1997 Bristol Local Plan Bristol City Council, 2000 Local Transport Plan 2001-6 Bristol City Council, 2003 Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan (First Deposit) Bristol City Council, 2002 Bristol Sustainable Development Guide for Construction Bristol City Council, 2003 City Centre Strategy 2003-2008 Bristol City Council, 1993 Conservation Area Enhancement Statements, Policy Advice Note 2 Bristol City Council (expected 2005) Parks and Green Spaces Strategy Bristol Partnership, 2003 Bristols Community Strategy Building Research Establishment, 2000 Assessing environmental impacts of construction Industry consensus, BREEAM and UK Ecopoints Building Research Establishment, 2002 A sustainability checklist for developments: a common framework for developers and local authorities CABE/DETR, 2000 By Design - Urban Design in the Planning System: Towards Better Practice CABE/English Heritage, 2002 Building in context New development in historic areas CABE, 2003 Creating Excellent Buildings A guide for clients CABE, 2004 Creating Successful Masterplans A guide for clients

CABE, 2002 Design Review Guidance on how CABE evaluates quality in architecture and urban design CABE, 2004 Green Spaces Strategy CIRIA, 2004 Design for deconstruction. Principles of design to facilitate reuse and recycling City of London, 2002 Tall buildings & Sustainability - by Faber Maunsell DETR, 1999 Circular 2/99 Environmental Impact Assessment DETR, 1998 Places, Streets and Movement: a companion guide to Design Bulletin 32 DETR, 1999 Towards an Urban Renaissance DETR, 1998 Places, Streets and Movement A companion guide to Design Bulletin 32, Residential Roads and Footpaths DTLR, 2002 House of Commons Tall Buildings, Memoranda submitted to the Urban Affairs Sub-committee DTLR, 2002 House of Commons Tall Buildings, Sixteenth Report of Session 2001-2, Volume 1 English Heritage and CABE, 2001 Guidance on Tall Buildings Consultation Paper English Heritage and CABE, 2003 Guidance on Tall Buildings English Heritage, 2004 Using Historic Landscape Characterisation English Partnerships/The Housing Corporation Urban Design Compendium Future Foundations Building a better South-West A sustainable construction charter for the region

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Landscape Institute/Institute of Environmental Assessment, 2002 Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment ODPM/Home Office, 2004 Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention Punter, J, 1990 Design Control in Bristol 1940-1990 The Town and Country Planning, 1999 Environmental Impact Assessment (England and Wales) Regulations Urban Task Force, 1999 Towards an Urban Renaissance

8. 0 ADVICE AND FURTHER INFORMATION


Should you require any further assistance or clarification please contact the City Centre Projects and Urban Design Team as detailed below. If your query relates to a specific proposal or planning application you should contact the relevant development control case officer in the first instance. City Centre Projects and Urban Design Bristol City Council Brunel House St. Georges Road Bristol BS1 5UY

Alastair Brook Tel: 0117 92 22962 alastair_brook@bristol-city.gov.uk Julie Witham Tel: 0117 92 24289 julie_witham@bristol-city.gov.uk Rohan Torkildsen Strategic and Citywide Policy Tel: 0117 903 6725 rohan_torkildsen@bristol-city.gov.uk

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APPENDIX A Experience of other UK cities


London Londons tall building policies are contained within the London Plan. The intention is that the Mayor will work with boroughs to identify suitable locations for tall buildings within their individual UDPs. Boroughs will be expected to base the designation and management of local views in their UDPs on the London Plans View Protection Framework. For the past several years London has seen an enormous amount of tall building proposals, some of which are being promoted outside of the established clusters of Canary Wharf and The City. The tallest schemes tend to be designed by a handful of the worlds leading architects and include: 30 St. Mary Axe aka the Gherkin(40 floors/180m) this iconic building by Norman Foster has proved to be a popular addition to the City of Londons skyline Paddington Basin - A run down area of Paddington currently being regenerated with two skyscrapers including a design by Richard Rogers as the centrepiece. London Bridge Tower aka shard of glass (305m) another iconic building expected to start construction in 2005. The scheme, designed by Renzo Piano, is tied to the upgrade of London Bridge Station in Southwalk Canary Wharf - arguably the first real skyscraper district in the UK, the area contains all three of London's tallest buildings. Indeed there are 19 buildings either built, being constructed or approved, that are over 95m.

Birmingham Birmingham is actively promoting sites for tall buildings in its city centre through a document called High Places A planning policy framework for tall buildings published in March 2003. Schemes for tall buildings currently under construction include the Beetham Tower (38 floors/130m) and the Orion Tower (25 floors/78 m). Simultaneously, the future of its 315 residential tower blocks is under review by the Council. Leeds Leeds tall buildings policies are contained within the UDP. Landmark sites appropriate for tall buildings are defined in the city centres urban design strategy. The Bridgewater Place scheme (30 floors/115m) is expected to be completed by 2006. Liverpool Liverpool is currently preparing SPY on tall buildings as a more detailed supplement to its recently published Liverpool Urban Design Guide, 2003. The Beetham Tower (30 floors) has recently been completed, and three further tall buildings (all over 70m) are expected to be completed by 2006. Will Alsops iconic Cloud proposal for Liverpool Waterfronts Fourth Grace (at 20 floors), has generated a considerable amount of media interest Nottingham Nottingham uses an area specific policy which defines sites appropriate for tall buildings. Formal SPG has not yet been produced. Manchester Manchester has no policy at present. However, a policy based on a criteria assessment is likely to be prepared as part of the UDP review. The Beetham Tower (48 floors/171m) will become the tallest building in the UK outside of London when completed (2006). Other schemes for tall buildings in the pipeline include the Civil Justice Centre (15 storeys, 80m) and the Great Northern Tower (23 floors, 72m)

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Sheffield Sheffields tall building policies are enshrined within its draft Sheffield City Centre - Urban Design Compendium. This puts forward a gateway node approach to locating tall buildings. Portsmouth East Side Plaza (26 floors/95m) is expected to be completed by 2006. Part of the Gun Wharf Key development, this will be Portsmouth's tallest tower, after the Spinaker Observation Tower (currently under construction) Brighton Brighton has produced SPY that identifies areas within the city where opportunities for tall buildings exist, including a section of its seafront. A design competition for this area won by Frank Gehry, will see the area redeveloped with four tower blocks (17-38 floors) Cardiff The Altolusso scheme (23 floors/72m) is expected to be completed by 2005.

APPENDIX B Details of the Height matters consultation initiative


A detailed and comprehensive summary of the consultation initiative and its findings can be found in the Statement of Community Involvement that has been published in conjunction with this document. This can be viewed at www.bristolcity.gov.uk/heightmatters. Survey Findings The survey received a response of 643 responses. 85% of the response came via the online survey on the councils web site. The key findings were as follows: People dislike many of Bristols existing tall buildings but are receptive to proposals for new tall buildings, subject to conditions. Bristols tall buildings from 60s/70s are deeply unpopular; theres strong support for demolition Majority of people believe new tall buildings could be developed without spoiling the citys character Males are more positive and enthusiastic about tall buildings than females Support for quality, well designed, distinctive tall buildings recognition of potential of a landmark tall buildings to promote the city Support for maximising land use through tall buildings, but not for tall buildings as a means of providing more affordable housing Fear of terrorism as a barrier to new tall buildings development has been rejected Mixed feelings about the role of tall buildings in the economy

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Majority recognise tall buildings could have a role in bringing new jobs and organisations to city Majority in favour of a cluster with stronger support for one in Temple Meads redevelopment area Strong rejection for tall buildings in the Harbourside Divided opinion over tall buildings in Broadmead redevelopment

Exhibition An interactive exhibition at the Architecture Centre invited participants to consider the role of tall buildings in the city centre. They were asked to place coloured stickers on a large scale, threedimensional birds eye view of the city centre model. General themes that emerged included: Sites selected as appropriate for a single iconic building include (red): The Island Site, Temple Circus Tollgate House, Houlton Street The former Bristol and West Building, Broad Quay Colston Tower, Colston Avenue Area opposite the Spectrum Building (at the end of the M32)

E-Decide Findings 367 consultees worked through the arguments for and against tall buildings before deciding whether tall buildings should be built in the centre of Bristol. The result was as follows:

Edecide result -

should tall buildings be built in the centre of Bristol

Areas chosen as appropriate as a location for a cluster of tall buildings (yellow): Adjacent to the existing cluster along the Inner Circuit Route (Market Gate House, Castle Mead House) The Temple Quay area The Industrial Museum area

41%

59%

Buildings that were selected for demolition include (blue): The former Bristol and West Building, Broad Quay Bristol Royal Infirmary Chimney Travel Inn (Formerly Avon House) Colston Tower, Colston Avenue One Redcliffe Street, (Formerly DRG Building) Tollgate House, Houlton Street

YES

NO

Further to this the same question was asked in a quick poll carried out on the Height Matters website. Echoing the result of E-decide, 57% of respondents voted Yes subject to conditions. The No vote (36%) was split between Bristol is a low rise city and No they are towers of Ego

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Castle Mead House, Penn Street Trenchard Street Car Park

Forum and Events The Tall Buildings SPD and the role of tall buildings in Bristols city centre has been considered at a variety of forum and events, including two lunch time events held at The Architecture Centre (12 May 2004, ( June 2004), the Conservation Advisory Panel (15 June and 19 October 2004), the Harbourside Design Forum (10 June 2004) the Women in Property Group (12 August 2004), and the Central Area Planning Committee (27 October 2004). Written Responses 15 detailed written responses to the draft SPD were received (Stage 1 Consultation). Key issues raised within the written responses include: Need for site specific guidance, as recommended by CABE/English Heritage Need to review views analysis, and methodology for view protection Need to revisit guidance on Environmental Impact Assessments Need to strengthen policies relating to Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings Need for a clearer definition of tall buildings

Key areas where it was recommended that tall buildings should not be permitted (black): Behind Temple Meads Near all city centre Churches and Monuments New Bristol and West Building, Temple Quay Cannons Marsh Green spaces: Queens Square, Cabot Tower, Castle Green

Views to be protected (red arrows): Views along the floating harbour from bridges Views towards landmarks such as the Bonded Warehouses, Wills Memorial Tower, all city centre churches Views from the Kingsdown ridge across the city centre Views to Cannons Marsh Views from public spaces e.g. Brandon Hill, Queens Square, Centre Promenade

These points have been addressed within SPD1. 13 external written responses to the revised draft SPD were received (Stage 2 consultation). Key issues raised include: Support for site specific guidance but concerns about some of the sites designated in Temple and Old Market Concerns about the legality of some requirements and the PANs relationship to existing policy Concerns about guidance on clustering Clarification required on conservation areas, urban design frameworks, definition of tall buildings etc.

Focus Groups Two independently facilitated focus groups were held with participants selected from either the Citizens Panel or from respondees to the survey. Neither of the focus group participants were averse to new tall buildings in the centre of Bristol, per se. In fact many, particularly the younger participants and those with professional interest, were extremely enthusiastic about the idea. Others tended to be in favour, but with conditions, or preferred to reserve judgement for specific proposals. Thus, the conversation was couched in terms of underlying approval for rather than blanket opposition to the concept of tall buildings in Bristols city centre.

These have been addressed in the final SPD.

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APPENDIX C View Protection Framework


Further to Section 3.2, Appendix C identifies key management issues for panoramic views identified in figures D and E. A Panoramic views into the city centre (Figure E) The unique topography of hills, river valleys and gorges has created a series of spectacular views across the city (see Fig E). Key vantage points providing panoramic views across the city centre include Brandon Hill, Cotham Hill, St. Michaels Hill, Totterdown, Windmill Hill, Bedminster Downs and Ashton Court. It is interesting to note how many of Bristols cherished public parks occupy hill top vantages. Conversely, it is these same parks which form the back-drop to many of the cities most important views.

Description of Vantage Point

Description of view
Close range panoramic view northwards across the city centre. The Wills Memorial Building, Bristol University, Cabot Tower and St. Mary Redcliffe Church all break the skyline, as does the ever present BRI Chimney. Some bulky large scale development in the foreground (e.g. South Redcliffe Flats) impose themselves on the view, and are out of scale with the fine grain texture of townscape beyond. There is also a view north eastwards towards Temple Meads Station, although the Station building does not break the skyline.

Management Strategy
Long term replacement of large tower blocks in the foreground with a more varied and fine grain townscape Creation of a prominent landmark building close to Temple Meads Station that assists with orientation to the Station without obscuring the view to the Station

Windmill Hill
This unexpected and spectacular view of the city centre is revealed when reaching the brow of the hill at the southern end of Victoria Park. Perrets Park in Knowle (to the South East), provides a another important northwards view into the city centre.

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Description of Vantage Point

Description of view

Management Strategy

Ashton Court
This vantage point is accessible on foot across fields about five minutes walk from one of the Ashton Court car parks.

A rural view eastwards to the city centre over the wooded valley of Leigh Woods. The Wills Memorial Building and Cabot Tower rise above these trees and break the skyline. Beyond the city centre dips away out of view. St. Mary Redcliffe is visible although it does not break the skyline. In the distance are the hills separating Bristol and Bath.

Protection for the silhouette of Wills Memorial Building and Cabot Tower when viewed from this vantage point.

Description of Vantage Point Totterdown


1. The pocket park at the junction of Wells Road/Firfield Street provides a panoramic view of the city centre in between a recently built pub and houses. 2. Upper Street is a residential street used as a pedestrian route to access Bath Road via the steeply sloping Thunderbolt Steps Other good vantage streets include Park Street, Stanley Hill and Summer Hill

Description of view
1. Long-range panoramic view north-westwards towards the city centre, with Christ Church, St. Mary Redcliffe Church, the Wills Memorial Building, and Bristol University all appearing on the skyline. Colourful residential terraces of Bedminster form the middle ground 2. Long-range panoramic view north-westwards to Temple Meads Station, which is in danger of being lost within a townscape where large, bulky buildings dominate e.g. Tollgate House, Market Gate House, Marlborough House, Post Office Site

Management Strategy
The protection of the silhouette of land mark buildings when viewed from this vantage point The future development of Temple Meads will need to be mindful of the need to protect views to Temple Meads Station, and views back to the Totterdown ridge. Opportunities to exploit views from Thunderbolt Steps should be explored

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Description of Vantage Point Bedminster Down


This is a linear view that motorists experience coming into the city along Bridgewater Road.

Description of view
Expansive panoramic view across the city centre north eastwards. Whilst the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Christ Church, Cabot Tower, Wills Memorial Building, and Bristol University are all prominent, they are undermined by the presence of the Clifton Heights tower block, the BRI Chimney and the Telecoms Tower also on the skyline.

Management Strategy
The eventual removal of the BRI Chimney and possible replacement with an iconic structure of quality and distinction. The eventual removal of the Clifton Heights tower block, and possible replacement with an iconic structure of quality and distinction. The protection of the silhouette of land mark buildings when viewed from this vantage point

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B Panoramic views out of the city centre (Figure E)

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Description of Vantage Point Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill


Although not a particularly tall building at 32m, the Cabot Tower affords fantastic 360degree views across the city due to its elevated position (85m above sea level). It is open from 9.30am to dusk daily, and is one of Bristols most popular visitor destinations

Description of view
Cabot Tower provides a sweeping view in all directions in one turn it is possible to see Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS. Great Britain, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Cathedral and St. Mary Redcliffe Church. Whilst the Wills Memorial Building in the foreground asserts itself of the skyline, as does the cluster of buildings that belong to Bristol University, other city centre landmarks are more recessive. The roofscape of the city is particularly noticeable from this elevated vantage point, particularly of those buildings in the foreground. The large flat roofs of post-war development, punctured by ugly plant rooms tend to dominate over the finer grain, pitched roofs of an earlier period. From this vantage point, the setting of St. Mary Redcliffe amongst trees is particularly striking, as is the line of trees along Welsh Back. Otherwise, buildings tend to dominate. Cabot Tower provides a rare panoramic vantage point of the Floating Harbour

Management Strategy
Opportunities to remodel the roofscape of the city should be exploited, with green roofs being promoted to assist some of the more ugly post-war buildings to blend into the townscape Redevelopment of the harbourside area should protect glimpses to the Floating Harbour from this vantage point

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Description of Vantage Point Christmas Steps, St. Michaels Hill


Glimpses south across the city centre are provided at a number of vantage points: 1.Perry Road (as it passes the top of Christmas Steps) 2. Tankards Close (at its junction with St. Michaels Hill)

Description of view
1. Expansive view southwards across the city centre. City centre landmarks such as St. Stevens Church, St. James Church, St. Nicholas Church and All Saints Church compete with post-war office blocks in Lewins Mead (as well as Colston Tower and the former Bristol and West HQ) in asserting themselves on the skyline. 2. The expansive view southwards across the city centre is obstructed by two large office blocks (Grey Friars and Fromesgate House) which spoil what would otherwise be a splendid view of the city. Both of these views are long panoramic views that extend as far as the Dundry hills

Management Strategy
The eventual removal of Grey Friars and Fromesgate House. Their replacement will need to be informed through an urban design framework which examines options for the Lewins Meads area as a whole.

Management Strategy
The relationship between the low-lying Temple Meads area and the residential community of Totterdown is an important consideration. This will involve careful consideration of the roofscape of the arena and associated development, as it is highly visible from the Totterdown area. Views up to the Totterdown ridge will also need consideration. This may involve establishing key viewpoints and framing these with buildings.

Description of Vantage Point Temple Meads


Temple Meads is an important regeneration area in a low-lying area on the south-eastern edge of the city centre. The arena site sits in the south of Temple Meads at the foot of a steep escarpment, and is bounded on its easterly edge by the Floating Harbour.

Description of view
The site affords expansive views upwards towards the Totterdown escarpment, with its attractive townscape of terrace houses that climb the steep contours.

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Description of Vantage Point Bridges across the Floating Harbour


Plimsol Bridge Cumberland Basin Bridge Prince Street Bridge Peros Bridge Redcliffe Bridge Bristol Bridge St. Phillips Bridge Temple Bridge Valentine Bridge All bridges identified provide important vantage points due to their elevated positions along broad and open vistas and high footfall.

Description of view
All vantage points identified provide 360-degree views across the city centre and beyond. As the Floating Harbour sits at the lowest point of the city centre, landmarks take on more prominence when viewed from here, with even the relatively unprominent Cathedral breaking the skyline. The topography of the city centre reveals itself from the harbours edge. The attractive tight-grained townscape of Clifton Wood, St. Michaels Hill, Windmill Hill and Totterdown provide an attractive setting to many of the city centres landmarks.

Management Strategy
It would be impossible to protect every viewpoint of every landmark from the whole of the Floating Harbour, and therefore the bridges have been selected as the key vantage points from which viewpoints must be respected. (Read in conjunction with Linear Views section) Particular emphasis should be placed on protecting views to the Cathedral from the harbourside area as this is one of the few locations that the Cathedral asserts itself against the skyline. The eventual removal of buildings which impact on the silhouette should be sought (e.g. the former Bristol and West building and Colston Tower, when viewed from Cumberland Basin Bridge). Similarly views to Temple Meads Station from Valentines Bridge should similarly be protected from future development which might otherwise obscure this view.

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APPENDIX D Neighbourhood appraisal


Building on the Guiding Principles for Locating Tall Building and the View Protection Framework, there are clearly some neighbourhoods within the city centre which are considered to be more appropriate for tall buildings than others. The following guidance should be read in conjunction with the Built Environment Policies of the Council and Figure G.

Potential of each neighbourhood for Tall Buildings


Broadmead is one of the city centres three regeneration areas and as such provides significant opportunities for future development

Appropriateness of Tall Buildings

Key urban design issues

Could be appropriate, particularly where it strengthened an existing cluster of tall buildings, signified a gateway into the city centre (i.e. from the M32) or improved the quality of an existing tall building

Impact on nearby Conservation Areas including: City and Queen Square Kingsdown Old Market Portland Square Redcliffe Stokes Croft St. James Parade St. Michaels Hill and Christmas Steps Impact on views identified in the View Protection Framework. Of particular importance will be the panoramic views from the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, Bristol Bridge, St. Phillips Bridge, Totterdown, Windmill Hill, Perretts Park, Cotham Hill Impact on localised views (to be identified in conjunction with the Planning Authority through the EIA Scoring Report) Impact on views to and from the Kingsdown escarpment

Harbourside is one of the city centres three regeneration areas and as such provides significant opportunities for future development

Inappropriate.

Views from Harbourside to the surrounding escarpments and across the water are an essential characteristic of the City Centre

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Old City: Limited opportunity Inappropriate for new tall buildings and preference for removal rather than refurbishment of existing tall buildings. Could be appropriate, particularly where it strengthened an existing cluster of tall buildings, signified a gateway into the city centre or improved the quality of an existing tall building

TALL BUILDINGS
The Old City is characterised by a consistent urban grain and punctuated by medieval church spires and towers. This grain should be strengthened where missing or overdeveloped in the last 40 years Impact on nearby Conservation Areas including: Kingsdown Old Market Portland Square Redcliffe Broad Plain Impact on views identified in the View Protection Framework. Of particular importance will be the panoramic views from the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, St. Phillips Bridge, Temple Bridge, Totterdown, Windmill Hill, Perretts Park, Cotham Hill Impact on localised views (to be identified in conjunction with the Planning Authority through the EIA Scoring Report) Impact on the townscape quality of Old Market Street and West Street

Old Market: Limited opportunity

Redcliffe: Opportunities exist to redevelop postwar light industrial and commercial sites for a higher density mixed use blocks St. Michaels Hill: Limited opportunities for new development confined to the University area

Inappropriate.

A key objective is the restore the medium/high density grain of this historic area revealing a pattern of traditional streets and traditional street heights.

Could be appropriate for a stand-alone iconic building somewhere along the top of the Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment, but not at the base of the side of the escarpment where it masks the topography

Impact on nearby Conservation Areas including: City and Queen Square City Docks Clifton Cotham, Redland and Gloucester Road College Green Kingsdown Park Street and Brandon Hill Stokes Croft St. James Parade St. Michaels Hill and Christmas Steps Tyndalls Park Whiteladies Road Impact on views identified in the View Protection Framework. Of particular importance will be the panoramic views from the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, Centre Promenade, Queens Square, College Green,

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Bristol Bridge, Redcliffe Bridge, Prince Street Bridge, Peros Bridge, Cumberland Basin Bridge, Windmill Hill, Perretts Park, Bedminster Down, Bridgewater Road, Cotham Hill and the Downs/ Blackboy Hill. Impact on localised views (to be identified in conjunction with the Planning Authority through the EIA Scoring Report) Complimentarily to other iconic buildings on top of Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment (Wills Memorial, Cabot Tower and University Buildings) Stokes Croft: Limited opportunities for new development Temple is one of the city centres three regeneration areas and as such provides significant opportunities for future development Inappropriate. The objective is to restore the relative heights and grain of the historic streetscape and traditional urban form. A detailed urban design framework needs to be prepared for the Temple Meads area to supplement policy guidance contained within this SPD. The framework would provide a detailed understanding of the height and mass appropriate for the area thus ensuring that future development is sensitive to the important historic context. Impact on nearby Conservation Areas including: Arnos Vale City and Queen Square Kingsdown Old Market Redcliffe St. Michaels Hill and Christmas Steps Impact on views identified in the View Protection Framework. Of particular importance will be the panoramic views from the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, St. Phillips Bridge, Temple Bridge, Valentine Bridge, Redcliffe Bridge, Bath Bridge, Banana Bridge, Prince Street Bridge, Totterdown, Windmill Hill, Perretts Park, Cotham Hill Impact on localised views (to be identified in conjunction with the Planning Authority through the EIA Scoring Report) Impact of views to the towers of Temple Meads Station along major pedestrian desire lines, and from the Station ramp Impact of views to and from Totterdown escarpment along major pedestrian desire lines

Could be appropriate if not-detrimental to the context of the listed Temple Meads Station and St. Mary Redcliffe. Opportunities for high density perimeter blocks should be investigated ahead of stand-alone tower blocks.

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Links to transport infrastructure, particularly pedestrian linkages to the Brunel Mile and onwards to the city centre

West End: Most of the opportunities in West End are limited to refurbishing existing tall buildings

Inappropriate for new tall buildings and preference for removal rather than refurbishment of existing tall buildings

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APPENDIX E Visual Impact Assessment guidance on methodology


Stage 1 Identifying View Points The Planning Authority identifies a comprehensive list of long- and short-range viewpoints, clearly identifying the vantage point, and the direction, length and width of each view. Figure D,E and F provides guidance on some of the citys key views which may be relevant to this exercise. This information is supplied to the applicant on an OS base plan. As a guide, long range views should be supplied at a scale of 1:10,000 (i.e. street names should still be visible), and short-range views should be supplied at 1:2500. The Planning Authority should identify vantage points that are easily accessible public places that naturally encourage pause and enjoyment of a view, and which relate well to the character and layout of their surroundings. They should not be busy traffic islands or road crossings, nor should they be inside buildings. It should be noted that bridges, public parks and hillsides provide particularly good vantage points. View points should be selected that enable a full exploration of the relationship of the proposed development to the following: Landmarks Conservation Areas Listed buildings Key escarpments Existing clusters of tall buildings Key open spaces (particularly busy locations or places where people linger to take in the view) Key movement corridors (both vehicular and pedestrian) Key gateways into the City

Stage 2 Appraising View Points The applicant makes a site visit to each of the vantage points to take 50mm equivalent digital images of viewpoints identified in Stage 1. In many instances, it is likely that the view point to the site is obscured (e.g. by trees or buildings). It will still be important to photograph this viewpoint as it may be that the proposed scheme rises above the obstruction. The applicant will also be expected to scope out any other vantage points in the vicinity of those identified by the Planning Authority that may provide a better view to the proposed scheme. The applicant should supply the Planning Authority with photographs of each view point (Before Image). A Visibility Study (AVR1) should also be provided of each viewpoint. It should be clearly marked on the OS base plan where these view points differ from those identified by the Planning Authority. Stage 3 Preparing Accurate Visual Representations (AVRs) of View Points The Planning Authority reviews the photographs provided by the applicant, and cross-references what has been supplied back to the OS base plan, to ensure that view points are the correct direction, length and width. The Planning Authority then selects those views points for which a more accurate visual representation (AVR) is required (see Table A). The level of detail required may differ for each view point, ranging from a simple line depicting the outline of a building to a fully rendered representation. The Applicant will be expected to clearly label each image produced with its AVR category and a date. It is recommended that viewpoints to accompany an EIA should be provided at the accuracy of AVR 3-5. For AVRs 3-5, it is suggested that the following methodology is followed: 50mm equivalent digital images are taken of the key viewpoints; Surveys are commissioned to provide spot heights of viewpoints and key buildings accurate to +/-50mm; A digital terrain model is constructed from elevation detail;

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The proposed building parameters (including landscaping) are entered digitally and imported into the digital terrain model; Digital viewpoints at 1.67m elevation (emulating viewer height) are created; AVRs are created.

In the early stages of project development, it is likely that a number of simple AVRs will be requested (AVR 1&2). When reviewing these AVRs, the Planning Authority may then wish to understand a reduced number of view points in more detail, and will request further modelling accordingly (AVR3,4&5). AVRs should be presented on a before-and-after basis. Note on the Bristol City Centre 3D Computer Model: The 3D computer generated views used in this document were created by Bristol City Councils Visual Technology Team using our 3D City Centre Model. The Bristol City centre 3D computer model covers an area from Temple Meads Station in the east to the entrance to the Floating Harbour in the west and is used for a wide range of projects from planning visualisation to publications and mapping. The model was created in 1997 and has since been refined and detailed as uses for the model have expanded. The contoured terrain and road network are generated from a mixture of survey data, digital terrain mapping and aerial photography. The buildings shown have been individually modelled using architects drawings and historical information from Bristol City Councils planning archive. Visual Technology are able to offer this service to both internal and external clients. This valuable resource is ideal for visualisations to planning applications within the city centre.

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Table A: A Guide to Using Visual Images of Development Proposals (Adapted from draft guidance prepared by the GLA, 2003)
Accuracy
Advantages Quick and cheep to produce. Good as a starting point to understand the context of a proposal and where it might be seen. The size and shape of the proposal is shown accurately but its surroundings will be only partially accurate. No rendering normally provided. Best used for initial relatively cheap studies and conceptual work. For example to check where a proposal can be seen from and so help identify viewing points for further work. AVR 1s can be difficult to present to the lay audience. As digital photos are used they might look accurate but should not be presented as more than an initial assessment of visibility. Because the AVR 2 does not use a great deal of location

AVR Category

Description

Uses

Warning

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Uses an un-cropped photograph from a known location and a limited amount of geographical information on the relative positions of surrounding existing buildings. Provides basic information on what a proposal will look like in terms of materials and design. Good for explaining architectural or urban design concepts to lay audiences. If the building design used has enough information can be a useful first step in assessing a design concept. Relatively quick and cheep to produce. Can be useful tools when a design is being developed. information small errors in estimating alignment of different buildings can produce significant distortions in the final result. These pictures can look very real but they may not be accurate. They can be easily confused with more accurate AVR 4 or AVR 5 but should never be used in the same way. As these pictures do not include rendering they can not show the likely appearance of a proposal. Wire frame outlines or solid block infill make it hard to assess the relative prominence of a proposal in a view. They are also relatively expensive to produce and so are not normally used early in the design process. This is an accurate depiction of the position and size of the proposal. As it makes no attempt to show materials or external design there is no room for inaccuracy in that respect. These pictures are widely and successfully used to accurately depict planning proposals. A very good and wellestablished way of depicting the position and size of development proposals.

AVR1 Visibility Study

A simple depiction of the shape of a proposal shown on digital photographs.

AVR2 Approximate Photomontage

Rendered computer model of a proposed building combined with a photograph of its surroundings (using a package such as PhotoShop).

Accurate depiction of the position, shape and size of a proposal shown on a high resolution photograph. The proposal is shown as a silhouette only without rendering.

AVR3 Accurate Silhouette

Accurate depiction of the position, shape and size of the proposal but with selected architectural details shown on a high resolution photograph.

AVR4 Accurate Photomontage Position, size and shape is accurate but rendering is indicative depicting major architectural features only. Transparency and solidity, floor plate positions and elevation rhythms normally indicated but the picture is not a fully accurate indication of what the building would look like. Good depiction of skyline or streetscape impact of proposals. Potentially these pictures are a useful way of examining appearance when a design is still being formulated. Most commonly AVR submitted with major planning applications. Expensive to produce. It can be difficult for users to understand that not all architectural features are being depicted and so the picture is an indication of appearance only. The proposed building will probably look as real as the existing buildings shown around it and this can lead to misuse of the picture.

Accurate depiction of the position, shape and size of the proposal but with selected architectural details shown on a high resolution photograph.

AVR5 Accurate

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Photo-reality

Accurate depictions of both position, size and shape, and external appearance of a development proposal..

These pictures are essentially as accurate as is possible using current technology. Every effort is taken to ensure the proposal looks totally real from adding people to the insides of buildings to making sure development proposals are reflected in the windows of surrounding buildings. Although subjective assumptions are still made as to light saturation, colours etc information is taken from the photograph of the surrounding area to ensure consistency throughout the picture. Very good pictures for assessing the likely impact of a proposal. Easy to understand and hard to misinterpret. Particularly useful for highly sensitive locations where architectural detail is going to be very important to overall impact.

Only depict the details available when the picture is produced. These pictures are very expensive to produce and so updates as a design changes can be hard to justify.

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APPENDIX F Sustainability Appraisal Report


Participation in the production of SPD1 and formal consultation of the draft, outlined in the accompanying consultation statement, has informed and influenced the response to refine, enhance effectiveness and sustainable development performance. The Strategic and Citywide Planning Policy team of the City Council has undertaken this sustainability appraisal to focus direction and content, to assess the effects of draft SPD1, to inform an appropriate response to options and mitigation, to help respond positively to objectives set and to meet regulatory obligations. The following framework sets the objectives of the sustainability appraisal to measure and guide SPD1. It allows a methodical investigation and test of the sustainable development objectives of the City Council and the objectives of SPD1. Commentary within the framework describes the response to each particular objective and the relationship between choices made in respect of policy guidance options and sustainable development indicators. The sustainability appraisal has been designed to reflect the appropriate level of detail required for such a supplementary planning document. It focuses on the significant effects of tall buildings on relative sustainability and potential mitigation. As this appraisal is a component of SPD1 and should be read as a single document, to avoid unnecessary duplication, information within the body of SPD1 is not repeated in detail. Effective implementation will be influenced by a number of factors outlined within SPD1, such as for example, the promotion of good practice via architectural competition, the involvement of CABE, English Heritage, Bristol Conservation Advisory panel etc; community participation as required by the emerging Statement of Community Involvement, the use of sustainability profiles and the Bristols Local Development Frameworks Annual Monitoring Report.

Conclusions The Bristol Local Plan provides the critical land use and sustainable development policy framework to underpin the consideration of new tall buildings. Nevertheless, the sustainability appraisal demonstrates how SPD1 can enhance the relative sustainability of tall buildings from both a spatial and detailed perspective. SPD1 will contribute to better sustainable development practice in a number of ways, for example spatial guidance seeks to focus new tall buildings in accessible locations; there is an emphasis on seeking to maximise the positive impact tall buildings may bring to the City's skyline whilst safeguarding Bristol's cultural assets; criteria is developed to ensure tall buildings does not significantly harm residential amenity; direct economic benefits from such major development projects for those disadvantaged are advanced; it seeks to ensure people are involved and inform decision making; and encourages the employment of sustainable construction good practice to, for example, maximise energy efficiency.

By clearly indicating how the application of SPD1 may enhance relative sustainability will decrease the likelihood of ill informed, unsustainable submissions and decisions whilst increasing the possibility for great planning, excellent urban design, and exceptional architecture that helps address Bristol's sustainable development ambitions.

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Objectives of the Tall Buildings Policy Advice Note SPD1 has been drafted to meet the following objectives. To ensure that any proposed new tall building would reinforce the attractive and varied qualities of Bristols built environment in order to create a positive image and identity for Bristol. To ensure any new proposed tall building would be of a high standard of design and of architectural excellence, ensuring that it is sympathetically integrated within the local and city context, and respects principal views across the city. To ensure any proposed new tall building satisfies sustainable development objectives (as expressed through sustainability appraisal). To ensure that any proposed new tall building would preserve or enhance the character and appearance of Bristols Conservation Areas, and other areas, and listed buildings of special interest and character.

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Sustainability Appraisal (SA) objectives


(Source: Bristol Local Plan, 1997 (BLP), Proposed Alterations to the BLP, 2003; SA of BLP 2002; SA Good Practice Guide, 2003.)

The relationship and relative impact of the Tall Buildings SPD and its objectives to SA Objectives

1.0 ECONOMIC
1.1 Promoting economic growth and prosperity, reversing decline and maintaining high and stable levels of sustainable economic growth. To reinforce and maintain the viability of Bristol for work, shopping, leisure, tourism and culture for local people, its workforce and visitors. Comment Existing planning policy already accepts the principle that tall buildings within the city. SPD1 provides greater clarity to enable an appropriate response to such a principle. Providing for a range of development options within the city may be considered to enhance the economic potential of Bristol. SPD1 provides greater surety for such a development option within the city centre and consequently is likely to have a positive effect on this objective. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Bristol City Council (BCC) monitors economic performance, employment capacity and supply and the subsequent ability of the city to accommodate new development. It will, however, be difficult to measure directly SPD1s impact on this objective. 1.2 To promote economic development and regeneration across the City and to maximise investment in areas of the City with greatest opportunity, in particular to develop the potential of the city centre, Avonmouth and South Bristol. Comment The reason for focussing on the city centre is addressed within the body of SPD1. Significant new investment arising from major development projects within the city centre is a positive response to this objective. However it should be equally appreciated that alternative forms of development, which accommodate the same floorspace volume, may well have a similar positive impact. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Bristol City Council (BCC) monitors new office developments. Options and responses. Spatial considerations are covered within the body of SPD1. Comment The quality of the built environment will influence the attraction of Bristol to visitors. High quality new development, together with the existing built heritage, may have a positive impact in the promotion of the city to visitors. Public art as an important component of a successful design/architectural scheme is strongly promoted through SPD1. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Visitors surveys provide the means to consider the reasons why people choose to visit the city. This can be used to consider whether new tall buildings have influenced visitors decision.

1.3 To promote opportunities for local and regional leisure, sport, art and tourism, to meet the needs of Bristol residents and visitors to the City.

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2.0 SOCIAL
2.1 Improving social and economic equity and opportunity for everyone and reducing social exclusion. Comment Through S106 agreements, SPD1 seeks to ensure potential economic benefits to meet such an objective are levied. A specific SPD is being prepared to clarify requirements and support effective delivery. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Economic benefits to address social exclusion are a corporate priority. S106 agreements monitoring reports are published every 6 months to allow transparent scrutiny. Options and responses. S106 contributions are a material development cost. The local planning authority is often lobbied to minimise S106 obligations expectations. An option for the City Council may have been to not require the above contributions. The positive impact of such measures and the mutual benefits recognised determined the retention of such a consideration. Comment Tall buildings may include residential accommodation, including a proportion of affordable housing contributing positively to this objective. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Bristols urban capacity studies and residential monitoring allow the city to address housing need. Tall buildings may provide an important contribution to the supply of new housing provision. However, it should be equally appreciated that alternative forms of development, which accommodate the same floorspace volume, may well be able to accommodate a similar number of new homes. Options and responses. The benefits of mixed use including housing are promoted within SPD1. Mitigation methods/techniques Mixed use tall buildings including residential are to be promoted where the principle for a tall building exists. Comment Relative air quality affects good health. The requirement to locate any new tall building within an accessible location, close to essential services, facilities and attractions. To contribute towards public transport improvements and/or the pedestrian environment and to provide limited car parking, and requiring an associated green travel plan will have a positive effect on the number of visitors/occupants driving motorised vehicles. Consequently SPD1 will make a positive contribution to meeting this objective. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. Air quality is measured within the city centre and sophisticated modelling available to consider the impact of major new developments on air quality is required as a consequence of Environmental Assessment regulations. Options and responses. Varying levels of car parking were considered. Minimal levels are promoted. Mitigation methods/techniques As above

2.2 Ensuring everyone has a decent home. To maintain and enhance housing areas, to facilitate a wide range of housing of varying tenure and develop vacant and derelict sites in housing areas, to increase the supply of housing to meet peoples needs and Structure Plan allocations.

2.3 To ensure that land use and development contributes positively to improving health

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2.4 Improving accessibility of homes, jobs, services, facilities, public transport, and the environment for everyone. 2.5 To enable local people to gain access to jobs of a sufficient number, type and quality.

Comment Accessible locations within the city centre will enable visitors/occupants of any tall building to access services, facilities and public transport locally.

Comment It should not be assumed the distinguishing feature of this form of building, i.e. that it is tall, will impact on this objective. However, providing for a range of development options within the city may be considered to affect the economic potential of Bristol. SPD1 provides greater surety for such a development option within the city centre and consequently is likely to have a positive affect on this objective. As SPD1 requires any tall buildings to be within accessible locations, jobs created will be relatively convenient. Comment All forms of development, low or tall, are required to satisfy this objective. Such an obligation under policy B4 of the Bristol Local Plan is addressed.

2.6 To ensure that land use and development contributes positively to community safety. 2.7 To encourage the provision of mixed uses in support of sustainable communities.

Options and responses. The benefits of mixed use including housing are promoted within SPD1. Mitigation methods/techniques Mixed use tall buildings, including residential, are to be promoted where the principle for a tall building exists.

3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL
3.1 To adopt transportation policies which reduce congestion in the City. This will include priority for and promotion of public transport, park and ride sites, pedestrians and cyclists. The principal traffic corridors will be identified, there will be promotion of "safer routes" in the city and traffic calming measures will be taken. Options and responses. An option for SPD1 was to concentrate on the aesthetics of tall buildings leaving other Plan policies to address such environmental matters. However, the significant movement issues associated with a tall building require an integrated approach to ensure impact can be managed in a sustainably responsible manner. Mitigation methods/techniques The need to satisfactory provide for the movement implications are implicit within SPD1. The submission of a Transport Impact Assessment, green travel plans etc, will help to mitigate potential adverse impact. Comment It is evident Bristol City Council is anxious to ensure any new tall building makes a positive contribution to the quality of the urban form, satisfactorily respects the built heritage and due to their intensity of associated activity, tall buildings are in the right location. Options and responses. The statement of community consultation highlights how the options have been explored and tested to ensure such an objective may be successfully realised. The spatial recommendations and assessment criteria demonstrate the response to meet expectations.

3.2 To ensure that the management of the environment and the quality of form and activity related to new development is sustainable, conserves and reinforces Bristols attractive and varied physical environment, creates a positive image and identity for the local area and enhances the quality of in Bristol.

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3.3 To protect and enhance Bristols important green open spaces, including its wildlife habitats and networks of green corridors, recreational and amenity spaces, and historic landscapes and parks, balanced with the need for development. 3.4 To protect and promote district and neighbourhood centres which include a good range of facilities for people living and working in the city and to direct new community services and commercial development towards accessible, mixed use and viable centres of activity.

Comment New city centre tall buildings are likely to occur on brownfield sites as the open space within the city is finite and recognised as integral to the needs of city centre residents, workers and visitors. Existing Plan policy will be applied to protect/mitigate against the impact on valuable space, wildlife and amenity interests. It is evident the quality design of space around tall buildings is essential, and will provide the opportunity to enhance existing open space and other civic and natural assets. Comment The city centre provides the most accessible and suitable townscape location within Bristol for such buildings. Due to its regional significance as the centre of economic/cultural activity, the city centre is promoted as the appropriate location within the city for significant office based uses (the likely use for new tall buildings) in accordance with existing land use policy. Options and responses. SPD1 will not prevent the consideration, in principle, of other locations within the city for tall buildings however due to the characteristics of other district and town centres and those of tall buildings, the city centre is the most suitable location in accordance with Bristols spatial strategy and the current first choice of the development/commercial office sector.

3.5 To maintain/enhance biodiversity. 3.6 To maintain enhance landscape distinctiveness.

Comment see point 3.3

Comment Tall buildings have a significant impact on the landscape. Commentary within SPD1 demonstrates how tall buildings may enhance the distinctiveness of the city, and if successful, in a positive fashion. Options and responses. Choices in tall building design will affect relative impact. Creative and striking examples will add to the distinctiveness of the city centre skyline. Impact may be moderated or exaggerated by the approach undertaken. SPD1 sets out how an appropriate response to the particular character of Bristol should be appreciated to inform the urban design and architecture i.e. to make the tall building responsive and particular to Bristol. Comment see point 2.3

3.7 To improve air quality.

4.0 RESOURCE EFFICIENCY


4.1 Greater energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. Comment To meet this objective SPD1 is explicit in how new tall buildings can respond in an environmentally responsible manner. Options and responses. Technical building regulations require a minimum response to such matters and an option was for SPD1 to concentrate on

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aesthetic considerations rather than sustainable construction and design. However, the remit for planning, emphasised by new Draft Planning Policy Statement 1, demands a more rounded/holistic approach. The opportunity for tall buildings to perform environmentally successfully. Mitigation methods/techniques SPD1 promotes, within individual specific sections, good practice in relation to energy efficiency, water consumption, microclimate impact minimisation, and sustainable use of materials making a positive impact on addressing this objective. These elements have been informed by technical expertise within the City Council, local and national emphasis and associated initiatives. Comment SPD1 promotes a form of development on Brownfield land within the city centre minimising the loss of Greenfield sites. Comment Plan policy exists to ensure recycling is provided for and suitable storage is integral to the design of new significant development projects. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. The City Council has targets to maximise recycling and minimise waste disposal. Performance of major sources of waste maybe evaluated and better practice encouraged. Options and responses. Reference to waste minimisation is not explicit in SPD1 as provision for recycling is a generic policy issue. However to raise the profile and significance of this objective, specific reference could have been included. Mitigation methods/techniques Significant developments will be informed by specialist expertise within the City Council to ensure a positive approach can be employed. Comment A specific section within SPD1 promotes an environmentally responsible approach to the re-use of materials, the choice of new materials and the unavoidable disposal of materials. Targets and indicators to assess performance of SPD1 against objective. As with many of the above objectives the development control process can evaluate the relative sustainability of any future tall building and test whether planning objectives have been met to inform any planning application. Options and responses. The approach employed is affected by the scope of a local planning authority to require good practice in relation to this matter i.e. can planning permission be refused if mineral consumption is not minimised. Mitigation methods/techniques The City Council has provided specific advise on sustainable construction as a resource to inform such developments to which SPD1 refers.

4.2 Reducing development on Greenfield land. 4.3 Reducing waste of disposal.

4.4 Reducing the consumption of minerals from primary source.

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Supplementary Planning Document No1

TALL BUILDINGS

APPENDIX G Proposed Alterations to the Bristol Local Plan, Policy B7A


Proposals for tall buildings are coming forward in greater numbers than for some time and raise particular issues requiring specific policy. Tall buildings are defined as those that are substantially taller than their neighbours and/or which significantly change the skyline. The issue of height is a significant factor to be considered in assessing the design quality and environmental impact of new buildings. In exceptional circumstances tall buildings can make positive contributions to city life, by virtue of their size and prominence. However, they can also harm the qualities that people value about a place. Tall buildings are only one possible model for high density development. Whilst tall buildings with a large total floor area have a correspondingly large impact on their location, this can be equally true of large compact developments which are not so tall. In addition, the existence of a tall building on a site does not necessarily mean that a new replacement tower will be acceptable in principle. Whilst supplementary planning guidance will be produced to provide detailed advice it should be noted that proposals for tall buildings are likely to require a full Environmental Impact Assessment. In addition they must be accompanied by very high standards of illustration including accurate and realistic representations of the building and all the significant near, middle and distant views affected. This will require a methodical 360 degree view analysis and relative height studies, to show what a scheme would look like in context at varying heights. In addition proposals must be presented in the context of an urban design study/masterplan of the immediate and wider area, based on a full character appraisal.
B7A PROPOSALS FOR TALL BUILDINGS WILL ONLY BE CONSIDERED WHERE A SATISFACTORY RESPONSE HAS BEEN MADE TO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:-

(i) RELATIONSHIP TO CONTEXT, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHY, BUILT FORM, AND SKYLINE; (ii) EFFECT ON THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT AT A CITY-WIDE AND LOCAL LEVEL; (iii) RELATIONSHIP TO TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PARTICULARLY PUBLIC TRANSPORT PROVISION; (iv) ARCHITECTURAL EXCELLENCE OF THE BUILDING; (v) CONTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC SPACES AND FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE MIX OF USES; (vi) EFFECT ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING MICROCLIMATE AND GENERAL AMENITY CONSIDERATIONS; (vii) CONTRIBUTION TO PERMEABILITY AND LEGIBILITY OF THE SITE AND WIDER AREA; AND (viii)SUFFICIENT ACCOMPANYING MATERIAL TO ENABLE A PROPER ASSESSMENT INCLUDING URBAN DESIGN STUDY/MASTERPLAN, A 360 DEGREE VIEW ANALYSIS AND RELATIVE HEIGHT STUDIES. Implementation: Through the Development Control process and by the use of supplementary planning guidance.

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