New planning application for Westbury Park eyesore

January 25 2021

Residents protesting outside the unfinished building in 2017

Residents protesting outside the unfinished building in 2017

The developer of 99 Devonshire Road, the plot of land of a Former Hall, submitted a new planning application - 20/05826/X - in December to Bristol City Council.
The applicant, Mr Nick Bracey of Rowan 236 Ltd, wants to improve the bathroom and bedroom accommodation at the second floor level and insert rear dormer windows.
Planning permission for six flats was given in 2008. However, construction on the building didn’t begin until 2014 and then quickly stalled. A roof was never put on the property which has since been open to the elements. It has remained unfinished, and is regarded as an eyesore in Westbury Park. Local councillors have made strenuous efforts to secure improvements to the site but to no avail.
Comments expressed reflect local frustration at the state of the site which, although fenced off for security reasons, has been used to fly-tip rubbish. Some comments even refer to signs of vermin. While few people object to the amendment to the planning application, many suggest that the Planning Department issue a Completion Notice ensuring that the development is finally finished.
Commenting on behalf of Westbury Park Community Association, which has campaigned for the last four years to secure the completion of development on this site, Kevin Chigley stated: “The application is minor and uncontentious in itself but any application made on the 99 Devonshire Road scheme raises questions about the future of the site given the fact that there seems no prospect of the development being completed under the current ownership.
“We are left with an unsightly and potentially dangerous building shell open to the elements - a building shell that may well have to be demolished as it has been left open to the elements for almost five years. If the current application does represent a move on the part of the owner to resurrect the scheme that would be good news. However, given that to date the owner has shown no interest in either completing the development or, to our knowledge, selling the site to another party (despite an offer believed to exceed the project's book value) we fear that the current impasse will continue.
“In these circumstances we believe that the only way forward is for the City Council to use its Completion Notice powers requiring the developer to complete the scheme within a given time scale or relinquish the permission.”
The final date to take part in the consultation is Thursday 28 January.